In the Middle of Nowhere

For Thanksgiving my family and I went up to my brother’s… in the middle of nowhere.

Okay… it’s not really nowhere, but he lives in a small Northern California town, population 368. One grocery store, one “farm and feed supply,” and the next town up (17 miles away) has a McDonalds!

My brother is a pastor in a small country church that brings out almost 200 people (from his and surrounding towns). It’s a fun town. Everyone waves to each other as you pass them on the roads. Most people farm or ranch. Good people.

For Thanksgiving day we go out to my cousins, who live in an even smaller town. They have a 900 acre ranch. 30 to 40 of us ate a Thanksgiving meal together. Then some cousins rode quads, others went on a walk on the property… I went skeet shooting with my son, my brother and a heap of cousins (then, just for fun, we decided to experiment and see what shooting a 12 gauge slug into a gallon jug of water would do. Wow! Very cool!)

At night we ate another meal together and everyone got out their guitars, banjos, violins, etc. My daughter Ashley has been learning guitar from my dad… they both played. My dad played banjo (no Deliverance jokes!), and my son played the uke. One of my cousins (my son’s age) is an amazing fiddler. We had quite the little band, half of which were 15 or under.

From my brother’s 8 month old daughter, to my 80-something grandma… fun for all. We sang worship songs, Christmas carols, even some really old bluegrass. It’s not necessarily my style of music, but it’s my style of family fun.

It doesn’t get much better than this.

About Jonathan McKee

president of The Source for Youth Ministry, is the author of over twenty books including the brand new If I Had a Parenting Do Over, 52 Ways to Connect with Your Smartphone Obsessed Kid; Sex Matters; The Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket; and youth ministry books like Ministry By Teenagers; Connect; and the 10-Minute Talks series. He has over 20 years youth ministry experience and speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers and parents on his websites, TheSource4YM.com and TheSource4Parents.com. You can follow Jonathan on his blog, getting a regular dose of youth culture and parenting help. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.
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