Dinner time is happy time for the Hardware family
The upper floor of the two-storey house by the side of the road offers views of the rustic mountainside that characterises Parry Town, located in the hills overlooking Ocho Rios, St Ann.
On the upper floor of the building is where you will find the dining room, from which emanates lively and pleasant conversations each dinner time.
Welcome to the wonderful world of the Hardware family, where the tradition of family dining together not just lives on, but is so filled with joy (that) the occasion is looked forward to by the entire family.
"Certainly, family dining happens with us because it's one of the key ingredients that keeps the family together. It is one of the main things that provides that bonding agent," explains Marvin Hardware.
"Dining together comes automatically. We all just come to accept it over time," he added.
He is joined at the table each time by his wife, Trudy, and sons Kuwayne, 14, and Joel, who is 10.
youngest at the table
The latest addition to the family, 11-month-old Arianna, also gets her place at the table, albeit in mommy's lap, so, too, Arianna's maternal grandmother, Yvette Francis-Foreman.
Dinner time is a combination of fine foods and pleasant chit-chat. Serious matters are oftentimes left for other times, and that contributes to the fact that everyone looks forward to the occasion.
"We hardly discuss serious matters at the dinner table, but we have a working relationship. Issues are discussed not just around the table, but as issues come we deal with them immediately. For the most part, we talk and we laugh about things. It's a time when a lot of jokes are given and stuff like that.
"That's it basically, so everybody looks forward to dinner time," confirms Trudy.
"It's a time that we look forward to because you find that the children will tell you what happened during the day, they might tell you what teachers said or whatever."
So dinner time is a relaxed occasion, and this makes everyone more open to conversation.
Kuwayne, who attends St Mary High, said it's a time that he looks forward to.
"Yes, I do look forward to it because it's just exciting to be around the dinner table with your family, discuss different things, give jokes and stuff."
So is he ever late for dinner?
"No," he replied with a laugh.
The family attends the Baptist Church and their Christian beliefs impact how they live and, in a society where values are decreasing, the family hold dearly to this valued tradition.
"Even to eat around the table has been a declining value. I believe it is one of the ways in which we are losing out on our families. We need to get back to the root of what caused families to work in times past," Marvin argued.
His recommendation to get family members back together around the dining table is simple.
"What I would recommend for families is to prioritise," he suggested
"One of the things we cannot regain is time lost and so one would have to seize that opportunity while it is available because there are going to be times when we're looking for times like these and they are unavailable.
"We're not saying the world isn't competitive and each thing is vying for your time, but when we prioritise we seek to put what is most important first, and family time and family values are quite important."