Visitors to Quiet Creek are surprised by the absence of a television and often ask, “How can you function without it?” The answer – Better!
When it comes to entertainment, the options are limitless. Claire loves to read to the boys as much as they love to listen. Games of all styles and shapes are another favorite pastime. Board games, word games, table games, card games are welcome in the Orner home. Local thrift stores have yielded some winners: Blokus, Mastermind, as well as, jigsaw puzzles.
We have become a family of fun and games. Lately Ashton can’t stop playing chess and now he can whoop his dad two out of three times. Walker is particularly good at ping pong, thanks to the tutelage of friend, Jeremy. Claire is reading the Redwall series and Rusty is hooked on Othello.
Interns Kevin and Alice recently introduced us to a game called ‘Take One’ where unlimited number of players create and recreate their own personal crossword puzzle with seven scrabble letters. The first player to use his or her seven letters yells the game title and everyone picks up a new tile until all letters are used. It’s faster than scrabble and is great for all levels of spellers.
As winter evenings tick away we are actively engaged with one another challenging wit, mind, and skill. We’ll settle in the living room under the Christmas tree and listen to the radio, read books aloud and/or play a game with school work and chores completed. We all benefit in practicing good sportsmanship, complimenting great moves, thanking one another for quality time, and congratulating the winner (Rusty is working on the latter).
This holiday season try bypassing the passive television and computer screen; break out a game and enjoy everyone’s laughter and mental ability.
One of Rusty’s favorite memories visiting the 1965 World’s Fair is the future phone featured in New York City. He recalls the Buck Roger’s technology where the two participants see and talk to each other on a large television screen. Back then computers, blackberries, and Skype were unimaginable; the thought of communicating “in person” seemed impossible.
Fast forward twenty-some years, Rusty was looking for a pay phone in Washington DC to call his sister. A friend handed him his gym bag and said “use my phone.” Farmer boy from the backwoods of Pennsylvania still tells this story with amused amazement, “you won’t believe what I am calling from, Marilyn.” That same awe is expressed by our boys regarding cell phones; they are accustomed to wired home phones.
The cell phone is as ubiquitous as tennis shoes. Not only has it reached developing countries as Rusty and Walker witnessed in the Jamaican mountains, but it has transcended all generations. Our octogenarian mothers love being equipped with cell phones. They find the security needed in an emergency plus the convenience of making a call to celebrate the New Year justify their technological dependence. The younger generation tends to use them constantly – texting or talking while tasking on additional responsibilities.
Let’s continue to teach all the beauty of eye contact, the thrill of face to face discussions, the reward of completing a single task without interruption, the intimacy of a family game night, and a hike outdoors toting only a water bottle. Such experiences could be as novel as letting E. T. phone home about earthlings enjoying simple pleasures.