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.
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.
I keep thinking of all the things to write, and then when there is a window to sit still and place fingers to keys - nothing. Nothing comes. The thought blob grows and grows and I don’t even know what chunk to start with. It’s like trying to start a new project, a new diet, a new workout plan, a new hobby, or a new habit. It feels like trying to play an instrument after not touching if for too many years. It is squeaky and choppy. But, I really don’t want to let another moment slip by — another opportunity, so here is my squeaky and choppy beginning… We are moving. After seven years in Tallahassee, our path clearly and surprisingly changed direction. We love adventure. We’ve always had crazy ideas and gone with them and they’ve all been wonderful, but this feels very different. Good? I’m going to say yes, even though it doesn’t always feel good right now. As we’ve grown a family and a farm and a cherished community, and completely rebuilt an old farm house that is simply a sweet place…
Amelia’s name means “to make right”. She lives into her name more than anyone I’ve ever met. She wakes up each day with an agenda to create and do and learn and live fully. She doesn’t want to waste a thing. She sees life as an absolute treasure. If she is sitting still, there is something in her hands which she is weaving (even banana peels), folding, carving, painting, twisting, or turning into something beautiful.
She hears and sees and feels the presence of birds all around her. If she could, she would incubate and hatch one of every bird egg she ever found and raise a flock of all birds that exist. She has been drawing and painting birds since she could hold a pencil and brush. She continues to paint beautiful birds.
She takes clay, leaves, bark, roots, ash, flower petals, mushrooms, or coffee grounds and figures out how to make rich colorful dyes. She dyes yarn and material and wool and keeps a detailed record of her colors and combinations.