"FOOTBALL IS MULTIGENERATIONAL.
IT USED TO BE ABOUT FATHERS TAKING THEIR SONS.
NOW WE'RE TAKING OUR DAUGHTERS TOO." ---STEVE TISCH
In honor of Superbowl Sunday and the AR Challenge presented by Richie Alan Naggar "My Boast a Post" here is a reflection on Multigenerational Living, as so lovingly shared, many times here on ActiveRain, by Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD. If you're not a follower of theirs, you're missing out. One of the first posts Debb wrote in reference to Multigeneral Living that resonated with me was the following:
My story begins in Chicago. My grandparents immigrated from Austria. They had three sons. All of us lived together in one building. Each family had their own flat with separate entrances. When I think back, my grandparents looked so old to me, but then again I only remember my Grandpa until I was five years old. Grandma lived on, until I was eleven years old. Looking at this photograph, to me, she doesn't look past twelve years old! I can't even imagine what it is like to start life in another country, leaving behind other members of my family.
I have been overseas (not Austria) and know how long it takes to fly and how uncomfortable it was to sit and try to sleep on a plane. For me, jet lag is real! I can't imagine what they felt like on a boat traveling across the ocean or how many days it took. Nor can I even imagine how much they left behind to come to America. I'm sure I have traveled with far more than they did and carried more luggage on vacation. What I remember most was how loving and caring my father and his brothers were to their parents. They nurtured them in sickness and in health. My grandparents were never in assisted living or a retirement home. I am sure having five granddaughters, all close in age was quite an experience for them! Since Superbowl Sunday didn't exist at this time in my life, I don't even know how any of them felt about sports. But I do know my father and his brothers spent many times on the lake going fishing.
The advantages for me having lived in a Multigenertional home are as follows:
- When mom wasn't there, I could always go to Grandma's house.
- I was never a latch-key kid. There was always Grandma's house.
- I didn't need daycare or pre-school; I had my Grandparents.
- When mom said, "no cookies," I could go across the hall and get some.
- When I needed comforting, I could sit on Grandpa's lap.
- When I wanted to play dress-up, Grandpa gave me her hat and jewelry.
- When my sisters got the Chicken Pox, I slept over at their house.
- When mom said, "no sugar," Grandma sprinkled sugar on my apples.
- What mom couldn't teach me, Grandma could.
Grandma and Grandpa were always cooking or baking. Here's their recipe for Vidensky Zavin (Viennese Strudel).
1 3/4 cups flour
3/8 to 1/2 cup warm water
1 whole egg
1 tsp butter, 1/4 tsp salt
1/2 lb of butter (she might have used lard???)
6-8 large apples
3/4 - 1 cup sugar
1/4 cup vanilla wafers (or something like that crushed)
1/4 cup walnuts chopped
Lemon juice if apples are too tart
Sift flour and salt into a deep bowl. Make a well in the center and drop in a whole egg. With fingers gradually add warm water and butter. You can't have any loose flour and dough must leave the sides of the bowl. Keep fingers floured or greased to keep dough from sticking. Make a ball. Knead until blisters appear. Then place dough in bowl, buttering top of dough and cover it with a clean heated dish towel. (She put hers on top the space heater for about 20 minutes - depending on temperature). Since she baked in Chicago, it could take up to 45 minutes before the dough was ready for stretching.
Place warm pat of dough on a lightly floured clean tablecloth on kitchen table and start stretching using tips of fingers only! Keep stretching until dough extends over the sides of the table and it is paper thin. Trim off edges with clean scissors and then put on filling.
Sprinkle butter on dough, reserving some for the dough that is hanging over the sides of the table. Since there is practically no butter in the dough itself, the dough must be sprinkled with butter, otherwise it's too tough. Sprinkle crushed wafers over dough, then make a row of sliced apples, nuts, and raisins, sugar, cinnamon and then sprinkle butter bits over all. Finally, sprinkle (don't drown) Puerto Rican rum.
Fold up excess dough on 3 sides, buttering all the dough, taking the sheet on the long side, roll the dough, holding the sheet in both hands is very important. Keep rolling until all the dough is rolled up, remembering to butter dough as you roll - place strudel on cookie sheet, lightly greased and bake for 40 minutes in a 350-degree oven. It will be delicately browned. When baked, cut immediately in slices, but do not separate until you serve. This keeps dough from steaming and becoming soggy. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve warm.
Note: After Grandpa died, Grandma needed my father or uncles to help her in the kitchen to make this delicious dessert. Kids got to sprinkle sugar! Multigenerational Living with my grandparents, aunts, and uncles (later cousins) was the happiest days of my life.
In sum, the benefits to multi-generational living have many benefits, financial, emotional, psychological, and physical. As Debb poignantly points out in her many posts on this topic, even her dog benefits! Whether one is a child or a senior there are worries and concerns about their health and well-being. Sometimes, emotional support doesn't have to go further to the school social workers or health providers that deal with mental health, such as Dementia. Also, when family members are taking care of their own, seniors are less likely to be taken advantage of or children being preyed on by strangers. Debb's stories goes to the heart and the core of family safety. This is my two cents worth, as a child from having had that experience of multi-generational living. Debb and Bernie are the experts in this industry when it comes to Multi-generational living in real estate. (by the way, this last paragraph was added on Monday because it was left out because text kept disappearing when it was originally posted).