Everyday Life

Oftentimes we have very little control over the twists and turns our lives take. We do have a good bit of influence, though, on the everyday we create.

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Choosing peace and beauty wherever possible in our day-to-day lives means that we are surrounded by peace and beauty when we need it most.

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Things are not the same here, in our house, in our family. But even in this most difficult of times there is sweetness in our everyday.

Wrinkle In Time

Dagny and I have been sorting photos with my mom. We’re labeling and scanning them so the whole (big) family can access them and know who’s who. One part of this process I’m most excited about is Dagny’s using her Photoshop skills to repair some of the older, damaged photos, taking them from this:

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to this:

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A dimpled elbow like that needs to be preserved for future generations, wouldn’t you agree?

On the Mend

I can’t remember where this blanket came from or when I got it. It seems it’s always been here. Fireworks, meteor showers, picnics, drive-in movies, camping – it goes where we go.

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Its latest trip through the laundry reminded me that I had better do a bit of repair before it became more hole than blanket.  A podcast on permaculture provided background interest as I exercised my rudimentary sewing skills, and now both the blanket and I are better prepared for the coming Spring.

Tending Hearth and Home

With the thermostat set at 60 degrees, we’re all chilly enough to be drawn by the sounds of flames crackling and logs shifting.

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This morning my kindling was a stack of crispy-dry hydrangea cuttings. We gathered them last Spring, tied them into bundles, and stored them in the shed in preparation for a Winter day we could only imagine. And here we are, imagination come to life.

Past and Present

Rowan turned 16 last month.

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We spent the next afternoon at the Registry of Motor Vehicles, where she took (and passed) her permit test. It was the very first test she had ever taken.

In the years before that test she climbed and read and watched and thought and listened and talked and wondered and touched and hoped and swam and slept and laughed and ate and  dreamed and heard and felt and experienced and ran and sat and sang and analyzed and argued and played and experimented and questioned and never once wondered, “Will this be on the test?”

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Birthday presents are nice, but Rowan’s always been a fan of intangibles.

Public Service Announcement

When Dagny was five, we did not know that she didn’t have to go to school, and off to kindergarten she went. We found out when she was six, thanks to a woman Jon heard on the radio, and that was the end of that. Rowan has never been to school.

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If school works for you, I’m not interested in rocking your world. But if you, like us, don’t actually want to participate in school, know that you have that option. Homeschooling is legal across the United States, and in many other countries as well. There is an enormous amount of information and support on the internet for those interested in learning more about homeschooling. If you can’t find what you need, feel free to contact me and I’ll steer you in the right direction.

Around the Corner

We’re taking a break from house projects. Time to save up a bit of money, energy, and enthusiasm to tackle what’s left to do. This morning I came across a series of photos from when we worked on the craft room.

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Looking at them I feel half inspired to get to the next project and half exhausted just thinking about how much time and effort one little corner takes.

Kissing the Blarney Stone

My dad told me stories. He told me stories of a boy who lived his whole life upside down, and stories of a pony named Tony. He told me stories of a child eating steaming-hot homemade applesauce in the kitchen and drinking ice-cold homemade root beer in the cellar.  He told me stories of girls just my age who found treasures under floorboards, and animals in my yard who loved classical music and poetry. He told me stories of collecting rainwater so his sister could wash her hair, and of being so shy that it pained him to be called on in class.

For the most part I knew which stories to believe, but sometimes the line between imagination and reality blurred. Some part of me may always believe my mother did really take my father, who couldn’t swim, out in a paddle boat and tell him if he didn’t marry her she’d dump him in the water.

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And do I know for sure whether my Grampa, who directed traffic at the Charles Street Circle for 30 years and was known as The Smiling Irish Cop, was really the inspiration for Michael in Make Way for Ducklings? No, and I’d just as soon not. A  good story leaves a bit of space open so you can turn around in it, check it out from different directions, and make up your own mind what you see.