Monday, April 21, 2014

Functional....What's That?

Finland, 1968, photo by George F. Mobley
"We are living in a world today where lemonade is made from artificial flavors and furniture polish is made from real lemons". ~Alfred E. Newman

What is functional really?   
Is it an umbrella that gives shade from the sun?

or  shield you from pouring rain?
and also a fixture in the perfect picture?
then still able to be a playful tool?
all the while capable of being useful as a rest stop upside down?
Is that what functional truly means?  Is it like an umbrella that can be versatile and serve many purposes?  Or a tool that always performs correctly?  In the dictionary it says that functional means of or pertaining to function or functions, capable of operating or functioning, having or serving a utilitarian purpose, capable of  serving the purpose for which it was designed. 
 Now days we hear the term functional and dysfunction a lot pertaining to people, family, and life in general.  It is spoken about frequently, but what does it really mean? People that live totally by the rules.   A Dad and Mom that never divorce? A family that eats dinner like"The Cleavers" together at one table every night?  I think if we really dissect the family unit in every house hold we would find that there is no perfect person and certainly no perfect family.
  Functional like a working umbrella, can only take you so far until it needs to be worked on or replaced.  Families go through changes, as do people throughout their lives.  Tools and machines start out shiny and efficient, but eventually are in need of repair.  It is just the way of life.  Nothing, and I mean nothing is beyond the wares and tear of time.  So why would we expect people or our families to be any different?  Maybe it is the old fantasy of wanting the dream life.  Key word being "dream", because dreams are not factual nor true reality. 
 Life is a unique experiment for each of us.  No two people are exactly alike.  That is part of what makes this life such a fascinating journey.   What works for one person does not nearly cut it for another.  You know the old saying, "one man's trash is another man's treasure", and that is just the way things can be.  We live in a world that is ever changing, and so is the family and what we consider normal.  That being said, maybe we should simply throw out the term all together. Cast functional aside like an umbrella after the rain, and just learn to embrace the beauty of change, like a colorful rainbow after the storm.  After all, life is full of storms no matter what side of the tracks you live on. 
What does functional in life and the family mean to you? 




  1. Isn't it amazing what a poetry prompt can lead to? I am pleased to have found your blog and look forward to reading more.

    1. Thank you Cait....and right you are about prompts they lead so many dirrections. :-)

  2. love this Carrie- and what is functional to one person could be ridiculous to another.....we find that true in our home of two people! What I am willing to accept as functional isn't always acceptable to my sweetie and vice versus- take umbrellas for instance. I am willing to accept any umbrella no matter what it looks like as long as it works and doesn't leak and I prefer the ones that literally become very small when folded up. My sweetie wants his umbrella to be HUGE and HANDSOME...I find it less functional because it's so big, isn't easy to store, gets in the way of other pedestrians and I don't like those big clunky curved handles So there you have it. We all have different values.
    Love all your umbrella images- such a creative post Carrie!

    1. Kathe your response is a post of it's own....and so true...thank you for stopping by. :-)

  3. Carrie, I so enjoyed the photos, and there is much to think about in your words.....yes, families - and life - are full of changes, stormy and serene times, no matter where or who.......we go through changes. It is all a journey. I like to believe the changes help us grow, individually, and together.

  4. functional is def perspective at best...i would not be surprised if before too long we found ways to adjust the weather to our needs...of course we would then be in all kinda of trouble with nature...

    functional is what we make of what we have...smiles.

  5. Sounds like you have had a recent meeting with that mighty Archangel, Entropy , well done Miss Poppins

  6. many good questions to ponder upon.

  7. Hello Carrie, nice to be back and functioning! :-)

  8. Wonderful food for thought. And the quote is perfect.


  9. Yes. The beauty of change... delicious... delightful to see you at Magpie, Carrie...


"Our best thoughts come from others." ~Ralph Waldo Emerson