17 February 2014

Futureman making bread

It has been a year and a month since I left the “security” and future pension benefits of my government job to come home and work the Planet Whizbang home business. I can report that I have had no problems at all adjusting to this “new life.” And, thus far, sufficient income is coming in to keep the bills paid.

I mentioned this year-plus anniversary to Marlene the other morning and she replied that, “We couldn’t do this if you didn’t come home.” The “this” she spoke of was helping to take care of her 99-year-old mother, her 76-year-old sister (in declining health), my disabled sister (MS), and our grandson, a.k.a., Futureman (when his parents are working).

There are others who are helping, but Marlene bears a large amount of burden—more than most hereabouts realize, or can relate to. The fact that I am home and can help some makes things a little easier. I’m of the mind that God orchestrated the time of my “retirement” from wage slavery to coincide with the family demands that would arise. 

Futureman, is a ray of sunshine in the midst of the sadness and hardships we see in the lives of many around us. He is here at our home almost every day. Just short of two years old, he is very busy, but he has a good nature and is a lot of fun.

This morning at breakfast I juggled three clementines for him. He, sitting in his high chair eating blueberries, watched for a moment and burst out laughing. That made me laugh too. Simple pleasures. When he is older I’ll tell him I learned to juggle when I was in the circus. ;-)

The picture at the top of this page is Futureman “helping” Marlene make oatmeal bread. I think I’ve posted a picture here before of him making bread with his grandmother. Hopefully, he will be around here for a long time, and Marlene will be making bread for a long time to come, and he will remember. Such memories are important.

When it comes to grandchildren, I’m persuaded that our job as grandparents is to love and focus, be godly examples, and create memories. My grandparents did this with me (my Grandmother Kimball especially), but the time I had with my grandparents was limited to some summer vacations early in my life. They were in northern Maine, I was in Central New York. That’s not the best arrangement for grandparenting. But even just a few summers were enough to make a big difference in my life.

In my book, Writings of a Deliberate Agrarian, I have a quote from Karen Hart that speaks to the importance of grandparenting...

“Having a loving relationship with a grandparent makes children feel special. It builds their self-esteem to know there is an extended family that loves them. A sense of identity develops as children learn about their roots. They discover that grandparents have time to listen with interest, to play, to let them help with ‘real work,” such as cooking or gardening. In quiet, unhurried moments, questions about faith and life are answered from the knowledge of experience. In these ways grandparents pass on their faith in God while helping build confidence and self-worth."

That quote is, essentially, my credo for grandparenting. It is a large part of why I think I am here on this earth.

Speaking of “real work” I put Futureman to work awhile back counting rubber chicken plucker fingers. People buy these in boxes of 125 to make their own Whizbang Chicken Plucker. They are counted out with the help of a “counter” with 126 holes, one for each finger, and one extra. Counting and packaging plucker fingers is something productive that I can do on the kitchen table while Futureman is taking his nap.

Futureman grasped the concept quickly. He tried to put the first finger in upside down and it wouldn’t fit, so he turned it around. I thought to myself, what a smart boy! 

What he didn't get is that once the fingers are in the holes, they need to stay there; taking them out was as much fun as putting them in. 

I think these things—making bread with grammie and counting chicken plucker fingers with grampie—are little examples of a family economy in action. And so is spending time to help other members of the family that are going through a hard time. 


Gorges Smythe said...

You are blessed.

Anonymous said...

What a blessing to have your grandson with you almost everyday! He's such an industrious little fellow. Yes, it's all about making memories :-).

Providence Acres Farm said...

I'm glad the Lord made it possible for you to work at home. It does seem like His hand was in the timing. "All things work together for good to those that Love god and are called according to His purpose." A piece of scripture that I remind myself of often.

Little kids are such great fun!

Anonymous said...

Futureman is blessed!

Ron said...

Great picture! I didn't realize all that rested on your shoulders. If you need help with something, give a shout. I agree with the other folks here that you are blessed. May God continue to bless you!

Elizabeth L. Johnson said...

I was very disappointed to see the date on this blog. I hoped Futureman was back. So sad. I will add more prayers.