Can you tell where our hearts have been lately? A bit of an edge for this mama who tries to keep things in the moment... here we are daydreaming and Emily drawing about summer which is nowhere in sight.
Things have been buzzing around here lately. A good kind of busy, my new job (which I will share in the next day or so), a new curriculum for the second half of the year and fresh energy to explore new things, homeschool yoga that I'm teaching, other homeschool science and swimming activities, and planning the arrival of our dear friends and neighbors to return from a four month sabbatical in Israel next Monday. This is a pretty big deal for us, mostly for Emily and their daughter Arielle. Would you like a brief history?
Five years ago Emily and I were having a "playdate" at Merle's house. We rented a house in another town and knew them through the school that both of our girls attended. Emily is an only child, so is Arielle. They are six months apart in age. Merle and I were sitting on the expansive, winding front porch of her beautiful Victorian home. I commented that I admired the Craftsman house directly across the street, that it was a style I'd always loved. To which she said "You know, I think it might be for sale soon. The woman spends most of her time in a new home near the shore... she's never here." A year went by... Adam and I began seriously looking to buy a house as law school was wrapped up and out of the way. At the time the market in our area was seriously discouraging for first time home buyers, interest rates were great as were lending packages, but the prices? Oh my, total seller's market... our dreams of hoping to find just a bit of land in the country were extinguished pretty quickly. In a million years you could never have told Adam he'd be living in a "city" (a depressed mill town really), he grew up in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. We looked for months to find something that would allow us a taste of country living... nothing. Then we were at Merle's house again, this time Adam was with me and we were in the middle of making full price offers on several houses that we didn't even really like, none of them were accepted - people were paying over asking price pretty consistently at that time. The house across the street still stood empty. I walked over and peeked into the breezeway at the front door (a tiny peek of it in the picture above) and I needed to go inside. Adam couldn't deny his curiosity, that's one beautiful door...
The house was still not on the market, but not lived in either. I got the owner's number and called her the next day. She said she would like to sell the house and showed it to us a few days later. We loved it, we bought it. Adam couldn't believe it, but we did.
But this is really about our neighbors... they are such good people. Emily and Arielle have the most inspiring friendship, in the four years we've been here they have had one argument - they were six at the time - and they were wise enough to ask an adult to mediate as they came to a resolution, very Montessori. During the time they've been away, Emily and Arielle have formed a sistership via the internet. It's a pretty big deal - of course as any decent ten year old club would have, there are plenty of "laws and codes." It's serious business, when Emily meets someone new now and they ask if she has sisters or brothers she says "Yes! I have a sister, she's in Israel right now."
Merle and Jeremy (Arielle's parents) are just the coolest, kindest, brightest folks to know and we feel so fortunate to have such friends right across the street. Our arrangement is very reminiscent of days gone by... there is vanilla and sugar borrowed, extra loaves of bread and batches of cookies baked and run across the street, lots of front porch chatting, dinners, desserts. The best is when they sit on their front porch steps with guitar in hand and sing folk songs. They are such a blessing to us and we've missed them terribly these last four months!
Arielle prefers to ride a scooter over a bike. Emily has been saving her allowance for a long time now (since our anniversary when she spent two months of saved allowance to take Adam and I to breakfast), and purchased this new ride just in time for Arielle's arrival. She's pretty excited and has been riding all around the house, inside, everyday. Which makes me realize that Emily has learned to ride all things inside the house. A two-wheeler at age five, roller blades at age six and now this. How can we resist when these new toys seem to come into our life at the holidays and everything outside is covered with snow and ice. It's really a practical solution. Really. Don't look too closely at the wood floors...
My mind is completely wandering this morning. When I sat down to write I was going to share about the new curriculum we are using and answer some questions I've gotten recently about homeschooling. Another time? I guess right now I'm just really excited about the return of friends.
Maybe I'm better at keeping things in the moment than I thought.