February 2010


MOM’S DAY OUT

This has always been one of my favorite poems:

Living Alone      ~ D. Scott Taylor

It’s amazing
how many more things
you do naked than before.
Today I made waffles.

I’m not going to say anything about dress or undress, but I did have some time completely to myself today, and sometimes that can be soooo refreshing!  While my parents were at a potluck, I had the red car all to myself so that I could go where I pleased at whatever pace I wanted.

Self-portrait

Firstly, I sat in the car at Boggy Point and watched blue herons in a small rookery across the way.  They’re getting ready to nest, preening each other and bringing in sticks.  I also saw a yellow-rumped warbler in the brush beside me.

Then I walked part of the Orange Beach Backcountry Trail, taking my time and even sitting in a swing along the trail.  No rush.

A stop at the Publix grocery got me some gluten-free rice chips I have never tried. 

I ate a lot of them while sitting in the car at Florida Pass. 

Then I got out and walked the sand barefoot, slowly, stopping when I wanted to, and choosing just ONE shell to take home.

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TALK OF THE TOWN & BEYOND

I am visiting my parents in Gulf Shores, Alabama, where they spend part of the winter.  I arrived at the Pensacola Airport in time to save them a parking fee, so I told them just to pick me up at the doors.

But then I was worried they would go to the wrong door, or I would not recognize their car:  so many silver cars, and they all look alike!

How silly that was of me!!!  How embarrassing!!!  I had forgotten they have a new car now.  Fat chance of missing this coming around the corner….

WE LOVE FLOWERS

I wasn’t planning on getting anything for the cat on Valentine’s Day, but I guess my husband did just that.  Wheezy is CRAZY about roses.

He uses the ol’ Grab and Run technique.  He starts at the end of the hall in order to build up speed.  Then he hits the table, grabs a petal, and rip-tears into a different room to play with the prize.  Life couldn’t be better.

It’s comical, but so dratted annoying!

This is where my flowers end up for most of the day.

Title of this painting:  Remembering Flowers

  

WE SURVIVED WITH HOPE

Everyone is telling snow stories, so I decided I had better get mine in before it turns into springtime!  I’m safely at home now watching the heavy snowflakes fall past the trees… but last weekend I was not.

This is a photo of what we woke up to on Saturday morning.  It is a picture of NO ELECTRICITY.  It was taken from the inside of our dorm room.

We were at an important homeschool speech & debate tournament (NCFCA) in Pittsburgh (hosted by a club with the acronym of HOPE), knowing that some snow was going to come.  But being without television, radio, and the internet, we were pretty isolated from news.  When my cell phone rang at 7 AM that morning, I was groggy and confused to hear the tournament director say “We’re still going to try and make this work, to finish the tournament.”

“Whaaa?”  I asked.

“Well, the electricity has been out since 5 AM, you know!?!”

No, I didn’t.  But I was frantically turning the knob to close our room’s window as she said it!!  (Some of the rooms HAD been a wee bit warm….)

We had been there since Wednesday night, this “qualifying to Regionals” tournament lasting Thursday through Saturday. 

The day before, the tournament team had talked about Worst Case Scenarios, and this quickly became a reality Friday night:  no electricity and few outside judges coming in to help judge the final rounds; parents help judge, but you can’t judge your own students and you can’t judge a speech category you have already judged, so it gets more difficult to slot judges in as the tournament advances. 

But what an amazing thing!  The physical situation was ideal; we were at a retreat center that used to be a Catholic boarding school, so we had a classroom building, dormitories, a cafeteria, and a gym. 

Here’s a chilly Joan of Arc.

We had city water, and gas stoves in the cafeteria kitchen, and plenty of beds.  The retreat center’s staff had stayed overnight to be there for us, AND thirty more people had unexpectedly stayed overnight on Friday because of the road conditions, so they were there to help judge too.  Isn’t that fantastic?

We began the day late (to wait for natural lighting).  We all trooped down the hill to the classroom building

 and started out with a wonderful time of praise and singing. 

And when the tournament director said, “We’ll get started, and I think we will be able to manage without the lights…”  BOOM!  The lights came on.

And went off.  And went on.  And went off (twice during the final LD debate round) and went on throughout the rest of the day.  But mostly on.

Here’s the tournament director during a dark minute of the awards ceremony.

The retreat center staff worked all day to uncover our cars. 

In the end, we felt so good about everything that we decided to drive home (1 1/2 hours north) that evening.  Maybe we shouldn’t have; it was kinda spooky creeping around Pittsburgh with no other vehicles, seeing dark places that still had no lights.  The most difficult thing was to get onto the interstate, because the snow was still so high on the ramps it scraped the bottom of the car.  Nasty!  But we got up there, drove carefully for five miles, and then–we were free!  And the roads were clear.

We were so glad to get home.  We drove happily into our long wooded drive and got hopelessly stuck right there.  We had to abandon ship, wade to the house in our dress clothes–and just LEAVE IT till tomorrow.

Makin’ memories!