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.
We've been homeschooling for ten years. At LEAST once a week I think that homeschooling is the worst possible thing on the planet. I look at my kids and think, "I've got nothin'!" It is scary. It is hard. How many hundreds of times have I called my extremely patient husband and yelled, literally screamed into the phone, "I CAN'T DO THIS!" There was a day, in the middle of a lesson that wasn't going well at all, that I walked out the back door, walked to the pool, jumped in fully clothed and yelled as loud as I could under the water. I got back out of the pool, calmly walked inside, changed my clothes and continued with the day feeling much relieved. George, my husband and biggest cheerleader - also a major part of our homeschooling life, is diligent to walk me off the cliff of homeschool despair. When I feel like I am failing our children, he offers me this morsel... Before I give you his advice, I would like to mention at this poi
We have a giant garden. We actually have three, make that four, no five places where vegetables or herbs are growing. I’ve posted glorious pictures of the produce and declared how resourceful we are -- our own backyard grocery. As I write these words, everyone else in the family is sitting at the kitchen table stringing gallons of green beans, debating over what in the world we are going to do with all of the squash and growing giddy with excitement that we finally have enough okra to pickle. The window sill is lined with almost ripe tomatoes, and the cucumbers are coming in steadily. We spent all of spring waiting and watching tiny starts push their way up out of the soil and lost sleep rushing to their aid when frost threatened their tender leaves. We planned out rows, neat little rows. We snatched away any and all weeds before the even had a chance to bully our plants. It is now mid July. Our gardens are officially wild jungles. The squash plant has dinosaur leaves
At 5 a.m. this morning, I felt a cold breeze brush across my forehead from the window above me. Immediately I remembered we didn’t cover the tomatoes. Or the squash. Or the basil. Or any of the fragile life tender green and growing. Growing because we planted it and because we watered it and because we want it to feed us and because our family has spent countless hours prepping soil, dragging water, and watching the weather closer than the Weather Channel. There have been five other nights that we remembered to cover the plants in preparation for a coming storm or freeze. We’d already been up in the middle of the night rushing to protect it all as the winds whipped at us. We had found every last bucket and canister and jar that would cover our precious starts. Most of our work felt in vain because we hadn’t had a frost or a wild storm actually do enough damage for the shelters to make a difference... Truth -- I was frustrated because we had covered all the plants the nigh