Within the week of returning from Italy, I got another job offer. Here, in Prineville. It’s just temporary — possibly until November, possibly ’til the end of the year. I’m teaching Spanish to high schoolers.

At first I was angry. I had just started my homeschool again. Dagne was getting little shivers of excitement as she took off reading. Ingrid was forging ahead alone, like usual. Greta and I had finally figured out how to teach her math. Elsa and I were wrestling through her math problems, working together to conquer rates and percentages.

I didn’t want to be the one with the job offer. Why couldn’t Paul get the job offer? I wanted to bake gingersnaps and pumpkin pudding. I wanted to fold laundry (really!) and follow the FlyLady in cleaning the house. I wanted to simplify, and in the evenings I wanted to write, write, write. I was going to query some magazines — get some articles going. Dust off that novel and get ‘er done.

But the lottery chose me. Dang it! At first, I fought it. I tried to come up with good excuses to turn it down, but to no avail. It seemed right to accept — so accept I did. It took me a few tears and a few hours more to be thankful.

I set Paul up to homeschool. I tried to distill it down to be as efficient as possible. Then, I encouraged him to do with art what I was going to do with writing. Get ‘er done.

Which he is. He’s got several commissions and a possible show. Problem is, he also accepted to help with a garage in the valley before I got my job.

What are we going to do with the kids?

Enroll them in school? Have them school themselves? Try to juggle it between us?

We’re not sure. Taking this week to figure it out. The little ones are begging not to go. The olders ones are unsure. Paul’s been at the middle school subbing all week and he says, “no way.”

I’m pretty sure our kids could handle anything, but should they have to?

All this to think about and then we’ve got the trip to plan. When we will leave?

Our thoughts are fragmented. Everything feels like an emergency. It’s hard to plan for what’s important when pressing things keep popping up — like how am I going to teach Spanish to 200 kids tomorrow?

Or wow! Elida needs her curriculum edited tonight.

I hope we can stay true to our dreams.

I hope our dreams don’t sink in the bill pile or get swallowed in days filled with efforts to no particular end.

I remember other days, longer days — when they seemed to stretch too long. We filled them with walks and the kids played by the creek. There weren’t many things to do. Hurry didn’t exist for us.

But eventually we knew it was time for something new. We just had no idea how long it would take to experience it.  We’re working on four years since “the cabin in the Ochoco Mountains” days. I can’t stop thinking about those long days by the creek in the middle of nowhere. And the owls hooting at us while we watched the stars from the hot tub. Snowshoeing in the moonlight. Long mornings in my bathrobe. Paul walking to work. Life was so simple. So timeful.

Oh, why did we ever leave? Why did we ever think we’d need anything more?

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