Thursday, August 28, 2014

Why Travel?

Grandson, one-year old, at Black Sands beach Hawaii—he may not remember the caviar-black sand, the warm pools, the delight he had that day, but I do.

Clark Vandeventer answered a question that had been rattling around in my brain for the last few years. Could the world become a school house for your child? For our child—for my grandchild? What about traditional schooling? What about making lasting friendships?

My friend June said she attended 13 schools by the time she was in the 6th grade. Did that help or hinder her development? June is one of the happiest, friendliest people I know. She in ninety-one years old and most every day her answering machine will say, “I may be here or I will be out in the Universe having fun.”

I am reminded of something Pat Parelli, a horse trainer I admire and consider a mentor said, “Whatever the general population is doing, do the opposite.”

This was after he got what he called a “macho-ectomy.” “It’s like being a dance partner with your horse,” he said, “You ask don’t tell.”

Now he is a master trainer who can ask a horse to pirouette, and within that horse’s abilities, he will do it. Soon it will be without a bridle or ropes. Now isn’t this contrary to established ways of training horses where you jerk them around by the mouth?

Oh, I’m not encouraging anyone to be a rebel–rouser, or a non-conformist just to be obstinate or obnoxious. I mean to look at the way things are done, and consider that they might be different. Be reasonable!

Here is the blog title that motivated me:
Why I Took My Daughter on a Trip She Will Never Remember
We’ve loaded our kids up on planes, trains, and automobiles to far corners of the world for a reason. I know my daughter Abigail will never remember this recent trip to Thailand or any of the other trips we take in the next few years. That’s not the point, though. I want our travels to shape the woman she becomes. I want her to see, before she is able to develop an idea of what’s “normal,” that America isn’t the world. I want her to see people living differently than we do in America and speaking different languages and eating different foods. That’s no judgment of America. I just want my kids to understand the world is bigger, and if I have the power to expose them to these things (and I do), I want them to see this while their view of the world is still very much being formed.

There is another reason, though, that we travel with our young kids.
My daughter will never remember this trip, but
I will.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Find Something That Brings a Smile to Your Face

Last Sunday I ate breakfast with a chicken on my lap.

I felt guilty, too, eating her eggs right in front of her. Hope she didn’t recognize them without their shell.

I have two hens that I turn loose each morning into the back yard . Upon opening their enclosure, they spring from their coop, happy as kids slipping down a water slide and splashing into a pool. They dash out, circle the yard, picking and scratching. If one finds a snail they run with their delicacy, telling the other one, they just can’t help themselves, that they found something wonderful.

Don’t tell my grandson chickens love escargot, he would side with the snails.

Sunday I served bacon and eggs for Neil and me, and since the day was perfect, warm and sunny, we ate on the patio. One hen jumped into my lap. She’s the cuddly one, and will sit on my lap while I pet her and sometimes goes to sleep. (And has never pooped on me.) I’m momma, I guess.

I grew up with chickens, but never saw them as pets. That’s the way it is on a farm. They were a chore, and you know how kids are, they resent HAVING to do anything. I had to feed the chickens when I came home from school, and one was often out of the chicken yard.  Our dog, Silver, a Cocker Spaniel and Australian shepherd mix—and a shepherd to the bone—loved chasing down loose chickens. He would catch a chicken, hold it with his paws, then lick its face until I got there and picked it up.  (Gosh, I remember Aunt Bee, in the #Andy Griffith series, being so proud that she picked up a live chicken,)

I don’t expect you to get a kick out of chickens; I never thought I would either. I used to tease at my friend Betty who said a chicken was her favorite animal. Then I thought chickens were an animal of little brain—probably are, but their brain serves them well, and they have distinct personalities. (The other hen likes to hop onto the arm of the chair beside me, or my shoulder, but doesn’t want to be cuddled.)

That is one advantage of having animals as pets—seeing them as individuals with their own quirks and likes, just like people. And they see you as part of their family.

I was motivated to write about chickens when I read Lisa, the writer of that blog, whose exquisite pictures show the sort of farm one dreams about, said not everyone will share your enthusiasm about chickens, just find people who do. I’m not writing a blog about chickens, though---well, just this once.

Lisa’s herbs:

Somehow Lisa’s  blog led to another one where a fellow passenger on an airplane asked a lady why she looked so happy. She said she was looking forward to going home to her ducks. He said, “I wish I had something at home that brought such a smile to my face as your ducks do to yours.”

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

This Man Made Us Laugh

I was so shocked and saddened when I discovered that Robin Williams had passed. I had to put this clip on my site. Robin "Captain my Captain"* we loved you.

The Best Robin William Moments / Mashable

What can I say? We can't see into another person's life, how Robin, one of the funniest men to grace this planet, could suffer from depression and take his own life. He achieved greatness, success in his chosen field, financial awards, and was sad. It shows me, once again, that we have to learn to manage our own state--by that I mean our state of consciousness.


*I loved, loved, loved The Dead Poet's Society