Thursday, September 29, 2011

We didn't start the fire...

Did you ever sing this song when you were little?

He's still working on me, to make me what I ought to be.
It took Him just a week to make the moon and the stars,
The sun and the earth and Jupiter and Mars.
How loving and patient He must be-e.
He's still working on me.

I found myself singing that song in my head yesterday as I was listening to our amazing field trip presenter, Mr. Collier, speak to some of our art co-op students.  He was explaining that even though he may spend hours shaping and molding the clay, his pottery isn't complete until it is placed in the kiln.  The fire.  For a really long time.  In fact, if that part of the process is not done, then the pottery will eventually fall apart.  Useless.

It wasn't new information to me, but it served as a great reminder that things aren't always supposed to be easy.  In fact, many of the best things only become good, and right, and useful, when they are put through the fire.  Tried.  Tested.  Things like parenting, and teaching, and training our children.  Those things don't end.  We aren't ever 'done', but we are refined.  Made fine again, so to speak.

I thank God (literally) that He is so loving and patient.  He knows how much my family needs His example and influence.  He sure knows that there are way too many times that they aren't seeing that in me.

But, hey.  He's not done with me yet.  Right?

Monday, September 5, 2011

I could water ski when I was three

We just got in from a week long vacation a couple of hours ago.  It was a great one.  Relaxing.  We stayed at a 800 square foot house with an itty-bitty yard.  On the other side of that yard, though, was a big old lake.  I spent many hours on the back porch just reading and looking at the waves.  And swimming.  I love swimming.

It just so happened to be the same lake that I spent hours, and hours, and hours playing in when I was growing up.  I was, by far, a water baby.  My parents had a boat, so I was an early water skier, and had a kick tail tan.  Until college, anyway.  Then, as more and more of my friends moved away, I spent less time IN the water, and more time looking AT it when I came home.  Then, the babies came, and gravity pulled more and more on all body parts, and time constraints kicked in.  My kids may spend a few hours each summer at the lake with my parents, but that has been about it.

Not this week, though.  I didn't just sit on the sidelines watching my kids play in the water.  I got in there with them, for a little while each day, anyway.  I remember sitting at our apartment pool a couple of years ago, watching the kids playing, with all of the parents (myself included) on the sides, watching or reading or texting, but rarely getting in the pool with the kids.  The closest thing to adults being in the pool were the single, twenty somethings taking a dip to cool off while they were laying out.

One day I had an epiphany of sorts.  I decided that it was crazy for the kids to be the only ones playing and having fun at the pool.  Did the statute of limitations on having fun in the water expire when a person's body was no longer cute, or small, or toned, or tan?  Was I going to let myself be a former water baby has been (wait, I'm not sure that makes sense...).  I decided that I wasn't, so I found a totally mismatched, unattractive swimsuit, and a few days later I went swimming with my kids.  And I wasn't just swimming; I was doing flips and dives off the side of the pool.  I used to do it all the time, so why not now?  I figured that I had better do it while I could, because the forties were now a reality, and who knew how much longer my body would hold out.

Little did I know that just a few months later, I would be in a car accident that would seriously hinder any attempts to walk correctly again, much less dive and flip.  More on that, and how I've adapted my expectations--but not my convictions about doing what I can, while I can--next time.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

"Why don't you go back to your double wide and FRY something!"

Just a few random thoughts for the day:

--There is a tropical storm heading this way.  It has stalled somewhat over New Orleans, and is causing major havoc with flooding.  I hate it for all those folks.  I have had this morbid fascination with going swimming in my childhood lake in pre-hurricane force winds since I was in elementary school.  Some big hurricane hit on the coast one year, and my older brother and his friends were able to go out on somebody's sailboat.  I wasn't allowed to tag along.  And now, three decades later, I still wish I could do it--riding along the white caps in the few hours before the lightning and rains come in.  Oh, well.  It is not therapy worthy or anything.  Just something I still wish I could do one day.

--I wish there was a Whole Foods grocery store in my area.  Or at least my state.

--I wish the stores in my area that do sell natural foods would make them reasonably priced.

--I wish more people in my area wanted to buy natural foods.  Then, maybe demand would lower the supply price.

--"Sweet Home Alabama" is on TV right now.  It is one of those shows I usually stop on when I am channel surfing.  So much fun to watch.

--According to my Facebook friends, college football is back.  This seems to be a very big deal.  I loved going to games when I was actually in college, but they hold no appeal whatsoever for me now.  The Saints, on the other hand...

--I'm pretty sure that whole empty nest thing is going to pass me on by.  Bring it on.

How is that for random?

Friday, September 2, 2011

And we knew who we were then...

Today's blog question:  How did you feel about returning to school at the end of the summer?

This one is easy enough.  I loved it.  I was smart enough, and popular enough, and outgoing enough (and apparently, also humble enough!) to do well in the school setting.  Since school didn't start at the beginning of August like it does around here now, it really did seem to symbolize the change in seasons.  I loved the ballgames, and blue jeans, and bus rides with friends.  School was not stressful at all for me, but more of a fun time to socialize.  Being a good enough memorizer and test taker took the frustration out of the actual school work.  This seemed to be the case with most of my friends. 

I do remember feeling sad for my classmates that did not thrive in that type of setting, though, whether it was academically or socially.  It was obvious that back to school for them meant back to purgutory.  I don't think that has changed very much over the years.  In a society and culture that values looks, money, smarts, and athletic abilities, school can be a dog eat dog world for those that don't measure up.  Yet another reason I have chosen to homeschool my kids.

But for me, back in the day?  Bring it on.  Plus, since we were home before 3:00, my friends and I could still put in a good hour or so of laying out time before we had to hurry home to get the house straightened up before momma got home.

(Singing out in my best Edith Bunker voice)--Those were the da-a-a-a-a-a-ys!