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Cousin Rufus and the New Normal

Dear Cousin Cletus,

Ah started up the ol’ truck last week and went to visit mah grandson Harley and his family. You remember, Harley built a new house in what they call the suburbs. Wahl, it shore is diff’rent than livin’ here in the holler.

I knocked on Harley’s door. “Grandpa, you’re just in time for supper,” Harley said. “Come in!”

Ah expected them to be sittin’ round the kitchen table, like usual. That was mah first surprise. Their new house has whut they call a “bar” to eat at. Folks don’t sit across from one another no more; they sit next to one another in a line, like we used to at Lem’s sodee fountain. Makes a body wonder how they carry on conversation when they don’t look at one another.

You wouldn’t believe the inventions that new house has got! There’s this thing called a Broomba or somthin’ like that. Remember how our women folk always swept our floors with a broom? City folks don’t do that no more. They just push a button and this round gizmo whirls around the floor, pickin’ up dust and dirt. What’ll they think of next!

And now folks got cameras in their doorbells! Really, Cletus, ah ain’t kiddin’! They can see on a little screen when someone drops a package on their doorstep. Ah’d druther look forward to pickin’ up a package at Lem’s Gen’ral Store. That way ah get to enjoy all the birds and trees and sights on the way.

‘Member how our sisters used to sing at the sink when they washed dishes? City folks don’t do that no more. They just drop ‘em in the dishwasher and go off to their rooms and shut the door. Made me wonder how they learn four-part harmony. Your Laura Mae and mah sister Lizzy got purty good at singin’ parts that way.

Yep, thangs sure is diff’rent in the suburbs. Makes me glad to be raised where normal was normal, and we interacted with one another. We had the best of times, and our families were close.

Cletus, ah got to thinkin’. If Granddaddy wuz alive he would say people thet design houses these days must have been dropped on their heads when they wuz born. Why build a house where ever’body is a island to himself? Why make houses so big that ever’body lives in their own little world with noses on a screen?

If ah wuz young again, ah think ah’d git me some eddycation and design houses like the old-timers used to, where we had a big, round kitchen table and set facin’ one another at suppertime. Where the kitchen and livin’ room was one big room, and the young’uns set at the table and played games or read books while Mamas wuz cookin.

Yep, that’s what ah’d do, Cletus. But seein’s how ahm too old to go to school, ah’l just enjoy stayin’ in the holler, where normal is normal.

Yore cuz,


What about you? Any thoughts on the new normal for families? Feel free to use the comment box below.


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