In early December we spent a weekend at a lodge in the woods a short hike away from the lake with my mother's rather large extended family. It was an amazing two days, spent bear hunting with sticks and imagination, staying up crazy late, and playing cut throat chicken foot. On the last day, my uncle pulled out his bows and let all the kids take turns shooting at a target.
Pippi waited patiently while all her boy cousins had their turns. All missed, the arrows shooting off into the woods.
Up stepped Pippi. My uncle spent some time with her, teaching her how to hold the bow, how to pull back, how to let it go.
Then, she let it fly.
My little girl hit the deer target in the rump on her first shot.
My daddy, a hunter by nature, was pickled tink. He went out and bought her a bow and arrow, set up a hay target in the backyard and is giving her bow hunting lessons. My mother is teaching Pippi how to knit and how to play the piano. And my father will soon begin teaching Tommy how to build, using a hand saw, hammer, and nails.
And they continually teach me, with few words, leading by example, how to be a quieter, gentler wife, how to mother with the right mix of sternness and tenderness, how to work diligently without grumbling, and how to play.
On this, the day before our house is to be inspected, clearing the way for a potential buyer, I have no misgivings, no regrets about how we have chosen to live our lives. We are an uncommon family in uncommon times. We choose to live together - grandparents, parents, and children - under one roof. And although our choice grew out of financial difficulty, we are getting so much we didn't bargain for. For how long we will live this way, I do not know. But for now, I am content. And so thankful for God's blessings beyond measure.