Polygamy Now
The unfolding story of polygamy in the United States

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Karen's Memorial Weekend Project

">This Memorial weekend it rained and rained. Karen had to change her parka and rain pants several times because they kept soaking through. It was perhaps not the best time to begin a major landscaping project, but we did anyway. In Seattle, if you let a little rain get in your way, you'll never get anything done.

We had a crew of four brought in -- a Vietnamese gardener and three Mexican gardners. They hoed the weeds, leveled the paths, repaired Lisa's brick patio, built several rock retaining walls, and built a brick patio enclosing a fire circle in our backyard.

The paths have become slippery streams of mud. We'll have to cover each path with landscaping cloth and a few inches of washed gravel. But that's for another hopefully drier day.

We were fascinated by the lunch these guys prepared. It was a true mixture of Vietnamese and Mexican food prepared by someone who cared. We wonder whether the crew lives together when they're not working. They asked if Lisa was Karen's daughter. "No, we're sisters!" she retorted.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Polygamy Now -- Family Night

Once each week we celebrate family night. By coincidence, the LDS church celebrates family home evening each week. While the two have a superficial resemblence, they're not at all the same.

We started family night many years ago as a chance for both our family and our intentional family to spend quality time together. By intentional family, we mean whoever is living together with us in our group house. This is sometimes, but not always, a member of our biological family.

Family night has a structure. No phone calls, no television, no side conversations during dinner. Family night is held on whichever night we're all free, which is currently, and coincidentally, Monday night, the same as the LDS family home evening.

Lisa usually cooks. During dinner, we go around the table, sharing the news of what's been going on with us for the past week. After each person speaks, we may have a short conversation. Unlike LDS family home evening, we don't talk about religion, and there's no attempt to be educational, although we hope the conversation is sometimes inspirational.

After the last round of comment and conversation, we ask, "Does anyone need any help?" If anyone does, we talk about this, too. Then we address any issues we're having, and any decisions that need to be made as a group. Then we're ready for hot tubbing.

Probably the biggest difference between family night and family home evening is that we get naked together on family night. After dinner, we undress together and head out to the hot tub, where we continue our conversation. Afterwards, we dress in robes (or not) and head upstairs to watch television. Social nudity is an important part of family night. Perhaps we'll tell you why in a future blog.