Isn’t ironic that as teenagers all we wanted to do was to get as far away from our parents as possible, but as soon as we settle down and have a family all of a sudden we wish they lived closer?
It might not be true in all cases, but a new survey shows that a majority of Americans age 30 to 45 with children desire to live closer to their parents or other family members. My family lives 5000 miles away and my 4-year-old begs me to get us on “the big plane to Hawaii” every single day. Needless to say, I can relate to the majority of survey respondents.
However, I do struggle contemplating the living situation of the Hall family.
The famous British clan made history recently for having nearly 70 members of the same family, ranging in age from four weeks to 76 years, co-habitating on the same street in Cotswold Gardens, Gateshead.
The tiny road houses 69 members of the Hall family in 16 homes. The Hall’s dominance of the street began when the now deceased matriarch of the family settled there in 1958. Catherine Hall had eight children, who went on to produce 35 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. Of the eight children, six of them, plus their children, now dwell on the street, along with three uncles and a mother-in-law.
Despite the Hall’s infiltration, the street is also home to other individuals who are not related to the family. Those homeowners think the street should be renamed Hall Gardens. The Hall’s support the name change and add that they don’t plan to leave the street anytime soon. Currently, the clan has 50 pets, including four parrots, 30 chickens, 11 dogs, two goldfish and four horses. If you include the 160 racing pigeons, there are almost 300 mouths to feed.
In regards to special occasions, the Hall’s describe it as Grand Central Station during rush hour. If it’s someone’s birthday everyone goes up to that person’s house. Likewise, if someone in the family is sick, the others make rounds to lend a helping hand.
The new generation of Hall’s claim having so many relatives close by is a mixed blessing. Whereas the kids are never far from a cousin, they must also contend with the fact that there is very little privacy and everyone in the family knows the other’s business.
Can you imagine living so close to your relatives? Would it be a blessing or a curse? How far away do you live from your parents and siblings?