"She refused to be bored, chiefly because she wasn't boring." Zelda Fitzgerald

Friday, September 25, 2015

Poetry Friday: A Moving Tribute

Happy Poetry Friday! I have a poem this week, digesting a bit more about my move to The West Coast from The East Coast.

Its been about 2,000 years since I had a good poetic wander. Feels so good to get back to my principles and be stepping back into a rhythmn of creation and personal, reflective thought. Love writing poetry.

Poetry Friday is a product of KidLitosphere and is a chance to share and mingle together suggestions, original work and sometimes even whole books that feed that poetry section of our brains, help us to think in lyrical form and assist in giving us imagery that is crisp and reflective of experience.
I try to write an original poem once a week to participate, pushing myself to try new ideas and to capture in verse the impressions that slam or waltz through my mind. See the tab above for a collection of all the poems I've spun out thus far here.

Poetry Friday is one of my favorite things to consume on a lazy Saturday or Sunday morning. A mug of tea and the host list of links is great early morning brain food to help your inner self uncurl and blink awake. So, incredibly cozy. Try it out.

Our host blog this week is Poetry For Children. Click through and enjoy all the offerings!

New To California

I am camping in a house with a blow-up mattress, four boys and a sea of pale gray carpet.

I wonder what dark January looks like with prickly pear ripening on the side of the freeway and mariachi on the radio.

I hear basketball echoes in the back courtyard, the neighbor kids shouting in Spanish and the gentle hum of the refrigerator in our tiled kitchen.

I see the golden sunlight slanting through the office blinds and the sly Dirt Devil doing the tango along the living room wall.

I want new girlfriends,
luscious, ridiculous ladies
laughing in a circle around me,
arms skyward
bellies full.

I am camping in a house with a blow-up mattress, four boys and a sea of pale gray carpet.

I pretend that I will become a willowy, silver-haired chef in a teeny seafood cafe with open geranium windows.

I feel elastic,
full of the buzz of the shift and the high of spontaneous, aromatic creation.

I touch the soft
inner bellies of scallops and the stringy stems of thyme
beaded with tiny, rough leaflets.

I worry about drug culture, pot heads and psychedelic mushrooms eroding personal drive.

I ask the world, if I wasn't scared what would I do Out West, in this new life.

I am camping in a house with a blow-up mattress, four boys and a sea of pale gray carpet.

I understand that the bright, blue of the sky, over the gold hills is an illusion of light scattering selectively.

I believe that avocados are verdant medicine and fall from their trees on cords like gifts being lowered to us.

I dream of playing that fiddle that is in a box, on a truck, on the highway and
making it sing past the beginner tunes I learned in high school, 
revving on into huapango, zydeco and bluegrass.

I trust that all things are a lesson, that nothing is without use and that God is filled with compassion.

I hope for rain this winter
green hills and a season of growth.
I am camping in a house with a blow-up mattress, four boys and a sea of pale gray carpet.


Pumpkin Pie On The Beach

 It was a beautiful day. Whatever ails you, there is little in life that a trip to the redwoods and the beach can't cure. The scenery and sights of nature here are kind of epic. Its super astonishing to keep realizing again that the things we can just zip over and see if we have an hour for driving are pretty national-park-level-of-fabulous. I am a little over-awed and feel ultra-bouyant once we are in the car and driving home from another place that's unbelievable with scenery to make you have an asthmatic episode and animals and plants from an episode of National Geographic. I'm not sure how long it will take to feel like this is my home state just because the level of daily shock and intimidatingly impressed joy is so high. Its hard to be jaded or feel normal or yawn at all. I live in California!
 Today we went to a new beach, Muir Beach, after the redwoods....which we naturally adore. Its all filtered golden light and mossy quiet....well mostly, you know....except for my boys sometimes shrieking and screaming and beating each other with fallen sticks. It does quiet them though, that incredible cathedral grove. I am looking forward to playing hostess to friends and family who come out to visit and have never been to a redwood grove.
It was a day of lots of fresh air, all warm and bright. Pom took a nap in the sand and we chased crabs as big as our hands put together in and out of the waves, climbed up rocks and redwoods and split rail fences. I got my 10,000 steps in without even thinking about it and utterly shorted myself on protein and water.

We are going to love day tripping out into the whirling mass of beauty here, and I have a feeling we will meet friends out at incredible places and hike our heads off. Its a little tricky to figure out how to work A into our adventures because so many of these spots are overrun on weekends. We have to get smarter about packing breakfast picnics and laying clothes out the night before for Saturday morning outings and beat the rush! Of course, this requires more advance planning....like knowing what we plan to do for the weekend....before the weekend. This would imply actual planning and communication about intended targets and chores and free-space for weekend time on Thursday night or something. Hmmm....

 Well, we can always just go listen to more James Taylor and just go with the ridiculously overcrowded flow. Organization is not our strong suite as a couple. May it ever be a target and may we someday communicate and strategize like a siamese twin generals! Someday....

I also bought a pumpkin pie...because it is officially the second day of autumn and I was in a funk and did not feel like baking....also it was 90 degrees today because we are still having a bizarre heat wave. We ate the pie with our hands, on the beach, because I forgot the plastic knife in the van and did not want to hike back to get it. Pumpkin pie is surprisingly festive and manageable beach food! Pom suggested apple pie and I told him that before that happens we have to go to an apple orchard and pick some. Next on my list: field trips to a raw milk dairy farm and apple picking. I am wistfully imagining myself canning applesauce with the boys next week....you know, since my canning jars will be buried on that semi-truck that is arriving on Sunday. That makes sense, right? At least as much sense as eating pumpkin pie with your bare hands on the beach.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Isolation And A Washing Machine

All the experts say that one of the keys to "good blogging" is to be perfectly consistent. Oops. I took a month off, with no warning or explanation and as one reader pointed out....it looked like quitting. Surprise! It's just me, blogging erratically while aiming at consistency. Things I am learning in my life...

We now have a washing machine, which feels very luxurious. Our old dryer is on the moving truck, driving across the country with all of our belongings. We have one week left to get our plans straight for where things should go before our world becomes a chaotic whirl of boxes and homeschooling.

All this moving craziness has meant pushing formal homeschool learning off (except for math and reading) until this coming Monday. In California you have to pick a method of homeschool registration and that research has also taken time. I have decided that I am going to give it a year and basically continue our current model while getting to know area homeschoolers. Then in the fall of I want to try connecting to a charter school or an umbrella organization (options here in CA) I will know a little more about the options and have had time to decide what I think. Sometimes it is good to defer some of the crazy and the new and the pressure and give yourself a few outs to keep things a little simpler. These are lessons I need to teach myself.
We have found a park day, homeschool playgroup to hang out with which is really encouraging and fun. Love getting these little pieces built into our life again. I am also looking into joining 4-H and have a co-op that is studying science on the docket for options too. There is a much larger buffet of choices out here.

I am starting to get to the point of moving where you feel a little lonely. I know my way to the local grocery store and I remember my own zip code now, I have a library card and favorite neighborhood walks but I don't have chums yet. I wish we had a babysitter for a night out once a week to explore and reconnect and I wish I had a community of mamas to kick back with and laugh hysterically beside for Lady Night outings, I wish I had a church community to share the sacred and support my children with an undergirding network of faith and to serve as a safe place for spiritual letdown and restoration and I wish I had a little circle of painters who were growing and making and observing the world in streaks and puddles of paint and advice.  I miss al of that but I know that it will all come. 

This part is a little frayed. It's hard to keep settling and nesting and making and finding and learning and starting over because it's depleting even though it's fresh and fun. Must refill. So I am reading Madeline L'Engle's A Circle of Quiet which is crazy good and I am working out every single morning (day 12!) and I am drinking coffee and deadheading my new roses. Prayer is good, texting is good and family rocks.

Rise above, friends! I will too!


Tuesday, September 15, 2015

A Sudden Jump!

What a very strange thing it is to open up my own blog and see that it is almost exactly two months since my last post and so much has happened in our life without any notation.

We are no longer New Englanders! We've taken a leap, pulled everything together madly and flown to the other coast. We are now official residents of Northern California. It's so strange to say that we no longer live in that big house in Connecticut and that it also feels completely natural.

Moving like this (we still don't have any of our things beyond suitcases with clothes) and we haven't sold our house yet and we still don't have a new homeschool group) is a little jarring to consider but ultimately very freeing. It's light and open and full of nothing binding. I cried and agonized and kissed the house and friends goodbye and then just leapt. I am astonished at how perfectly at home I feel in our new home (a little one bath, one story cottage) and how "Friends To Get To Know" keep piling up warmly in my Contacts list (everyone seems to know someone that I need to meet).

This is not to imply that everything is ideal; we are camping out in the house with no beds or chairs or other fancy goods. The cottage comes with no dishwasher and although we've been here for three weeks without a washer and dryer (on order!) and there's not much in the back garden besides dry California dust around a giant concrete pad and some fruit trees. The window screens are torn, there's ivy climbing up inside the walls of the garage and the time difference is a lot tougher to negotiate via phone calls than I anticipated.

But still....still things are lovely. We are happy and warm and lucky and safe and having all kinds of adventures. This afternoon, for example, on our afternoon walk around the neighborhood my boys dragged home a giant banana leaf to play with! A banana-frickin-leaf!!! It's amazing.

That's our new place!
There are pink and yellow and red and orange rose bushes in the front yard that bloom more every day. When I had a sore throat the first week we were here I made myself lemon honey tea with fresh lemons off the tree by the kitchen door. A pair of doves just raised three babies and launched them from the back patio. One bathroom is unspeakably easy to clean. It's real and zany and fabulous! I recommend adventures, every time. Viva California!