A favorite new blog friend, Beth, http://bethmaddaus.blogspot.com/, played this game last week and I was intrigued. After all, it is Memorial Day Weekend and I have always longed to be one of those people who officially welcomed the summertime with a vacation over this long weekend. Not so for teachers. It is the end of the school year, by far the second busiest time of the year (the beginning being the first). Even moreso, for a teacher who is moving this weekend getting away is absolutely out of the question. So, I will take a little ten minute power vacation and play this game now.
The Power of Ten
Ten Years Ago I thought I was in love with a Navy Seal and planning a move to Marin County with him. My dad was still alive, and he was tickled bv the fact that this guy was a Navy man, from the south, like him. I was ending a job at one school and hired to teach at a new school in Novato. None of my children were married and 3 were still living at home. We had a new rotweiller puppy named ZsaZsa.
Ten Months Ago I was working like crazy preparing my own school to open in September. I was planning a roadtrip up Highway 5, a mini R&R, to Stewart Hot Springs, Mount Shasta, and Ashland, Oregon. I had two four year old grandsons and two granddaughters on the way.
Ten Weeks Ago I was eagerly awaiting the birth of my second granddaughter, Temple. Alex had just arrived home from Mexico for spring break. My first husband and I began talking about getting remarried after 27 years of divorce, for logistic reasons.
Ten Days Ago I was watering the garden and preparing the school for a very hot day. My first born granddaughter finally had a name: Fiona Quetzali Jubilee Vargas
Ten Hours Ago I was sleeping on half of my bed in the middle of an upside down living room.
Ten Minutes Ago I was being hardass mom, and arguing with Camille because she came out of her room --- ON MOVING DAY -- to tell me she was leaving to go out to breakfast, then coming home and taking a nap before going shopping. Not OK.
Ten Minutes From Now I will be sorting and packing yarn. Drinking a reheated Double Mocha the girls brought me from Starbucks last night (too late to drink).
Ten Hours From Now I will be signing the lease on my house with the new tenants. I will have everything packed up that I'm taking and the rest ready to sort and discard between throw away and recycle by June 1st.
Ten Days From Now I will be watering the garden at school as the children arrive.
Ten Weeks From Now I will be completing the summer program at school and getting ready to take Camille to college. I will have said goodbye to all of my grandchildren as they moved away. I will be learning a whole new lifestyle.
Ten Months From Now I will be ending another school year. I will be settled and fit; much healthier in mind and body. And I will be planning trips to visit my grandchildren in Vancouver, BC and Chicago.
Ten Years From Now I will have a thriving school with wonderful teachers and I will be retired, happy, and enjoying every minute of my life with myself, my friends, my family, my hobbies, my volunteer work, and nature. I will be as free as a bird, and satisfied having left a rich educational legacy.
The temperature has soared this past week. Preschool has been a world of undies, water play and popsicles. Raw veggies and yogurt dip instead of our vegetable soup day, and puffed corn with bananas and rice milk instead of pasta. Actually, we didn't even bake last week. We left everything open at night and closed the coolness in for as long as we could in the morning. The blinds were drawn, lavender water from the spritzer bottle abounded. I think Thursday got to 104 degrees.
I've been asked what I offer to the children in my outdoor environment. I think these photos will describe some of it better than I can. It's all pretty natural and simple and I'm happy to share some ideas with you.
Recently we begged a huge pile of Mulberry branches from a house in town where they were trimming their trees. We have had so many uses for them. They will become the "planks" on the garden fence, as well as some other projects we completed: a couple rose trellises, a gateway arch and a teepee. And further than construction, they have become fishing poles with a little garden jute twine added:
I have big metal tubs for filling, lifting, carrying and sitting in, stones to climb on and buckets and watering cans to fill:
There are haybales all around that I change in configuration from circles to squares, which make excellent climbing "structures" as well as little hidey holes that children love.
In the fall I called a local arborist and asked him to keep an eye out for good stumps for the school. he delivered several large, wide, flat stumps that I placed in a circle. These have so many uses. Of course, for cimbing and balancing once again. And as tables for sandbox "baking", and one of them is set aside for "woodworking". I keep a bucket of roofing nails (short with wide heads) and small hammers and they can just pound for the sake of pounding (and hand/eye coordination). Notice in the background of the woodworking photo the children have taken a plank and made a bridge across two of the stumps.
And huge stones (which really can be purchased if need be) are there as places to rest, and climb, make waterfalls with the hose, and even fish!
It's great to have moist little green gardens, homes to the snails, frogs and fairies.
And always enough flowers for picking. After all, they decorate cakes, and feed the soul....
While walking with my new camera one day, I noticed this perfect little weed growing in a massive field. I was quite far from it and yet drawn to look at it. It was so tiny one could hardly notice, no bigger than a dew drop. Its fragility sung with vibrant colors, stunning. There was so much in this one little blossom. At that moment I knew it was my Mama's eye at work. All the practice I've had at noticing the hidden, the unspoken, the quiet little joys that children bring.
I am so proud to be a woman in the universal company of all woman, who have this birthright to notice.
~Much love to you all this Mother's Day~
Shannon took the bull by the horns today and got her dad and Isaac to give me the better part of the afternoon to begin my move. We got all of the outside furniture to the new place, as well as the living room and dining room table. Camille came home from her dad's to an echo in the living room. So we took the pictures off the walls and went together to hang them at the new loft apartment. She was actually tickled with the way it felt with our stuff in there...and so was I. Here are some photos of the beginnings of our new home. This is the view from the outside, into the open French door, past the little kitchen area, into the living room:
And another living room view:
Then Shannon called and asked us to stop by for a quick bite of dinner. Little Girl is so rosey and yummy. And...
SHE HAS A NAME!!!!
Fiona Quetzali Jubilee Vargas
I cannot keep myself out of this state of overwhelm. Today it's huge. It's so huge I cannot even begin to unravel it. There's so much to be done beyond these road blocks; so many road blocks around which I must maneuver. Health blocks. Money blocks. Relationship blocks. Time blocks. Energy blocks. Decision blocks.
So I'm sitting outside the Citadel of My Life too overwhelmed to even stand up and knock on the gate. These days rank right up there with the most trying of my life. In this moment, I'm miserable. Sorry to be a bummer.
Left foot. Right foot. Left foot. Right foot...
So these days I'm learning about how to love/give/befriend/serve unconditionally. Every where I look, life from every angle has been daunting. When one begins to feel that nothing they offer to others is ever enough, one needs to look inside for that place where growth can happen. Life is too short to not be grateful and let things just be. I learned that from being an exwife twice.
Doing my best and putting one foot in front of the other. With loving intention. Looking for that next door or window that will be opening. Because I know it will. All is not for naught.
Matt and Brooke invited us all to the Tea Room Cafe for brunch this morning. Actually, when Brooke called at 9:30 and asked what I was doing, I told her looking for a box of matches. She asked why and I told her, "So I can just set fire to my house, then I can be a victim and not be a responsible adult." Of course, I was kidding. I was thrilled to get out into the beautiful morning. And this restaurant was exquisite. The coffee drinks made to perfection, and the food was beautiful and quite yummy.
Here's my mocha with an extra shot...
Several of us had Eggs benedict...some with ham, some with smoked salmon...
Ike and Satchel had pancakes and fruit cups...
And Temple had a little Papa's finger pacifier so mama could eat:
Aside from all this wonderful food, we had a really nice morning together!
We all headed back to our cars .....
and then we saw THIS place of business. I was SO glad I had my camera.