“Wyrd biõ ful ãræd.”

Friday, August 2, 2013

Reading Blogs

 I got up this morning,  and enjoyed my coffee while I read the blogs I go by every day.  The list is growing, because there are a lot of interesting people out there who are writing now.  It's pleasant to read about the different places people live, and the different lifestyles they follow.

In general, it seems to me that a lot of young people are having a rough time of it.  That's not surprising. The Talking Heads may wax eloquent about how much better the economy is doing but if it's true (and I see no evidence of that) the beneficial effects are not trickling down to the twenty something group.

Sitting in a waiting room yesterday, I had a conversation with a fellow about my age.  He was from New York city.  His accent aggravated me and I am sure mine grated on his ears, but we did manage a conversation.

He had two sons, about the age of my two kids.  Unlike mine, who went to technical schools in British Columbia, his had gone the more traditional route and gotten college degrees.  Liberal arts college degrees, to be exact.  In my time, that was a ticket to a pretty good life.  But these days,  younglings with liberal arts degrees are often finding that waiting tables or flipping burghers is all they can find.  I know one young lady who got a teaching credential but works at Walmart as a cashier.

My wife and I send our kids money when they need it.  My feeling is that they are both working hard to take care of themselves, they are not lazy, and if they have a big dental bill they need help with, or they are a little short of rent, we will help out.  I don't pretend that my wife and I are "stiff with blunt" as the British say, but we are not poor and it makes us feel good to help.

The fellow I was talking too , in that brusque and tactless way some Northerners have, let me know that I was doing it all wrong.  He didn't help his kids. They were adults now, and on their own.  I could tell from the watch this gentleman was wearing he was not short of jing.  I asked him how his kids were doing, and it turns out, not so well.  His philosophy was that they were on their own and if they couldn't pay their rent, or their car insurance, or couldn't get their teeth fixed because they had no insurance, that would build their character.

This seems ridiculous to me.  Are they not still his family?  Doesn't family, and by this I mean the extended family, stick together and have a "one for all and all for one" attitude?  Apparently, not everywhere.  I know this, when this fellow has another 15 years on him and needs his sons in so many ways, they may not feel very responsive.

It's true my wife and I will not live forever and someday we won't be around to help. But I don't think that's any reason not to pitch in here and there when our children need it while we are still alive.  They'll do fine on their own. They are doing fine now.  But why should they worry over things they absolutely cannot help if we can alleviate that for the "now" time frame?

Maybe its a "Southern Thing" but I would think it had more to do with being a parent than your regional culture.

15 comments:

  1. Heh. you mentioned a New Yorker and then posted a photo of your shotgun....

    Being subliminal there, Harry?

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  2. I hadn't thought of that, but then, I wonder what prompted me to select that picture? Maybe you are right! ;-)

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  3. Some people don't deserve the privilege of being parents.

    I was brought up with the saying that charity begins at home, and have taught that to my kids. More genuine charity than giving a donation to a prominent public one in order to assuage some guilt.

    Teaching one's children never stops...

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    1. Dani, we've always had a mutal support type relationship with the kids. One reason I miss them so much is that they were a lot of help here at the place. They did a great deal of the work and made life easier for me. So I feel like, if I can help them in any way I should, and if they can help me, they would. My wife and I had to struggle with money when we were younger and first moved here. I can't say that worrying about money ever did anything to make me a better person, but it sure did make me more irritable and hair trigger. I think you are correct, you are a parent as long as you are alive.

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  4. That New Yorker has the classic pampered Baby Boomer attitude. He was more than likely provided for by not only his parents but the state in general with unlimited opportunities and has no clear idea what the world in decline is like as the cheap energy and age of growth declines.

    I am sure he is counting on his money to provide for him as he gets even older but he may have a very unpleasant surprise in a few years. His children may just feel he doesn't have enough character as the dynamics change.

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    1. I don't know what this guy's issue was. I hate to say it, because I know it's stereotyping, but he was exactly what you think of when you hear "New York." Pushy, arrogant, condescending, and just like Bloomberg, he knew exactly what I was doing wrong and how I should fix it. I might say to someone "this is how I do this" but I'd never get right up on them and belittle their methods or say "the smart thing to do is.." Fortunately, I didn't have to talk to him long before they came and got him, and hauled him off down the brightly lit pastel hall.....

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  5. It is a Southern Thing, and a damn good thing...as always we think very much alike.

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    1. Well, a lot of the South was settled by the Scotch Irish (or Scots Irish if you are from England) and the clan tradition was strong with them. It's still strong in Appalachia, where you find whole sections of a county inhabited by people with one last name, and everything is "McCloud's Creek" and 'McCloud Gap" etc going back 200 years. Family ties are very strong in the rural South, even though so many of the young adults move away now because there is only work in the cities. I don't know why it's that way, I just know it is.

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  6. Harry - i wouldn't care if my children were 65 - they are still my children and always will be and i would always help them! i left home pretty early, and without and family to help me and so did it all on my own. it sure builds character! what a pile of crap! i had a friend when i was stationed in maryland, he was 20 and wanted to leave home. he had a really good-paying job, lots of flashy clothes and a brand new car - all because he wasn't paying rent, buying food or paying any bills! i explained to him that if i were in his shoes i would stay home until i was 50!!!!

    anyway, one thing that i really love about living here in Framboise - they take really good care of their children - regardless of age!

    and i agree with PP and the classic baby boomer attitude. your friend,
    kymber

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    1. Kymber, I read that post on your blog here recently and I was really surprised at how hard you did have it. Maybe to some extent adversity does temper a person, because you turned out really well. I'm glad you have a good husband and nice home now, you deserve it.

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    2. Harry - thank you so much for that. i sometimes wonder about karma??? and that maybe by putting in some really tough years, now i am catching a break??? i feel genuinely blessed...and i never thought i would ever feel that way. thank you so much - you have been a really good friend to us over the years. we appreciate that!

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  7. Kymber, it works both ways, believe me.

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  8. I'm still wiping butt's, debating what color objects are with my son and reading stories before bed so these concerns are awhile off. That being said I don't think it is a Southern thing. I'm from the PNW and generally think the same way.

    Personally I think if a child who is fundamentally doing good things falls a bit short occasionally and we can afford to help we will do so. Being young, not making a lot of money and getting started in life is hard.

    On the other hand if they were making stupid choices, using drugs, not working or just being ridiculous with money and were short every month I would help them get out of that but would not economically subsidize those decisions.


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  9. Ryan, I agree. I have a friend who is in that boat, with a son who doesn't work, is constantly in trouble with the sheriff's department for stealing and drugs, and is in and out of the county jail. I feel so sorry for the guy. He's a good person and his son was raised in a positive environment. Finally, after being lied too, stolen from, and humiliated in general he stopped helping the boy. Now the kid lives in a shanty town made out of cardboard and old tin sheeting out in the woods. It's where a lot of people wind up who are homeless here. I believe that would kill me if it happened to me, but my kids are good kids. I know you are just starting out with children, and I sure wish you and your wife the best of luck. Being a parent is tough but it also makes life worth living.

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  10. We always help our four kids if they need. Even when we ourselves were short of money we still did what we could to help.

    My parents always helped me out in my younger days, and would still do so today...

    When we are on our death bed, we are going to want our family to be close. Nothing else in the world will matter but the love of family :)

    No crocodiles where we live Harry we are too far south. Crocodiles live in the tropics, northern Australia. Crochet is not something that men do a lot here, but I guess there are exceptions. I was nagged all day long by my grandson to teach him to "Knit" so I obliged :)

    xx

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