How delightfully good when brothers live together in harmony!” Psalm 133:1
I’m not sure how it happened…but it did. I’ve said it several times, but we were not the richest family on the block…at least if the measurement was money in the bank. I’m still amazed how my Daddy and Momma pulled off raising us and providing so richly for us. And I mean that. While we weren’t rich in terms of money, we were blessed with a good, solid, salt of the earth family. And we were blessed with two parents who were creative enough to make it all work. And that is the keystone word…work.
Daddy was the kind of Daddy who got up and went to work…every day. He would carpool out to Jacksonville Naval Air Station, put in a solid eight hours in a jet engine shop that didn’t have the luxury of air conditioning. Keep in mind this is in North Florida…home of humidity and sweat. After work, he would often come and work some more. Daddy was a worker. Momma was too. She kept the Taylor ship shipshape…washing clothes, cleaning the house, cooking, and doing about a thousand other jobs. While she was mainly a homemaker, she did occasionally take on outside work to help the budget. Sometimes that was a traditional job—and sometimes it wasn’t. This time it wasn’t.
I suppose she read it in the paper or heard it on the radio or saw it on television. However, it happened, I just remember, it did. The phone company was looking for people who would deliver phone books (remember them?) to all the people who had phones—and that was just about everyone. So, Momma signed us up—notice that us—and we soon found ourselves in the delivery business. You need to know that not only did everyone have a phone and therefore they needed a phone book…there were a WHOLE lot of someone’s. Oh, and when you have a big city with a lot of someone’s, you have a very fat, very heavy, phone book.
So, on day one of the big adventure, we went to the pick-up place and picked up a zillion phone books. Our vehicle at that time wasn’t a pickup truck or even a station wagon. Our car was six or seven year old Plymouth four-door sedan and we stuffed that poor car to the gills with phone books. The trunk was full, the back seat was full, the floorboard was full and even the front was full. To this day I can remember that Plymouth squatting down in the back till it almost dragged the road. So, with Momma at the wheel and us three little ones wedged in somewhere, we started delivering books. Momma would start down a street, and we would jump out (or maybe fall out) of the car, grab an arm full of books and start dropping them at people’s homes. Again, most people had a phone, but I am sure that some people who didn’t still got a book. We soon figured out the sooner the books were gone, the sooner we could go home. And sooner was definitely better than later.
It was crazy hard work and as best as I can remember the money went to help the family. It was family helping family and that was a good thing. It seems we did this more than one time but maybe not. But what I do know is I treasure that special memory that I have of Momma and us working together—adventuring together. I am sure we looked like Ma Kettle and her kids but who cared? I know we didn’t. Sadly, stories like this one are slow disappearing. Families working together and working it out together are giving way to lives too busy to be families. It has been said that the family that prays together, stays together. I also think it can be said that the family that works together, strains together, pulls together, “adventures” together…stays together too.
Way back in the book of Psalms, the Bible says, “How delightfully good when brothers live together in harmony!” I know that is speaking about people in general, but isn’t that what families are…ordinary people doing life together? I hope this encourages us in this busy world to be family and do life together…whether it is work or play…or worship. And speaking of worship, there’s no better place to be family than at church. And when you get there, listen carefully and you will hear His encouraging voice saying, “Don’t worry…I’ve got this.”