Sunday, September 15, 2013

Clocking Off

The doors have been opened to flush out the heat of an oppressive afternoon, and it is definitely time to wind down.  It is time for some tea, and snuggly pants, and my book.  It is time to breathe out the fullness of a day of harvesting - firewood, food, knowledge, family.  It is time for the evening schoolwork to begin for The Barracuda, once he is all washed up and ready for bed.  It is time to be grateful for very packed days, and remember the smiles what passed quickly - or irritably - earlier.

The Barracuda will trade out Prince Caspian (a current personal book choice) for The Fellowship of the Ring (a current schoolbook) and spend his last hour of the evening knocking out the rest of another action packed chapter.  Jules will click away at the computer watching goodness-knows-what on Netflix and 'trolin around eBay.  The dog will flop down on the porch, and then flop down on the living room floor, and then back out on the porch. 

Each of us retreat into our quiet spaces for a bit before Jules and I find ourselves folded up on the couches talking into the night.  What once seemed like an impossible jumble of activities and endlessly busy, chaotic days has drifted almost effortlessly into a routine of bodies moving about in a loving dance of fading light.

With tomorrow's morning will come a Latin test, grammar work, and dishes.  In the heat of the afternoon, laundry will dry and bread will rise. The neighbor's dog will come and visit like always, and the boy will get dirtier/stickier/sillier than I even thought he could, like always.  But for now it is a time for crickets and frogs, stillness and stars.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-15 or John Lennon, however you roll.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013


The morning schoolwork is done, and the evening work has yet to begin.  Tonight there will be novels to read and study guides to fill out, and I'll be creating PowerPoints for curriculum as Jules grades papers or gets all the administrative work for his classes done.  But not now.

Now, I'm pulling the blue elderberries off their stems into the dutch oven for this winter's cold syrup, and just breathing in the silence.  The phone hasn't rung all morning and the boys have gone fishing, so I am left with the soft breeze blowing through the open doors of the house. The soft plink - plink, the low metronome of the dogs panting, and the occasional thump of a happy tail hitting the floor as they are splayed out in the middle of the living room, the trees are rustling, the clothes on the line are flapping about, and all the muffled sounds remind me of just how alive the quiet can be.

 No one thought to tell the weather it has become September, and we're not telling either.  

We are in the blissful lull of late summer days.

Friday, September 06, 2013

Flour, Flour Everywhere

There are little, flour footprints all over the floor even though I have swept three times today.  There's flour on the countertops in big splotches and small tufts.  It's on my shirt, and in his hair, and I'm pretty sure if I looked, the dog might even be sporting a bit on her back.  There is pretty much flour everywhere, and I'm starting to wonder just what I have gotten myself into with making these supposedly "quick rolls."  Something tells me that clean up might be twice as long as the making.

But he specifically wanted to help.  He rearranged his playtime and asked about it twice. These stolen moments where I'm still requested need to be cherished.  As The Barracuda has gotten bigger, the desire for direct interactions with Mom is diminishing.  He still wants me to be there, and to enthusiastically watch, but participating is limited to the sidelines.

So maybe the house looks like a Franz factory blew up, and maybe the dog isn't too thrilled about the taste of flour as she cleans her fur.  But the boy can bathe, laundry can be done, and we still have a hour or so before Dad gets home for me to wipe down the kitchen.

Afterall, those little flour footprints aren't nearly as little as I remember them being.