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From the Editor -
Karen Treharne
The Joy of Family
Featured Article
All in the Family
By Karen Treharne

Today’s families have become "extended," growing to include half-, step- and ex-relations. This has come about due to second, third or more marriages which have resulted in his, hers, ours and theirs being embraced as part of the family circle.

At first glance, this arrangement might seem to be unmanageable as well as unconventional, but it is becoming the "norm" and, believe it or not, it actually works pretty well, as some of you might already know.

We also have a new generation of families called the "sandwich generation" in which children are caring for one or more parents in their home, while their own children are still living there.

Another relatively recent but familiar family phenomenon involves grandparents who are raising their grandchildren; sometimes because of chemical abuse or child abuse by the parent(s), or for financial circumstances that lead to homelessness.

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The Mallard Nest
By Sandra Fischer

The sweet smell of freshly cut grass filled the air, and I was peacefully admiring the daffodils standing at attention with their yellow-trumpet-shaped blossoms announcing spring’s arrival in Indiana. Suddenly I jumped in alarm as a large bird erupted and flew from a nearby evergreen shrub. Shutting down the mower, my husband yelled, "That was a female mallard; I'll bet she's nesting in there."

Cautiously, we approached and peeking into the bush we found five oval eggs tucked in among twigs and leaves. After the yard work was completed, we kept watch from the house for her return. Soon, she cautiously made her way back, followed soon thereafter by her mate bringing food. Each day after that April afternoon, we were careful not to startle her and we made sure that our Welsh Terrier, Murphy, was leashed and kept clear of the shrub.

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Sunrise at Tahlee
By Suzanne Rowe

It was early to bed, because in the morning we would be up well before anyone else; awakening in the dark, quietly slipping on clothes and shoes, and tiptoeing off with Dad, careful not to disturb the others.

Meeting the small group in the cold darkness with just a little light from the moon and stars to lead us on ... and Dad's "torch", of course, we headed down the dirt road into the dark bush, and up the mountain which was so familiar in the daylight, but was now dark and foreboding.

Climbing, climbing, climbing ... would we ever get to the top? Even though I was exhausted and hungry, I was determined to appear nonchalant in front of my friends. Finally, we reached the summit and were treated to the promise of the early morning light. Someone made a fire and produced ... a barbeque breakfast?

The light intensified. Over the hills, on the other side of the water, the sky began to change. The stars faded and the sky turned pink, then orange, and then ... there she was. That great ball of fire. The fiery orange blaze rose up and up. The water reflected her glowing color. We stood there drinking in the beauty.

The sun had risen. The sky was blue. Another day had begun.
Susanne is an Australian teacher of English who lives in China much of the time. She grew up in a Christian home and has enjoyed wonderful family times at places like Tahlee. She is single, in her late 30’s, and is currently enjoying some time back in Australia. She fills her days working in a girls' high school library which she claims is her "dream job", and declares that "God is good!"