Showing posts from November, 2017

Celebrating Russia

Our studies, this year, take us to Asia. We've spent months reading Chinese literature and history and science and empires and land and war and leadership and styles. We studied North and South Korea. And, wow, I didn't even know half the story of the Korean War or of the divide and Japan and not Japan and Japan again and then the United States and the Soviet Union and it's just Korea trying to be Korea. So, it's war and sadness. And I'm discussing this daily with the kiddos. They have questions I can't answer and brilliant ideas and sadness for the sorrow. Next, we studied Russia. Mapping Russia was confusing. What do the rule? What did they do? Who was good? Who was awful? What countries are independent? Then? Now? Who knows!  Stories went straight to Stalin and communism and war. It is dark and hard but it is good to learn and leads to beautiful, lengthy discussions. But, it's Friday, and I'm exhausted and next week is Thanksgiving and Russia h

A Split Second With The Spatula

Last night, I was putting away dinner. Spaghetti. The spoon wasn't really managing to get the stuck to the side pieces of sauce, so I grabbed the spatula and set to sliding it around the edges of the pot. Like magic, all the bits and pieces piled into a serving size pile of spaghetti and in an instant, the pot was almost clean enough to not even rinse before stacking. And in the few seconds scraping with the spatula, my grandma Mirly was right there beside me, showing me just how to scrape the last bit from the bowl. "In my day, we didn't let anything go to waste," she would say as she slowly, meticulously got every last drip of batter, onion sliver, soup, meat, or sauce.  I could see her and smell her and hear her. She was spry and alert. Her glasses perched slightly awkwardly but also perfectly and her slow and deliberate movements made my quick, won't slow down movements seem awkward and small. But I loved to be in the kitchen with her. That is where I coul

Epic Adventure Part 4

We left the Great Divide. We drove through Butte, Montana and there, high on the hill, looking over the city, was the giant statue of Mary on the Mountain. I wanted to tell the children how awesome it was for them to be here seeing this. One of our favorite musicians plays one of our favorite songs about this giant statue of Mother Mary. But I was so sad. Just sad of the car. The kids were rocking it and I was not. We drove through Missoula hoping to find a good pause. I found a park right by the Interstate right outside of town with a cold, clear miniature lake perfect for an afternoon pause. I jumped out of the car while the troops headed to play and swim and I ran into the wide open.  I ran in the noon sun beating on my back and I breathed in the dry windy air and ran. I ran away the miles. I ran away Yellowstone. I ran away the sad. I ran away the fact that we were still a long way from Seattle. I ran away all the regret that  we were doing this. And then I ran back. W