Family values are alive and well this week
Both parents are working, and young children spend many of their waking hours in daycare.
Older children are addicted to the Internet and video games, and spend most of their days and evenings talking or texting on the cellular phone.
When families are not somewhere else, they're at home, each member watching a television show of their choice, in a room tailored to his or her individual desires.
Is it any wonder families are falling apart? No wonder family experts decry the lack of "together" time for parents to instill their own values on their children.
But wait a minute; perhaps thing aren't as bad as they seem. Yes, those worst-case scenarios may be true in many homes throughout Southwest Nebraska, but we know many where they aren't.
The proof is in the Red Willow County Fair, which kicks off in high gear Wednesday, as well as the many other area county fairs which will take place before the start of football practice.
Check out the 4-H displays, and you'll see signs of parents involved with children, and children involved with their peers and siblings.
You'll see skills passed down from generation to generation, and honed from year to year.
In the 4-H and open class booths, you'll see lost arts and new crafts practiced to perfection. Yes, some of them do involve computers and electronics, but many of them are practiced much the same way they were centuries ago.
There are animals carefully selected, lovingly cared for and carefully groomed and trained for months leading up to the "big show."
And speaking of shows, there is plenty of entertainment for all members of the family to enjoy.
They include Wednesday night's "Colgate Country Showdown" at 5 p.m. Wednesday, followed by Todd Tritsch and Michael Peterson at 8 p.m.; the Lil' Red Tractor Pedal Pull at 5 p.m. Thursday, followed by church entertainment at 6 p.m. in the Kiplinger Arena and stock car races at 7:30 p.m.
On Friday highlights include Robin's School of Dance at 5:30 p.m., Schmick's Market Hawk Stockdogs at 7 p.m. and the NSRA Rodeo at 8 p.m.
On Saturday, mutton busting is at 4 p.m., the chore relay is at 6 and the NSRA Rodeo is in action again at 8 p.m.
Sunday opens with Cowboy Church at 10 a.m., a draft horse competition at 12:30 p.m., a horse shoe tournament at 3 p.m. Sunday and the Wild Horse Races and Steer Riding at 8 p.m.
Yes, there's no doubt about it; family values are alive and well, and, this week at least, living at the Red Willow County Fairgrounds.