Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Turf Wars

One of the things that is really hilarious when we are all here together at the Beach House is the "friendly warring" that goes on. First there are the usual challenges of taking the (possibly) contradictory desires of fifteen different individuals - ranging in age from seven to ninety - regarding entertainment and leisure activities. (Who wants to go to the beach this morning? Anyone want to join us for a bike ride? Don't you want to go to the big community pool this afternoon?)

There are also the usual differing tastes and practices in things like food ("Mom, why can't we have Lucky Charms and Honey Buns for breakfast?" or "They're so lucky, they get grapes and we have to have carrots") and movies. (You can imagine, I'm sure, what that issue might look like when you vary in ages from seven to ninety!)

But the really funny things - if you can keep yourself above them and not take the bait to get irritated - are the "secret, unspoken" wars that go on... like the thermostat wars. My great aunt likes it 70 degrees tops. My mother wants to keep it about 80. And so they play the "you push it up then I slide it back down" game all week. The rest of us never know if we're going to be fainting hot or freezing cold at any given moment on any given floor. And if we find ourselves either one, we just might get in on the game and do our own push or pull of the little knob.

Also unspoken but very much prevalent are the television wars. Some of us never watch any television. Some usually watch six or seven hours a day. Some don't really watch it, but want it on for background noise anyway. So those who want to watch it have to try to get to the set first and get it on the show they want. And those of us who can't stand to have it going all the time in the main living spaces have to find another spot for the (relative) peace and quiet of conversation or reading or playing a game. And we also have to lay down concern about what our kids might be watching on that incessant boob tube.

And so, in the middle of it all, we who care about such things get to practice the admonition to "do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others" - Philippians 2:3-4.

Even when you really wanted to go the pool, but they really wanted to play Tripoley.

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