Second day of homeschooling Dagne and I already fell off the wagon. Last night, the real estate agent called to announce a couple coming to see the house today. Cleaning was long overdue. So, what’d’ya do? I just included her. A little child labor wouldn’t harm her.
Dagne loves to mop so I set her up. She put on a skirt and thick wool socks. Why? I don’t know. I told her that her jeans and shoes would be fine for the job but she assured me that she didn’t want to get her jeans dirty. She put on a book on CD, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, and mopped 900 square feet of basement — filthy from dogs, cats, and children bringing in mud from our unfinished backyard.
We did get a little math done. And she colored a few more birds. Today, we discussed pelicans and wondered at their 9 ft. plus wingspans. We compared that to Paul’s best friend Jason (Trog) who is 6 ft. 6. Her little naughty brown eyes widened with surprise when she pictured wings much longer than him. I remembered the brown pelicans in Chile, reminiscent of pteradactyls in their large size, diving in staggered splashes to fish. I often noticed American pelicans in U-shaped groups in the lakes and reservoirs. I didn’t realize that this is a coordinated effort to chase a school of fish into the shallows.
Dagne read to me while I cleaned the kitchen. She read about a kid who gets a microscope and begins to look at tiny things. Pretty soon we were examining the shapes of salt and sugar crystals with the naked eye and wishing for a microscope of our own. That’s really the rub, isn’t it? The schools get all the microscopes, but the regulated assignments kills most of the discovery. The homeschoolers have all the desire and freedom to discover and … no microscope.
This desire to examine tiny things leads me to remember a favorite children’s story, Snowflake Bentley. It’s the story of a Vermont boy who falls in love with snow and begins an obsessive journey to photograph snowflakes. It takes place in a time when cameras were huge, hulking, awkward things and the shutter was excruciatingly slow. Through years of effort and creative problem-solving, he manages to capture one snowflake, then another, and then another. Each photograph of a snowflake took hours. Painstakingly, he photographs snowflake after snowflake. Eventually, he shares his photos — giving his gift to the world.
I’ll have to pull that out tomorrow and we can read it together. Meanwhile, I sure would like to get my hands on a microscope while the interest is fresh.
After I got the call from the real estate agent last night, I had that intuitive sense that this was going to be it — this couple coming to see the house would make an offer. We’ll see. I’ve been wrong before. But the point is … all the emotions of the reality of selling the house came flying up at me. I cried once. Paul took me for a walk to clear my head.
He walked me through what are goals are — they don’t include being married to a house in the middle of nowhere with both of us working full time to feed it (it’s not like we have any work anyway, let alone full-time work). I must keep in mind that our goal is a timeful life — the homeschooling moments with Dagne helped to cement the fact that home is where I want to be. Home is where we are and where we can be together. After the walk, I felt peaceful and I had the energy to clean. I’m throwing things out with a vengeance now, making daily stops at drop-off sites.
When we went to my sister’s house over Spring Break, we decided to leave the Volvo there for my dad to sell it. My dad is a whiz at these kinds of things. Somehow, he can get full price for anything — heck, I bet he could talk someone into paying full price and trading something extra for that Volvo.
So, we’re driving Elida’s Suburban ’til she returns. I filled up her gas tank. $153! Ouch. It made me want my Volvo back.
The question is … what’ll we do when we sell it? Will we buy an RV and take off? Or just replace it with something slightly newer and sit tight?
Perhaps the answer lies in whether this couple wants the house. I wonder if my intuition is right.