Once again, I'm aware of my negligence. The last few weeks have been the whirlwind of every day life, mixed in with a seminar retreat, the completion of an Americorps project, several doctor's appointments, Martinmas, and a scramble to help throw the Thanksgiving trip (plus my own vacation!) together.
So here I am, sitting on the coast of Maine, on a nice little island thoughtfully equipped with internet. No, it's actually a bunch of quite nice homes, and I'm visiting my former housemom. It's wonderful. The children have changed a fair bit in the last six months. The youngest is still his sunny self, while the middle has definitely found a place for herself and now it's the older who is in those tough pre-teen years. But they're all quite lovely still. And housemom is still housemom. Hard to describe really, except she's definitely a lot more relaxed and healthy looking... must be the island air?
I arrived Saturday night, managing not to strike any moose. I was welcomed warmly and enthusiastically, and after a good chat with housemom I snuggled down with the kids on the couch to finish the rest of the film "The Secret of Roan Inish"... which brings back childhood memories of my own. After a lovely dinner and bedtime for the kids, housemom and I sat around for hours talking about life changes, friends of ours, the future, etc. I think we both were up until about 12:30!
The next morning we had blueberry clafouti for breakfast, which was amazing, as usual. Then housemom did something I hadn't ever seen...she whipped out her guitar and soon everyone was singing. Housemom had mentioned she'd had time for music now, and I could see how much she missed it. Afterward, we bundled up and went to the local (huge) toystore, to drop one of the kids off for a play date. Then we went to their cafe, and then I finally got to go to the illustrious prison shop. The program's been going for 80 years, and it makes me wonder why all states don't have a program...it helps support the costs of the prisoners, gives them a skill and a trade that is valuable in the outside world and produces nice products at a very affordable price. Then we went over to the grocery store before finally picking up the kid.
We went home and a music friend of housemom's came by to practice a few songs. Their voices complement each other well, and it was fun to listen to. We had a nice filling dinner of stew and bread, and had some more chatting before bed.
I slept in ridiculously late (10:30! It was so quiet!!!) while housemom took the kids to school and did her morning job. I got up and had some breakfast and did some reading, and then ended up curled up on the couch with Callie. Who's a complete snuggler, so we stayed curled up (she likes to tuck her face against things...like arms...or the floor if nothing else is available) and were quite comfy for a 1.5 hour long nap. Such luxury I have missed! And a good choice too, as Max, the other cat is recovering from a recent skunk-spraying and is still rather fragrant at close proximity! We went for a nice, rainy walk around the island and then picked up the kids, after playing and dinner we tucked them in and waited for the sitter. We went out to one of the local bars for a Blues band. It was pretty good, although the average demographic was 60 and slightly toothless, so we got a lot of laughs in. A personal highlight for housemom was the 60+ plus guy in a kilt...oh dear.
Anyhow, I suppose I could catch you up on my Americorps project: I took one of the villages (an especially endearing friend of mine) to the local community college to talk to 2 classes about the village and Americorps. Now they both want to take tours! In between the classes we went to several of our suppliers and had lunch. It was Veteran's day, and so we saw some interesting men, one had his mustache twisted out 6 inches...an impressive sight, I must say. We had a good day and got back in time to help close the co-op early for the Martinmas celebration...which was a short skit and a lantern walk However, completing the project now means that I can exit the term and re-enter on my second. Which I will do shortly.
Strange to think that I've been here for almost a year...
Hope all is well,