change comes, ready or not. seasons change, time marches on. it used to be the annual homeschool convention, where we would gather for two summer nights, share a hotel room, shop in the educational vendor hall, eat local ice cream and cupcakes, attend workshops, talk with speakers, see movies, and otherwise plan our school year for the upcoming grades we would be teaching. but somehow, in the blink of an eye, i have found myself no longer a homeschool mom and my heart breaks. well, i still have one in this nest, but she is entirely self-directed, and will likely become a college student in just over 4 short months. our son begins high school here in town next tuesday. and so there are no more annual homeschool conferences to attend, no books to order, no classes to register for, no co-ops to participate in, or lead. there are no field trips to attend, lessons to be taught or graded, teachers to meet with, tests to take, standards to meet; none except for the standards i choose to set while i figure out my new direction, a new normal, different from a life i have led for the past 15+ years. it is time for new schedules, following a different compass, finding a way into unchartered territory without the comfort of friends walking in the same direction. it's a bit scary, actually, the unknown. it will take me time to figure out where i am, not even how i am. i don't know yet, other than fragile.

were it not for the anchoring of friends, i know i would feel like a ship lost at sea. i have to seek out new horizons now, while not forgetting the ports of call i have seen along the way of this journey called life - a homeschool life. it's been so very good, and for it i am so grateful. i wouldn't have changed a thing. 

so life moves us forward and we begin to make new traditions and memories, one wave, one season at a time. for now i will enjoy the memory of this newest of non-homeschool conferences, a recent girls weekend away to the ocean, spent with some of the best women in my life. my life is better because of them and their buoy of support over the years. i hope i have given the same, and that our paths continue to intermingle, no matter which road we may take, in one of the greatest of all experiences: friendship.

the tides

these last weeks of summer flit by so quickly, making our last ventures out with friends all the more memorable and dear. wishing we could hold this time still for just a little longer, before school starts, before the weather cools, before the tides of life bring change. so very thankful for the gift of friendship, for the safe place it holds in our lives, for where we have been, for where we are going. loving you, friend b.

pier visit

another day trip involved our attempt to take the ferry across the bay to pier 39 in sf. we missed the boat by 5 minutes so instead drove over. my mom and grandmother were dubious but willing passengers, having little experience driving in the city. we took the tourist's route through the financial district and north beach, ultimately landing at the pier. they particularly enjoyed the sea lions and the aquarium, which includes a lengthy series of walk-through tunnel aquariums, occupied by local sea life of the bay. very enjoyable; the best part seeing my mother and grandmother's faces light up watching the living creatures of the sea.

sunset soiree

the first of this potentially annual event, the sunset soiree came off very nicely....a free event for the community, featuring parts of the jazz company dancers as well as young local musical artists.

day trip 1

our summer has largely been quiet, with a smattering of day trips. last week we visited sf twice, once giving my girl an opportunity to practice city driving. she is a very good urban driver! the walt disney family museum is my new favorite museum. of all the influential leaders of our world it is refreshing and encouraging to traverse walt's life experience, lead by hard work, perseverance, and a dreamy vision. is it possible to miss someone you've never met? more quickie device-photos:

making a splash

it's an olympic summer, and after watching so many amazing events in the pool, swimming is suddenly more apealling it seems. here they are, in their best form...or not...