I'm collecting. Collecting oxygen on runs, toys from the floor, voices and laughter from my children, music from my husband, veggies from the garden, stories to write, and friends to share it all with. Here is my collection.
We had pouring rain. A small tornado pulled down some trees
and stirred up a bit of chaos around town. We sat through our morning lessons
as the rains gushed and the trees bent low. Hot tea and cookies kept us focused
Down the street a friend wasn’t so settled.Another family that schools at home sat
in their living room as the storm brewed heavy. It grabbed two trees and
smashed them down into their house. No one was hurt but it turned normal into a
We collected two kiddos so that parents could begin the daunting process of a house rescue. For the next 48 hours, five children practiced the art of play. It was Earth Day celebrating at its finest. In and out of the pool. Up and down out of the loft. In and out of the garden. Check on chickens. Weed. Collect eggs. Bring cucumbers to Mama. Make concoctions with beet juice and chop up this and cut down that. Make a teepee with bamboo. String up tomatoes. Jump back in the pool. Run through the grass. Create with Legos. Create with paper and pen. Take a tractor ride. Pause to read in the heat of the day. Curl up with a book. Or cuddle on a bed pulled out in the middle of the room (we are a bed and breakfast for those under the age of 10). Pause. Camp out in the loft and go again.
Their house isn’t fixed. The furniture is still drying. The littlest one still wants to eat his breakfast in the driveway because it feels a bit scary inside where the tree fell. We just offered a spec of relief and we were piled high with sweetness.
Yesterday, I was walking along the beach - Port Saint Joe, Florida. The beach has the perfect sand and the best waves for children and most of the time very little current or undertow to move small kiddos far. But, as I walked, I noticed that it isn’t at all the place for shelling. I’ve always enjoyed collecting shells...
As a child, I wasn’t much into learning about anything other than what we were taught at school, and that, because I had to. Just in case you don’t believe me -
My mom saved some of my school work. Not because it was nice, but just because that is what moms are supposed to do. Recently, I found a box of a few odds and ends from my elementary years. There, in the stack, was a lovely book labeled, “The Five Senses.” I was sure I was going to find beautiful drawings or magazine cut outs and poetic words describing the senses in this most scientific third grade report. I flipped it opened to the first page labeled - “Hearing”. There they were, two terribly cut out ears…
I drove through the day to spend the weekend with my sister and her family. After dinner, we decided that a walk would keep us from falling asleep at 8:30 and after car time all day, moving was top on my list.
My sister, my niece Emmie, and I strolled through the neighborhood chatting about all things. We had not walked too far when we came upon a lovely lady and her son peering down into a storm drain. We immediately asked if they were okay and if they needed any help.
They quietly explained that twelve year old Josh had discovered four baby cats down in the drain and they were trying to decide how to rescue them. We thought we could help them with this grand rescue.*
We decided that if we managed to remove the grate, Josh could climb down and gather them together and gently pass them towards the light of hope and gentle motherly arms. It took a heave and ho from all five of us to lift off the grate and Josh bravely descended into the dark depths of the storm drain world to retrieve…
It was a craigslist find. Last summer, Amelia was hoping to add a few chickens to her menagerie. We did a little hunting on craigslist and made a few calls. When we finally found what we were looking for, we started discussing, with the friendly voice on the other end, where to meet. He suggested I bring the children and plan to stay. He thought it would be worth their time to check the place out. I didn't really register what he was talking about...
The next afternoon, George headed out with the kiddos to collect chickens. They stayed gone for quite sometime. Five hours later they returned with piles of stories and excitement galore. They had just visited Patrick's Hobo Camp. There was tomahawk throwing, archery, blowguns, rope tying, gardening, and supplies for whatever project you might want to try. In every direction, there was something to do and learn with clear directions on how to do it. Patrick was eager to teach it all to them.