Saturday, October 29, 2011

A Harrowing Ride Through Snowtober

Tonight the weather has gone crazy. I can't remember ever seeing snow in October, let alone a full on snow storm. I woke up at 3pm this afternoon (after working last night) to joyful cheers from the kids as they watched  the street being painted with fat white snowflakes. We headed outside for a jolly romp and a few snow angels, only to be hustled back indoors when a branch from a neighboring tree crashed down just feet from where we were playing.

I'd better get going now if I'm going to make it to work, I thought to myself, and am I glad I did. I left the house at 5:30pm and my 15 minute commute down 5&10 took almost 45 minutes. In my dad's 4-wheel drive truck I inched down an icy hill at 5 miles per hour squinting through the windshield past the flying snow, and still managed to skid to within an inch of the car in front of me. Treacherous, and not a plow to be seen anywhere.

Francisco called me about 2 minutes after I left the house to say that another branch had fallen across our road and pulled a power line into the street, blocking any way to enter or exit our street. Now he's just called to say that the power is out and a few more trees are down, making it pretty much impassable. I am afraid to see what the streets will look like tomorrow morning when I leave here. Yikes Mother Nature, what's happening?

Friday, October 28, 2011

A Day for Home School

My 6 year old son has been sent to the Principal's office three times this week. The first time was for dropping the f-bomb in the cafeteria (thank you second-grader for teaching him that little word I have spent the past six years avoiding in lieu of this moment). The second day he was sent home for bitch-slapping his friend during lunch time. ("I don't know what happened Mom, I just couldn't control my hand!"). The third day he was waving around a fork or some other boisterous movement that was mistaken for rough-housing and was called out yet again. That did it for me, on the fourth day, we stayed home.

So I spent yesterday having school at home with Nathan (and Sofie) and I am surprised to say that it was quite enjoyable. We covered all the basics, reading, writing, math, and then moved on to more interesting terrain like a nature walk gym class, carving pumpkins for art class, and Spanish games for the better part of the afternoon.

I am embarrassed to admit how little I actually have a day home with both of my kids and no agenda. I work every weekend so the only time I have with Nathan is in the afternoons or when we are on vacation. Setting aside all household responsibilities and focusing solely on their learning was both fun and grounding for all three of us. I don't know that I could go the full Monty with home schooling (5 days a week could get old for all of us pretty fast), but I am wondering why I don't have this as our routine maybe once a week, or once a month. What a brilliant concept, take a day off and teach your kids yourself.

I don't know what will come of this revelation, or how Monday will go for Nathan back in the classroom, but it certainly has me thinking about the way our current system works, or doesn't work, for us.

Monday, October 24, 2011

When You Know You're Too Old To Be the Biggest Asshole at the Party

I never thought this day would come. Ten years ago it seemed totally acceptable to be the drunkest person in the room, possibly because I almost never was. Despite the alarming number of cocktails I could consume, there was always someone in my circle of friends who had me beat. It was strangely comforting, even when I was waking up with my head nested comfortably on the toilet bowl, to know that someone else was feeling it worse than me.

Now it seems that I am old and my friends are too. We have children and jobs and better things to do than get totally smashed at a party, or so it would seem. Since becoming a mother, I tend to reserve getting impressively drunk for about once in a calendar year. Somehow this makes me feel like I'm not a lush, but when this date comes it's usually a showstopper.

We had a party this weekend and I am embarrassed to say that I was that gal, guzzling the martinis without making sure that someone was one ahead of me. I'm not sure what exactly I said to anyone, but it could not have been good. All this leads to now is feeling very hungover, and full of cringe-worthy shame the next morning. Sadly, it is no longer the hilarious elbow-jostling, laugh-at-yourself morning after comedy routine of yesteryear. Even though others may see it as no big deal I guess it's official: I'm too old. Time to retire my act and break out the cup of tea and the scrabble board peeps, because getting super wasted is just not as fun anymore. Well, until next year...

Monday, October 3, 2011

The Frosty Eagle

I spent this weekend in the mountain top town of Eagles Mere, PA. I accompanied my friend Jane to her family homestead in the small lakeside community along with our other good friend Kate, and my kids. The town is beautiful, tiny and remote, settled on a pristine lake and hidden away from the annoyances of modern technology and growling traffic, it is a haven in the summertime for those seeking relaxation.

This weekend was a little different...

Relax we did, we sat by a roaring fire for three straight days as we attempted to defrost our bodies from the freezing October air. Winter seemed to have come early to the mountains, and as the night air dipped down below 40 degrees, so did the temperature inside the old summer home. We made meals quickly with the oven open as our breath puffed out in clouds in the kitchen.

We did almost everything next to the two giant fireplaces, although the large chimneys meant that most of the heat was drawn instantly upwards and didn't reach more than about two feet from the front of the mantel, but we found a way to pull our rocking chairs up close, ensconce ourselves in down blankets and drink enough sangria to feel our cheeks flush. Nathan has decided that Scrabble is his new favorite game, as he teamed up with us and played well past bedtime. It was like very fancy camping.

The beauty of the trip was that despite the frigid temperatures, it was totally worth the six hour drive to get there and back. I love spending time with Jane and Kate, laughing until we cry, making meals together, and reading side by side. The homestead itself is beyond compare, with years worth of history in the walls and seemingly never ending hallways for the kids to run through. Visiting this magical house with my wonderful friends is worth whatever Mother Nature wants to dish out.