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House rules

My sister and I live alone – that’s until a few weeks ago, when we invited my uncle to stay with us. He’s a great guy. He has loads of stories about yesteryear and the goings on of well-known South African politicians he rubbed shoulders with back in the struggle days (some of which I would love to share, but cannot unless I want to be sued!). We always have a good giggle and laugh and most of the time disagreements about the current state of the nation. In the end we either agree to disagree or agree to agree.

My uncle also came with his own nuances and he had to grow used to our nuances. He’d lived with us before so we weren’t too surprised or taken aback by his presence but any change is a change and needs dealing with. For example, in my opinion, he’s a bit of a nomad – a traveler – so, according to my theory, travelers naturally need the front and back doors to be open to feel the sense of freedom and open spaces; we find the front and back doors to be open quite often. I, on the other hand, prefer privacy and so love the doors to be closed, especially during winter, our current season. I think we reached some form of a compromise though – the door is open during the day as and when required, and mostly guaranteed to be closed when we go to bed at night.

With the addition of an extra body in the house we found that we needed to implement some new guidelines. When it was just the two of us we had a mutual understanding and agreement that the house had to be cleaned, the dishes had to be done, and the clothing had to be washed. Two’s company and three’s a crowd they say – and so we implemented some house rules for crowd control. Rule number one is quite simple: each person gets to clean the house two days a week, and the other day is a bonus non-cleaning day. It’s so much fun coming home to a clean house I didn’t have to clean! Rule number two is sharing the cooking – now I get to eat a variety of dishes! It’s amazing how more convenient my life is now. I do less and get to share in the company of more people, what a great combination!

Initially one would think that inviting someone into your space would be an invasion, but what I’ve already learnt out of these past few weeks, is that if we all keep a common goal in sight – which is the well-being of the family and each other’s best – then the smaller things like space invasion and nuances fades away. So, here’s to a night of eating yummy chicken stew prepared by my uncle, and enjoying our household’s conversation about South African cricket, or politics or world events. 

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