Family Time

By Georgie Bright Kunkel

In small towns all over the world there are families gathering on special occasions. Humans seem to require celebrations to put more meaning into life. Easter, for Christians at least, is one of those times. Easter is always on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the vernal equinox. Hope you didn’t celebrate Easter without figuring this all out. Looking back at my life as far back as I can remember there were numerous relatives coming to our house to break bread together, as they say. When one is the youngest in a family of eleven children there is never a lack of togetherness. I loved it when my two rambunctious cousins would come to eat with us on holidays and the grownups would be so busy they didn’t notice us raiding the candy all afternoon.

As I recently downsized the numerous file cabinets and cupboards in my office, I was reminded by my collection of written memories of times that not many of my offspring experienced in their own lives. My widowed mother, even though she did not grow up on a farm, would buy live chickens and wring their necks so we could have meat for dinner. Does anyone reading this remember when automobiles were always black? We learned not to store a broom resting on its bristles. I used to buy washed and bleached flour sacks from the flour mill outlet and hemmed them up myself, even embroidering designs on them. We had Sunday clothes and everyday clothes and nothing was ever thrown away but put into a rag bag. We didn’t have fancy commercial dusting gadgets advertised on TV but used rags out of this bag. No television to entice us into buying products from profit making corporations. Yes, we were pretty self sufficient.

There was always a junk drawer where we put anything that we didn’t need right away but certainly we would someday find a use for. For example, used string, aluminum foil that we cleaned to use again and flower seeds that we didn’t have room to plant. “Mom, where is the flashlight?” You know the answer--in the junk drawer. I haven’t cleaned out the junk drawer yet as this was at the bottom of my to-do list and I still have two days before x-ray time and hopefully hearing the ratcheting of my leg cast being removed. Then I can go downstairs into the basement garage and drive my car which hasn’t been driven for over six weeks. I have saved enough gasoline to balance out the co-pays for the several visits to doctors and the cast room. As my mother might say if she were here, “Be thankful you don’t live in a poor country where they don’t have the health care that you have.” And yes, I heard this when I wouldn’t eat my spinach, “There are starving children in China that would love to eat it.”

Soon I will hopefully have had x-rays that show a mended ankle bone. Hurray, then I can once more host my Seattle area family this Easter season without sitting with my right leg elevated. Life is more precious than I ever thought it could be when I think of the healing power of the human body. Remember when we were kids and were frightened to death when we scraped a knee—worrying that it would stay that way forever? Learning to trust our healing power is great for the soul. That’s my secret of living a full life—keeping my spirit flourishing through thick and thin. My soul will definitely be replenished by the time you read this. So enjoy.

Georgie Bright Kunkel is a freelance writer who can be reached at or 206-935-8663.

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