I don't think I have ever written up a "day in the life" thing.
Today was the first warm day in approximately forever.
We decided to make the most of it.
Yesterday, someone I know on facebook posted wonderful pictures of his day, photographing flocks of snow geese at the other end of the lake.
There's a national wildlife refuge there, and although we have been there several times over the years, we've never managed to go during migration, to see and hear when thousands of birds suddenly take off together.
First up in the morning, I needed to go help a friend with a computer problem. We have been working on this for a couple of weeks now, and finally figured out what we needed to do. We were able to get what we needed from another friend yesterday, and this was my first opportunity to make it all happen.
Turns out, all we accomplished was discovering that the problem is apparently stranger than we thought. We have a temporary workaround that is minimally acceptable, but the problem isn't solved. It's going to take a call for support, and THAT is likely to be a lengthy conversation. Which means we need to find time to set aside and do that, which is a challenge these days.
I was really hoping we'd get everything fixed today, but we didn't.
While I was working on the computer issue, my two kids at home were hanging out together, watching something on Netflix. They've been watching a series together, with much laughing and joking around about it. I haven't been watching it, really, but have caught some of it while they watch, by being nearby, making food, or working on my own stuff.
When I was about ready to come home, I texted them to let them know I would be home soon, so they'd could finish up and start getting ready to leave. I knew they wanted to eat lunch before leaving. I also knew my daughter was doing laundry, and would want to finish that before leaving. I had borrowed her laundry basket yesterday, and made sure to empty it and get it back to her before leaving today.
And then my pager went off.
No going home for me, and no time to let them know.
Instead, I had to hop in the car, and head for the fire station.
Fortunately, the situation went well, and didn't take long. The kids heard the ambulance siren, and pretty much guessed where I was.
When I got home, only a little later than expected, they were still having a great time, and not worried at all.
I made lunch for myself, made sure the camera batteries were charged, and we all got changed and ready to head out.
The kids went out to the car.
I was on my way out…
until I slipped, and fell, catching my shoulder on a doorway.
At first, I thought I had dislocated it.
I was pretty sure it wasn't broken.
Not very sure of anything else at that very moment.
My son came back inside, since I hadn't come out, and found my on the floor, using a few choice words.
I had one of my least favorite experiences: having to answer "Are you okay?" with "I don't know."
He went back outside, and got my daughter, who is, like I am, and like her other brother is, an EMT.
We joke around about doing assessments on each other all the time, but, fortunately, rarely ACTUALLY need to do them.
I, like most people involved in emergency services, would rather do almost anything than call an ambulance for myself.
So we didn't.
Besides… it didn't hurt THAT much anymore. Right?
We carried on with our plans.
We decided to make a stop halfway there, to revisit a small waterfall we had been to for the first time last summer.
Last August, it looked like this:
Today, it looked like this:
In August, we hiked up the middle of the creek, to the waterfalls further up, but we knew we would not be doing that today.
We continued on up the lake, looking forward to seeing the snow geese.
As we arrived at the wildlife refuge, we saw… no geese.
Instead, we saw gulls.
Pretty, I suppose, but not geese.
A little further up, we saw herons.
That was pretty cool.
Several of them, near each other.
We like herons. :-)
Then we noticed some critters in the water.
Since there were a lot of what looked, to us, like beaver dams, we thought they might be beavers.
Until we saw a tail.
NOT a beaver tail.
Looks a lot like a RAT tail.
In fact, a muskrat tail.
Most of them looked like drowned rats. Not very attractive. Made us wonder, though- do rats drown? I think they are mostly pretty tough!
But one little guy, out next to the road, was all dry and fluffy!
We drove through the entire refuge, and never saw a single snow goose. Not one.
We enjoyed the trip anyway.
Lots of singing in the car.
A nice, warm, day. Overcast, the way we like it.
Hanging out together.
Even if much of the day didn't go as planned.
On the way home, we made another stop, at an overlook for another favorite waterfall.
Again, a comparison.
From the summer, a couple of years ago- interestingly, ALSO on a trip to the wildlife refuge.
A couple of months after that:
And from a couple of weeks ago:
And then, today:
The ice is not gone yet, but we are on our way.
When I got home, I saw pictures on facebook, from the friend who had seen the snow geese yesterday.
He saw more again, today.
Sixty miles away!
I guess we just aren't on their update list.
Back home, I made dinner for my son (who requested something special), and then my daughter made dinner for herself.
She and I are hanging out on the couch.
She is typing to a friend, and I'm writing this blog post, while we're watching a show we recorded a couple of weeks ago and hadn't gotten around to watching before now.
Her brother is off in his room, and I hear him singing.
I haven't seen their photos of the day yet.
Once the show is over, I have some cleaning to finish up, and my daughter needs to pack for a trip tomorrow.
She has offered to take the two of us out to breakfast at our new favorite diner, in return for a ride an hour out of our way.
Was this a typical day?
As much as any day is, I suppose.
This is fairly representative of the kinds of things we tend to do together, when we get the chance.
My kids are adults now, but we still spend time together.
We still sing in the car, but not to Raffi now. :-)
We'll be hanging out with their older brother in a couple of days, when my daughter is home from her trip.
It's his birthday tomorrow, so we'll be baking some goodies, for sure.
What does any of this have to do with unschooling?
Besides all the conversations in the car, and the plans and the wondering, finding out more about muskrats when we got home, it's this:
We never had the rebellious phase in their teens.
Is that BECAUSE we are unschoolers?
I have no way of knowing.
All I know is that I like my kids, and they seem to like me. We have a great time together, as we have their whole lives.
We work through changes in plans, unexpected things that come up, and we make an effort to do nice things for each other.
I'm pretty happy with that.