The Origin of the Family Meeting

I have used the phrase family meeting many times over during my short life. Not everyone can grasp the importance of a well organized family meeting. So I will try to further explain the meaning of this here.

The family meeting for us originated during a time when Dad was influenced by one Bob Ianson. I’m not certain either of them grasped the meaning or use of a family meeting. At one point without a family meeting the TV was moved to the front porch. When I told an acquaintance of this later in life he wondered out loud if we then watched the TV through a window. I had to further explain that there were no electrical outlets on the porch and we were moving the TV to the porch to limit it’s influence in our lives.

The TV eventually came back inside and was watched by the family using both channels and sometimes when cloud cover was right channel two from Utica NY even came in with minimal fuzz. Dad was over ruled on this maybe by himself or by all the pressure we children put on him. I don’t think Mom cared if the TV stayed on the porch or never came back in.

Another time with no family meeting Dad was over ruled again when he decided we would not have a Christmas tree. I believe this time Mom was the one that reversed this family policy. I believe Dad had heard that bringing a tree inside was linked to a pagan ritual and had nothing to do with christian religious beliefs.

To limit these reversals Dad went to the family meeting format. We would all sit down at the table and he would lay out the plan with the reasons for why it would be done. The we would get a chance to voice any concerns and he would weigh them against the reasons. In this way things could be seen from a different angle if needed.

The first and only family meeting I remember was the one where it was announced that we were moving the following morning. Mom got up and went in the kitchen to clean, I believe she may have been somewhat upset. We children just sat there stunned into silence. I’m not sure which move this was, I think we moved eleven times by the time I was nineteen and this was just one of many. I thought this number was sixteen but I can’t name the other locations.

Mind you we lived in the trailer on Mineral Springs Rd for seven straight years of stability over two stays, so ten moves were made in twelve years. Some moves were made for work like the one to Valatie, others were to stay ahead of bill collectors or just because it was time. A rolling stone gathers no moss.

My sister claims we once moved while she was in college and never told her we had moved while she was away. She did find us eventually so I doubt she was completely truthful with us on this issue.

Places we lived.

Helmire Rd owned

Mineral Springs RD rented from grandparents

Richmondville rental, there was also a move to East Cobleskill in here that never happened as the land lord found out there was some unpaid rent in the recent past and refused to let us move in.

Paul Hunt’s rental

Silvernail Rd Valatie NY rented from the Sterrits

Esperance we owned this place for maybe two years.

Ed Sisson’s rental on Route Twenty

Mineral Springs Rd some sort of deal with my grandparents where Dad owned the trailer and maybe some of the land.

Shad Point trailer park

Randall trailer park

Hyndseville where the house burned while we were not home, we also lived in a trailer here for a short while before the land was sold to a farmer. We used to drive by and look at the vacant slab where the house once stood.

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3 Responses to The Origin of the Family Meeting

  1. edumomb says:

    You forgot to mention, that although we lived in one trailer on that piece of land in Mineral Springs for seven years , the trailer did move at least once, and a certain wall inside the house moved back and forth, maybe three times?

  2. Kathryn A. Smith says:

    WOW! I do not know what to say. I am still to tired.

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