Saturday, February 28, 2015

What I learned in February



Winter, you are lovely but I have my limits. We wintered valiantly. We fled joyfully.

I mastered hot chocolate and crispy oven fries. We drank dozens and dozens of cups of hot drinks. I can make hot chocolate faster than it takes the kids to get their boots off.

Writing fiction will scare the bejeezus out of you. I've reached the point in my novel that suddenly feels like standing in a room with no clothes on, and I'm running for cover. I'm not sure I have the guts to expose myself, or if it is time for a rewrite, or just to put it away for a while or maybe forever.

I learned the very best way to weather a long, long, loooong stretch of being home inside with small people for manymanymany days: The Chronicles of Narnia on audio, radio theatre version. Best investment we ever made. Best cure for February evenings. 

I learned what I want in a kitchen. (Want: a good window, plenty of lighting, a place for the Kitchenaid, a charging station and mail drop that is out of sight. Don't want: Formica).

Here is the kitchen before:


and now:


I learned never to tell my children about something they will anticipate more than four weeks in advance. I heard about going to Florida All! Day! Long! for weeks! and weeks! They began packing in January. The anxiety level of the entire house was through the roof for weeks. There is something to be said for anticipation but oh, my word.

I loved February for the homesteading and all, but I will admit: we ran out of steam. Homeschooling is hard in February. There was so much arguing and complaining. We usually can maintain a pretty steady pace but by the end I was lonely and the kids were bored. My self-talk: Everyone wants to quit in February. Also, so long as we homeschool, we will hit the road in some form or another at this time every year. A change of scenery is part of the curriculum. 

We did a lot of interior house projects like painting and Jim stuffed insulation into every crevice of the house.  

I began to make art again. The kids are old enough now not to eat the oil paints, and there is a spot in the basement just right for painting, and I am remembering how energizing and addictive it is. I love the meditative process of art making, and I am constantly finding new metaphors. Like how much good art I've covered up and lost by trying to perfect it, and how art- and life-- grace- beauty-- is as much about knowing when to pause as it is about effort.

And that was our February. 

1 comment:

Corinne Cunningham said...

Yes, everyone wants to quit in February :) And that's okay!
Hope you are enjoying the warmth!!