Friday, October 14, 2011

Car rides

Ever since moving way out into the country, we spend more time in the car than we used to.  We regularly (once or twice a week) drive between 45 and 90 miles to see friends, do homeschool activities, shop at a natural foods coop, visit museums, a craft store, zoo, etc.  We try to pack as much as we can into each visit to save on driving miles, but considering the exchange (solar heating/hot water, growing/raising much of our own organic food, proximity to nature/country living) I feel that it is well worth it.  As long as I always have snacks and water along, car rides usually go really well with my girls.  As recent city transplants, we still marvel at the cows, horses, mules, sheep, and goats that we pass.  We also slow way down and wave at every Amish family driving a horse and buggy that we see.  And, oh look!, is that a reindeer?
 My girls apparently thought reindeer were strictly fictional, flying, sleigh-pulling animals.  (And I thought these were reindeer, but they are more likely elk)
We had to get out of the car and check them out.  They were checking us out, too.  You can click on the photo to see it larger if you like.

When we're not gawking at (or grokking) the animals, we like to play the alphabet game, working together to spot all of the letters in order on signs, license plates, etc., shouting them out as we see them.  "Q in liquor store!"  or for the non-reader, "An S! An S!  Over there!"  We also play 'I'm thinking of...', as in, "I'm thinking of a food that starts with a B (again for the non-reader we say the sound,"buh, buh").  Each person gets one yes-or-no question.  "Is it a fruit?", etc.

We weave our own stories together about fairies and witches and animal babies.  Or robots and knights and warrior princesses.  We might blast classical ballet music, or Michael Franti and Spearhead, or sing our own silly songs altogether.

Then often the littlest two are lulled into a nap, and I am left alone with my own thoughts.  This is so rare these days in my house, that I almost don't know what to do with it.  My insecurities and fears sometimes flash before me.  I greet them, "Oh, I see you there...but if I've been too busy to notice lately, you old fears must not be as important as you think you are."  Sometimes they slink off or linger and dissolve gradually.

Sometimes, my thoughts soar, filling me with gratitude for this life, my life,...all life.

Sometimes I just plan a grocery list :)

Today, we drove about 60 miles to meet with some fellow homeschoolers at an organic orchard for gleaning.  All together, we picked several hundred apples to be given away, with other donated organic veggies, to low-income and elderly folks.

And we had cider and doughnuts.  Mmmmm.


  1. Your cheesecake recipe looks so good, and I love that there's no sugar in it. Actually your whole blog looks yummy. I'm going to start following.
    By the way, your "reindeer" look more like elk to me.

  2. Ooops. Sarah, you're right. They do look more like elk. Thanks for pointing that out, and thanks for following :)

  3. I do think you are busy in Madison more often than we are, and we live here (and you are 90 miles away!). :) Nice your girls are OK with car travel. That is the one thing for us - my older guy can't handle much of it for many sensory reasons.


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