Hospitality, Friendship, Encouragement

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Multigenerational Vision

Years ago, before my parents moved to Pennsylvania, Tim and I would talk about our 'vision' for our family. We knew that when they did move to PA we would want them to be included in our family life - not just guests in our home on special occasions.

We knew that they had a lot of love and fun to offer our children and friendship to offer to us. We knew that we could help them to feel wanted and important, which they truly are.

When they moved here my grandma came with them. So we had 4 generations hanging out, swimming in grandpa's pool at 'Camp Geezer' (there is even a theme song to the tune of 'The Beverly Hillbillies'), grocery shopping on Fridays, including lunch out. For several years we even went to church together.

My Dad and Tim have worked on projects both at our home and theirs, including tearing a shed down, building a barn, hanging screen doors, pressure girls over the years have helped them with housework, weeding, mulching, mowing. I have painted many rooms in their house!

We have shared holidays together, and vacations to Williamsburg, Vermont, the cabin...

My kids keep their grandparents young. Lindsay and Grandpa share a love of horses and have gone to the big horse expo in Harrisburg together. Nate used to help Grandpa every month set up tables and chairs at the fire company for the monthly fundraising breakfast. All the kids would go monthly as well to set up all the rest of the stuff needed. The kids have spent the night, often weekly. When the older ones were young, they got to stay up until midnight on Fridays at Grandma and Grandpa's and watch Zorro on the Disney channel with Grandpa. After that he would carry them up the stairs - often two or three at a time! (I don't think he can do this any more!)

For years we have been talking about 'the future' when they would need to assistance. This area is full of retirement communities and assisted living places. We didn't want them to go to one of these places. We suggested they build an 'inlaw' quarters on our place. So we have discussed this over the years, what they would want etc...they always say they are going to put a heavy steel door between our place and theirs with big locks! I always answer "as long as the locks are on our side of the door!" :)

Two weeks ago they had a general contractor who is a friend of theirs come out and have a look, listen to what they are thinking and he is now working on plans. This doesn't mean they are ready to build yet. Dad is still active as president of his local fire company and serves as a driver, when needed, and captain of the fire police. They are great friends with their neighbors, they play Rook weekly. It is however getting more and more difficult for them to do the big work around their place. We are helping with this. It is not a burden, it is a joy.

One day when they are ready, their space will be built and they will be a doorway away. Grandma will have a sleeping buddy every night! Grandpa will be able to work horses and mow and garden with the kids, and they will be able to all run over to bowling together. When they need help we will be right there with them. We enjoy my parents, they are fun and loving. My kids adore them!

It is a blessing to our family to have Grandparents who are Christians, who help to influence their grandkids. This June we will add another generation to our family when our son's daughter is born. This will be my parents second great grandchild, the first being my brother's grandson, Cayden! So they will have a great grandson and great granddaughter. The blessing of family! We share burdens and blessings, joys and sorrows. I am so thankful to know that my parents will be right here for us to love and care for, and for them to feed our animals when we go away on vacation! hee hee!


Tracy said...

Wonderful! I think it's great that they are opne to this as well, and that they'll have their own separate quarters.

Becky K. said...

There is so much give and take. I know we love having the Moms so close. I am pretty sure that you'll enjoy having these wonderful people sharing a roof with you when the time comes.

Missed my bowling buddy yesterday....but I did ok. A 150-something. Don't remember exactly. lol

Abounding Treasures said...

All of what you've shared about your parents and your family working and playing together is wonderful ~ such a cherished blessing for everyone of you!!

Tracy said...

You are so right. Grandparents are a blessing to our children. Sometime in the next two years my mother will be moving in with us.

Alicia @ said...

Love this post Auntie dee. Family is SO importantto be together is a blessing. We are in the process of that actually, my parents found a nice lot with two houses on it!! If its God's will we will live in one house and my parents and sister in the other. Ryan and I see it as an amazingly great thing and a BLESSING to be just a hop, skip, jump away. I love family and we are extremely close to my family! I was raised that way and Ryan was just nurtured into that when we were first engaged!


  I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. We spent Saturday, doing things around the house, and then we swam. Kyle and Sarah left after that...