We’ve recently started a new tradition here on the Homestead; the inception being due to a variety of reasons of which the over-abundance of sappy, synthetic catch-phrases is just one.
The fledgling tradition? Each Sunday, after morning chores and before we each set off on our day-of-rest activities, we and any Homestead Hangers-On (shout out to Princess Nikita) take turns at hosting a little tea party with a twist. Hosting responsibilities include providing the humble repast, grinding and serving the coffee and/or preferred hot beverage, and – here’s the twist – unveiling the phrase they have identified as pertinent, fitting, apt or just worthy of consideration during the upcoming week. As hosting duties are determined alphabetically on the Homesteader’s first names, your humble scribe has a while to wait for their turn, but observations of the three who have already had their turn in the limelight shows the appropriate phrase appointment to be quite a stressful undertaking.
So, why do we do this to ourselves? Why have we collectively chosen to stress ourselves out in this triple f (forced family fun) manner?
Well, a good dollop of the blame must fall squarely on the shoulders of The Goat Herd, a great peruser of Pintrest who very much enjoys relaying the horrendous quotes, sayings and clichés people feel the need to purchase and display in their homes. Now, as a group we’re well-up for a suitable pithy phrase, inspiring quote or any form of soul-resonating wordage but the moment it crosses the line into melodrama our skins crawl, toes curl, and some of us affect a bit of a sneer. It seemed the challenge was staring us in the face.
We’d also reached an interesting stage in the evolution of Union Homestead. When we’d made the decision to relocate, re consolidate and get serious about this whole Homesteading deal six years ago, we dreamed of chickens and goats and cheek-by-jowl garden beds. As winter approached, while we acknowledged there is always room for improvement and change, we were faced with the fact that, to all intents and purposes, we’d arrived there; we’re now doing what we dreamed up, sitting around the dining table in our Rotorua home. This examining of our joint ethos felt timely.
The esteemed Auntie Joss also played her part. With her personal journey into a faith that has brought her obvious contentment and great enjoyment we felt, as a family, it couldn’t hurt us to undertake a little trip of our own. Without wanting to sound like one of those hackneyed banners we snigger about, life is an on-going adventure, not a thing that happens around you.
But mostly, it was just an excuse for a party every weekend – with some sage words to spur the conversation thrown in.