Monday, January 07, 2008

Day 81

Today we started up again. Oh, it has been a while! Our usual custom is to start off sloowly... it makes the transition so much easier. As it turned out, Sean and Clare started up, but I had given Kieron the day off because yesterday was a busy and full day for him (drive through piles of snow for an hour, go to a long though beautiful mass down in town, drop Liam off at Amtrak, then go to Grandma's house and play games there with me).

So Sean did the normal things -- Greek, Vocabulary, a few readings (it looked like Screwtape Letters and Earth Science and one more), and then Algebra. We didn't do Latin.

I took a few of the kids with me on the local library--post office-- market run. It was fun driving through our snowy little town. Now that the vacationers are gone and the rush has died down and the snow is still blanketing everything, there is a feeling of camaderie. We have been here for 11 years this month but because of everything that happened with Aidan and because of our homeschooling (so not being involved in the school-community which is the main one around here for our generation) it has taken us a long time to feel like part of the picture. I still don't feel that way all the time (one of my resolutions/hopes/wishes this year is to find a bit more of a place in the civic environment) but today I felt like an oldtimer -- we saw our neighbor at the post office and a guy from our church at the library and then at the market the clerk talked to us like we were old acquaintances, which is in fact the case, but I noticed it particularly today!

Is this ever wandering far from normal "scholae" et "studia"? My story is going well -- the one I was working on while LIam was home in order to have our story society meetings -- and so the rest of the day I spent writing. Or thinking about what I was going to write. I remember this is why I had to give it up before -- I can get obsessive. But I was glad to get a lot written today because then I will have something to send to Liam next week. We miss him -- the counter seems empty without his laptop, which returned with him to campus; and the fireplace chair seems empty without him sitting there usually being harassed by Aidan.

I did enjoy this vacation. I read six encyclicals -- Spe Salvi, Fides et Ratio, Libertas, Humani Generis, Providentissimus Deus, and Pascendi Dominici Gregis. Sure, only one of them was long -- Fides et Ratio is a 60 page printout, the rest are about 20 pages. But I also read through Genesis, and read the first 100 or so paragraphs from the Catechism. I wrote 25,000 words of my story. And I still had time to do some baking, talk to friends on the phone, talk to the children and to Kevin, watch North and South and a bunch of Shyamalan movies with Clare and the other older ones, play family games (some of them quite extended), shovel lots of snow off the deck, keep the fire going, keep up on the laundry, read loads of Tintins to Paddy, etc.

This makes me wonder what it is that takes up so much of the day in "Ordinary Time". I am still wondering. I do not have an answer for that. The only thing I can think is that our various medical appointments in town are temporal Bermuda Triangles. Homeschooling doesn't really take THAT much time in a day, but I suppose it does wipe me out because during the regular year I generally spend the rest of the day recovering from the morning.

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