Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Building our Community

Last weekend 6 friends went to the Butler Outdoor Extravaganza and took a class to build sailboats. Hopefully by the end of summer we will have 3 Puddle Duck Racers to sail about. I'm looking forward to more fun work days.
It reminded me of many positive childhood memories. Our extended family was really good at collecting and working on joint projects for one another. I remember aunts, grandma, great aunts and cousins gathering to go berry picking or to northeast cherry picking.
Uncle Bill and Aunt Margie had great gardens and in the spring they took the kids to a farm to shovel up the fertilizer. These were events. Always there was great food involved, laughter and hopefully cranking to make homemade ice cream.
Extended family spent many hours helping Dad put an addition on our house. It was hard work but I remember the shared times. I learned so much from those experiences. In addition to using tools, I learned about working together. There probably were tense moments but I don't remember them. I remember feeling good about helping each other and getting a lot done.
As we were working Saturday and these memories flooded my mind, I thought about our friend Robbie's pear trees last year. She had told us they were so full of pears she didn't know what to do with them and didn't get them harvested. DAG! My mommy and aunts and cousins would have made an event out that. We missed it.
I've been thinking since about home projects that friends have expressed feeling overwhelmed about. Could we make an event out of that? It takes trust and a cooperative spirit. But when people really work together on a thing, the work goes faster and we build something more than the project at hand. We lift each other up and we build a stronger community.
Most of us realize that in relation to building a float for the parade, or volunteering together on a project but we tend to draw a line at helping each other up close and personal. We need to be as close as family to do that. Hopefully more friends can be close as family. Our extended family. I think we could all use a little more of that.

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