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Library - 5808Last week, Serena’s godfather came by to plant a rose bush for her. Her middle name is Rose, and he wanted her to have flowers. Very sweet and simple. Then he saw our front yard.

When we moved into our lovely new home last fall, the front yard was a wasteland. It was also low on the priority list. This house is old, and was in need of a lot of work. Things like finishing our back bedroom, painting the walls, upgrading the wiring and replacing the heating system all trumped even looking in the front yard.

“This rose needs to grow in a place that people love,” he declared. Then he set to work. The kids and I loitered nearby, and gradually started using the growing pile of garden tools ourselves, in a way that might have been described as helping. Rio drove her little toy car back and forth between the garden bed he was clearing and the driveway I was sweeping for an hour, carrying supplies and water.

We took ten large contractor bags out of our tiny urban yard. Then the rose went in, and sat there lonely and the empty yard. Until it’s benefactor returned the following week with bags of mulch, blueberry bushes, and a dozen other little plants whose names escape me.  Suddenly, we have a garden.

John believes “the natural fate of this place is to grow flowers”, and it’s on it’s way to doing so, in abundance.

Today came home from work around 5. We hung out for twenty minutes, and as we started planning dinner, I realized I’d forgotten to pick up our farm share. So I threw the baby in the trailer and biked over to Fresh Pond to get it. We made it there just in time, and got our last farm share box and a loaf of fresh bread.

Then I biked over to Sandro’s house, stole his toothpaste and petted his dog, and rode home by way of The Dairy Bar and yet more fresh bread. By the time I got home, I had a week’s worth of fresh food in the back of my bike trailer.

Rio, meanwhile, had spent the time alone with her dad making “math cards” out of brightly colored felt, helping him cook dinner, and learning to wash the dishes.

Can I say how much better this is than dragging two tired, hungry children in my car, on the highway, to a HUGE grocery store of infinite fluorescent-lit doom and then home again to try to cook dinner alone before their dad gets back from work at 7:30? There are no words.

Rio is home, yay!

Rio is home, complicated. She’s got some strong feelings about leaving the only home she’s ever known, as one might imagine she would. Also, she apparently fell through a time warp while traveling and came home with the body of a 4-year-old and the brain of a 20-year-old.

Yesterday she was crying on my lap after seeing me pack a box, and we had this conversation:
Rio: I am not excited about moving. I want to stay here.
Me: I hear that. I feel sad about leaving this house too. I love it, and I’ve had some great times here. But I also know there will be a lot of wonderful things at the new house. So I feel sad and excited and happy all at the same time.

I was fairly pleased with myself for that one, I have to say. But half an hour later:
Rio: Mama, I am not excited about moving. Everyone thought I was, but I am not. Not in my heart.
Me: I know. Do you remember what we talked about before?
Rio: You said you feel happy and sad at the same time, and that you are excited.
Me: That’s right.
Rio: Well, Mama, that is your life. But I have my own life that is different from your life. I am not excited about moving. That is my life.
Me: …

I’m back at my house, and my computer, after ten days in Maine training to be a Waldorf preschool teacher. The past two weeks have been among the most dense in memory. Since I last posted, in no particular order:

1. I have learned many wonderful and exciting things about caring for and teaching young children. Among them: I do not want to be a Waldorf teacher. Happily for me that was never my plan, and I think I got a lot of good tools that will help me build a nature-based homeschool for my kids and some of their friends.

2. I signed a purchase and sale agreement on my current house this morning, crossing the final and scariest hurdle to my moving plans with and . We are selling the house for a Very Low Price, and I am just holding my breath and praying that we recover financially. The to-do list remains long and daunting, but all systems are go on the move. *huge sigh of relief*

3. My sister gave birth on July 21 to a baby boy, Caden Blake Gleason. He is a charming tiny gnome who looks disturbingly like his daddy. He is also the smallest baby I have ever held, at just over 7 pounds.

4. has taken our two older children to Argentina to visit his family for nearly three weeks. I miss Rio, Ian and Martin terribly, but hear that they are loving the holiday time with their cousins and grandparents and everyone.

5. I turned 30. Right on cue I seem to have sprouted a couple of gray hairs. The day was uneventful, full of classes and classes and more classes. The highlight was a lovely dinner at a quiet Thai restaurant with my oldest and dearest friend. I’m really looking forward to my thirties; I love being alive and just have this calm sense of joy and wonder at what the next decade might bring me.

6. Someone close to me lost a pregnancy. I’m grieving for her and missing the bright spirit I saw moving in her aura for just a few short weeks before it was called on. Looking forward to meeting her children when they do come.

7. My grandmother is very ill and undergoing chemotherapy, radiation and surgery. My mother will be flying out to be with her. Energy and prayers much appreciated.

8. Legal drama reared its ugly head in the lives of people I love. Thankfully, it did not directly involve me, but it was sad to watch it eat up their life energy.

9. Ian can haz LJ.

10. In addition to these big things, the past two weeks saw the horrible and untimely demise of my cell phone (since replaced), the breakdown of my Amazing Van (which has yet to be repaired as the mechanic searches for some crazy part), a flare-up of my chronic bronchitis, and all the expected logistical issues that come up when one is traveling for two weeks with young kids.

I am, in other words, very tired. If you see me or speak to me, please be kind and gentle.

I posted this poll a few months back, about what people re-use and what they throw away. I didn’t have a big green agenda about it, I was just curious, but the results made me realize I’m not as green as I think.

I was already planning this follow-up post for today, after an awesome day of grocery shopping with 15 cloth tote bags and doing three loads of laundry, but I am also sort of responding to who asked in her LJ what her readers are doing to limit their planetary impact.

washing more, tossing less

Flickr Photos

Holding hands

Emerson graduation smiles

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A little bird told me…

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