Times have changed.

Families once lived nearby but now are spread across the nation. The family unit stood against the trials of the world and always had mini armies at the ready to come to its aide in times of trouble. Multi generations often lived under one roof, thus shelters or additional housing were seldom needed. But those were the “good old days.”

While in the Central Valley many families still live close enough to each other to help out, for most people today life is more challenging, and we often have to look for help outside our family to survive hard times.

Thank God, when preparing for a move my family was still willing to fight traffic, heat and endless hours with no pay or coffee breaks to help ‘get it done’. When my children, now in their 50s but still my kids, work long hours to assist their old ma, it makes a parent proud. Plus, not only was this free labor tireless, they bought moving supplies and food.

My children and their remarkable spouses have painted walls, torn up flooring, sanded counters, trimmed backyards and done jobs they do not even have names for yet like comforting their mom when she cries about moving. They have coordinated work schedules and planned this upcoming move with precision.

I remember when my three kids were little and we moved so often I thought we were a moving company. I remember all the schools we had to resettle in, all the new communities. I was always so proud of how they faced each challenge. How could I have imagined back then how many times my children would rise up to help me? How could I know my pride in them would grow year by year?

While my family moving company has seemed to grow more skilled as years pass, my moving skills seem to be running at slower speed. Afterall, it has been 32 years since I needed to move, and you get out of practice. Thank heavens my hometeam is still in good form.

Diana J. Ingram

Diana Ingram has been a columnist for Los Banos newspapers for four decades.