http://paloaltoonline.com/square/print/index.php?i=3&d=&t=19748


Town Square

Sharon Hofstedt: Hot chocolate and community building

Original post made on Dec 16, 2012

As a pre-teen in small-town Minnesota, Sharon Hofstedt delivered the Minneapolis Star Tribune door to door seven days a week.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, May 1, 2009, 9:36 AM

Comments

Posted by A. Annie, a resident of Community Center
on Dec 16, 2012 at 10:05 pm

I think it is great that Hofstedt lives in a multigenerational household. It is very efficient, as well as rewarding.

We started doing it when our children lost their jobs during the Great Recession. My motther had grown up in a similar situation during the Great Depression. Back then, people referred to others living in this situation as poor white trash.

Now that our children are gainfully employed, and have kids of their own, we continue to live this way because it is so enriching for all of us, and it avoids a childcare expense of $1300/mo per child.

Unfortunately, people locally still refer to us as white trash, in spite of a combined household income of over $400,000 annually.

But, that is Palo Alto for you!




Posted by Aquamarine, a resident of Stanford
on Dec 16, 2012 at 11:11 pm

Annie - do people really refer to your family that way??? It's insane. So many cultures are enriched, financially and emotionally, by multi-gen households. No, it's not some freak living in their parents' basement nor is it twenty people living in a two bedroom house. Some of our family in Europe lives this way - and the're hardly white trash. Both are Ph.d.s whose only child has the benefit of a widowed grandmother living with them. Contrast that with my husband's European family whose parents are so enmeshed in their own problems and shortcomings that they're not around much for their own children or grandchildren.

Good for you for having a family like that - after all, if we can embrace blended families, why not the old-fashioned version of family?

I hope that your holiday season is joyful and that 2013 is good to you all.


Posted by Ducatigirl, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Dec 17, 2012 at 4:00 pm

Ducatigirl is a registered user.

We also have relatives in Europe who live this way (in Switzerland), and all are well-educated. We decided when my son was in middle school that we would like to go this route, and the Recession gave us the opportunity. When things improved, we continued to do so because we like it that way. But people think we are coddling our son and his wife! Our real estate agent thought it was an awful arrangement that would hinder the sale of our home, so we fired her

Truth is, our little granddaughter is gifted, and she is getting that nurtured so much more because of our living situation than if we lived traditionally.