Tag Archives: family

1419. Welcome!

The Innes Family of Stockton Street were excited. They were sponsoring a distant cousin from England. Tommy was eighteen years old, had no brothers and sisters, and his parents had passed on. Mr and Mrs Innes had met him (years ago) on their trip to the Old Country. How would he like to live with us and start a new life in New Zealand?

Tommy was more than capable. He organized everything possible from his end. Meanwhile, the Innes Family repainted the spare bedroom, made new curtains, and generally made his room as welcoming as possible.

Oh the excitement among the Innes children as the day drew near!

“We don’t want to rush things,” said Mrs Innes. “Just take things slowly. Tommy will need time to adjust to his new country.”

He arrived! It was as if he had been part of the family all his life! It was a perfect arrangement!

On the first Saturday (with grandma as well) they packed a picnic, crammed into the old car, and headed for the river.

“A picnic at the river, a swim, fresh air, will do us all good,” said Mr Innes.

And Tommy drowned.

1271. Dirty dishes

I’m just a slave around here. I always end up cleaning the dishes. It’s not fair, especially since there are so many who could help.

First of all, there’s Mum and Dad. They could do the dishes quite easily but they are in charge and people who are in charge never clean up. That’s what they have kids for – to clean up after their parents.

Then there’s Toby. He’s the oldest. He’s always texting his girlfriend and there’s no time for him to clean up plates.

Next there’s Hetti. She can be quite absent-minded at times and usually wanders off at dishes time because she has to do homework or something.

Then there’s Flynn. He thinks he owns the world because he’s all of fourteen and obviously cleaning up is beneath him.

That leaves me, the only slave around here and the one nearly always given the task of cleaning up. Unless we have visitors. I never get to clean the dishes when we have visitors. Everyone pretends they clean the dishes all the time. But no! No visitors and I get to do the work. They just dump their dirty plates on the floor and I get to lick them clean. There’s no rest being a dog in this household, I tell you.

1220. Happy family

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Yvette and Franklin had tried to bring up their kids to live good, virtuous, and wholesome lives.

There was Nicole. She turned up to school early every day to prepare breakfast for those students who hadn’t eaten. She was always kind and generous.

There was Yves. He helped coach the Under 14 football team. He was a good all-rounder, both in his studies and on the sports field.

There was Ingrid. She played the piano. Ever intelligent and determined, she was a shining star in her academic endeavours, and such a bubbly personality. Goodness!

There was Toby. He was sour, uncooperative, lazy, selfish, and generally a pain in the posterior. He drove his parents to despair. They didn’t know where to turn.

These days you’ll find Nicole down at the street corner – if she’s not otherwise engaged – attracting clientele.

These days you’ll find Yves in… actually you won’t find Yves. No one knows where he is.

These days you’ll find Ingrid at the drug rehabilitation centre – on the wrong side of the process.

These days you’ll find Toby at his parents’ place, when he’s not working at the local plumbing shop. He’ll be mowing his parents’ lawn, or washing their car, or something.

1095. Family arguments

My friend from school, Broderick Entwistle; his parents don’t argue like my parents do. My parents argue all the time, even when my friend, Broderick, comes to stay the night. They argue and argue like no one else is there. Sometimes I wish they’d go their separate ways and be done with it.

Broderick Entwistle’s parents never argue. When I stay over at their place they’re as nice as pie, and Mrs Entwistle is lovely. She has time to talk to me and ask me things because she’s not spending all her time arguing with her husband like my parents do.

I like going to the Entwistle’s place. It’s a relief not to have to listen to my parents going on and on. And the Entwistle’s place is so happy. Unlike mine.

So it was a bit of a surprise when Broderick told me this afternoon that his parents were getting a divorce.

836. Making ends meet

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Verity and Barney Tattle had been married ten years. They had three children. Verity was a “homemaker”. Barney worked in a garden centre. Then Barney lost his job.

Barney found another job, as a nightshift worker at a factory. The pay was lousy. In fact it wasn’t enough to support his family. Let Barney take up the story…

“Through it all,” said Barney, “through thick and thin, my wife managed to put enough food on the table. Goodness knows how she did it, but she did. Wise budgeting I suppose, and knowing how not to waste a thing. She was a miracle worker if there ever was one. She coped on the smell of an oily rag for two years. And then I found a new job. It paid better. The hard times were over, but my wife had saved the day. My getting the better paying job was the beginning of our real trouble. That was when Verity was diagnosed with cancer. She lived for only another three weeks.”

Verity? Verity Tattle? Were you married to Verity Tattle? All the guys wondered what happened to her. Well I never! She was the best night club pole dancer in town.

To listen to the story being read click HERE!

783. The Robinson Family eats

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The Robinson family didn’t sit down together for a meal very often. Occasionally, Elizabeth Robinson would insist her husband and their four sons come together and share a meal “like proper people”.

There was Bill. He was the Dad. Dad was in charge. Someone has to be in charge when you have four sons all in their teens.

Fritz was the oldest boy. He was nineteen, and rarely home. He was either working at the factory or out with his girlfriend. Occasionally he would doss down at home. Today he was gulping down his food because he was in a hurry. “Don’t be in such a hurry,” said his father. “It’s not often we get to sit down as a family.”

Ernest was the second son. He was seventeen. He was an apprentice mechanic. He didn’t have a steady girlfriend but was usually either dog-tired after a day’s work or doing the party thing. Today he was gulping down his food because he was in a hurry. “Don’t be in such a hurry,” said his father. “Chew your food properly.”

Then there was Jack. Jack was fifteen and still at school. He was very studious. He was hoping to be an industrial chemist of some sort when he grew up; or maybe some kind of forensic scientist. Today he was eating his food slowly, chewing each mouthful like he was deep in thought. “Hurry up with your food,” said his father. “We don’t want to be here all day.”

The youngest was Franz. He was a bit of a mummy’s-boy. He liked staying home, and was addicted to his computer. Today he was gulping down his food because he was in a hurry to get back to a computer game. “Slow down!” said his father.

“Why?” asked Franz.

“If you’re going to masticate,” said his father, “masticate properly.”

Franz went a deep purple. His three brothers hooted with laughter.

To listen to the story being read click HERE!

705. Family portrait

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Lauretta and Johnnie had seven children all in all. The children were all grown up and married and whatever now, with kids of their own. Their son, Dougal, and his wife, Alma, didn’t have much to go on though. They had four kids and little money left over at the end of each week.

Dougal and Alma’s twentieth wedding anniversary was coming up. They had never been able to afford getting a family portrait professionally taken. They would love that, before the kids so quickly grew up and flew the nest. Dougal’s parents gave them a voucher to have the photograph taken as an anniversary gift – provided of course they get a copy of their son and daughter-in-law’s family for themselves.

The photos were taken. The proofs arrived!

In every one, sixteen year old Marion was pouting because her mother, on leaving the house, had said “You’re not wearing that” and made her go back inside and get changed.

In every one, thirteen year old Ivan thought it funny to have shut one eye.

In every one, thirteen year old (she was Ivan’s twin) Mona scowled because her friends were all going to see the latest movie about something and she had to have a “stupid picture taken”.

In every one, nine year old Campbell looked sour because he was made to hold “a bloody book by the bloody photographer like he was a bloody nerd or something.” (“Don’t swear dear,” said his mother).

In every one, Dougal the Dad looked like he had something stuffed down the front of his trousers, which he hadn’t, and Alma thought it was a scream and said “What’s that?” and Dougal said “You should know by now”, although it was just the way the light fell and had nothing to do with what you might be thinking.

In every one, Alma looked stunning. Stunning! “Why am I not surprised?” said Dougal.

The kids hate the photo. It hangs, framed, on their grandparent’s dining room wall.

Listen the story being read HERE!

687. She’s on the list

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What excitement! O what excitement! Seventeen-year old Gianella Lopez Fuentes from Chile had booked her flight to New Zealand. Her sister had married a New Zealander. They had a baby. They were paying for her trip. She would stay six months with them before beginning her studies at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile in Villarrica. She would see her niece for the first time!

Gianella had $104 dollars in cash. But that was enough for costs on the flight. Her sister and husband would pick her up at the airport, and she would live with them for the six months, and help look after the baby. Her niece! After all, her sister and husband had visited Chile last year and stayed with Gianella’s family for three months and paid not a penny! It was family. That’s the way it worked.

Upon arrival, the Custom’s official noticed something. One hundred and four dollars for a six-month stay? You must be kidding. You’re going to look after someone’s baby? Sounds like work to me, and your visa is for three months and it’s not a work permit.

Gianella was put on the first flight back home to Chile. She never got to even wave to her sister at a distance.

Back home, Gianella was interrogated. Clearly, she’d been sent home on suspicion of terrorism. Today she can’t travel anywhere. She’s on the list.

360. Real men love cats

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It was the second marriage for both. Both had had semi-extravagant first weddings. The second time round was simply a visit to the court house with a passer-by hauled in as a witness. Much easier and cheaper that way.

Estelle had no children. Not that she couldn’t; it’s just that she didn’t. Children weren’t her thing. Two cats and a dog were easier and nicer!

Ethan had two children, a boy and a girl. The children lived with their mother.

After the wedding, Estelle would have nothing to do with her new husband’s kids. She didn’t want them messing up her house. Two cats and a dog were easier and nicer!

Her new husband told her to get stuffed.

354. Birthday picnic

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Zara had twin sons. They were now about eighteen, but still lived at home with their mother. She had brought them up on her own since they were small.

Now Gunther and Goff were boys about town. Sometimes they would come home a little tipsy, and Zara would say, “Why can’t young people enjoy themselves without booze?”

“Because Mum,” Goff and Gunther would say.

It was Zara’s birthday, and the two boys decided to surprise her. “Mum,” they said, “we’re taking you on a picnic. Just the three of us.”

So they packed a big picnic hamper. The boys put in some wine – “Mum likes a little wine” – and set off for the forest.

They walked the forest track, perhaps for an hour, carrying the hamper. It wasn’t heavy, but it wasn’t light either. They stopped at the most beautiful lake.

When they opened the hamper they discovered plates and knives and cups and wine, and no food! They had left the food behind!

They sat and talked and drank the wine, and had a lovely, lovely time. Zara even got a little tipsy!

“Thank you, boys,” said Zara, “for a beautiful birf, beautiful birfday.”

“It just goes to show,” said Gunther and Goff, ever so slightly tipsy themselves, “that older people can enjoy themselves without food.”