Travel is like love, mostly because it’s a heightened state of awareness, in which we are mindful, receptive, undimmed by familiarity and ready to be transformed. That is why the best trips, like the best love affairs, never really end.” — Pico Iyer
Every kids needs a fort. From blankets to branches to whatever, a little place to build and set it up into your own space seems like a normal kid thing to do. My brother recently visited us and spent several days in the woods working on a fort masterpiece.
Mixing the mud mortar of pine straw, forest debris, dirt, and water.
An opportunity to get along and work together, even if it only lasted a few minutes.
Starting to come together.
A place for their collection of found objects in the forest. A turtle shell, broken glass, plant fiber twine, and some nails.
And the winner is.....a fabulous and exotic adventure to the orthodontist for my 8th grader! The itinerary includes monthly visits to get hardware tightened followed by soft foods and complaining! Can't wait!
All sarcasm aside, we decided to take a summer off from a big trip. I am a little sad by it but on the bright side we can relax for weeks and weeks and rejuvenate ourselves for the school year to come. I am looping back to sixth grade after spending 3 years with the same students helping (?!?!) them to navigate (survive) middle school. I start the 2013 school year with a new group of kiddos, all fresh faced and scared, right out of elementary school. I like sixth graders, they still have some little kid left if them, but not too much. They are still excited about life and want to be around adults. However, they are like baby sharks. Cute and adorable, until you stick your hand in the tank to pet them, then they will not hesitate to chomp it off. This is my veteran middle school teacher husband's analogy.
A summer at home has many silver linings. For one, I will finally be around to tend the garden. By the time we return from abroad each summer the thing looks like a jungle.
The raised boxes have a few varieties of eggplants, peppers, and tomatoes. Growing up the string trellis are pole beans. There is also lots and lots of basil which I will make into a year's worth of pesto.
Flowers in the sunniest spot of the yard attract bees and butterflies. We grow parsley and fennel for the swallowtails which support 3-4 generations of butterflies each summer.
The pineapple guava tree bloomed recently. If we are lucky we will have fruits!
Sky blue hydrangeas fill the yard. Love.
We will also be around to observe the barred owls that live in the woods behind our house.
You can just see the owl at the top of the picture below.
And we will have more time to climb trees.
The kids can practice getting along with one of the only activities they enjoy doing together, playing minecraft.
I'm sure we'll go to the beach a lot and have friends over for dinner. It's going to be a very relaxing summer!