Thursday, April 21, 2016

planting seeds

Spring is upon us, which means deep clouds crossing the afternoon skies, rain puddles to splash in, and seeds to nestle into the earth. Because we're very slowly working our way towards getting our house ready to put on the market, I've been doing some grooming of the more wily places on our property. The previous owners were landscapers, so all the plants were gone but lovely stone curves were left, ready to be filled. When we moved in, I plunked in a raspberry bush, and one autumn, Ryan trimmed it back a bit too voraciously, which killed the main plant, but you know how those runners can be.

So the runners are coming out too and into those empty spaces, places where walnut trees are sallying forth and strange, unknown vines, I'm putting in clusters of flowers. The kids are helping, which I'm hoping means they'll get a little less--well, destructive, when it comes to places in which they can alter the landscape. But isn't that what it's all about? Funneling that energy into constructive projects.

So we dug holes and filled them with plants and seeds. We counted worms. We talked about the good spiders do, about beetles, about root systems, and Maya now knows how to name and identify a taproot.

I can't help but think, too, about the talk of roots when we moved from Chattanooga to the Midwest--and how the kids feel about letting this house go and to make a new home. About home being the four of us (along with a pair of dogs). Taproots.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

capital campaign kick off & silent auction & an official announcement

It was a beautiful night--just the first week or so of actual decent weather, where we send our kids to school in winter jackets, because what little boy lets go of his "turtle jacket" so willingly, but by noontime, the first romp outdoors, no one is wearing coats at all. It's sixty-eight degrees. The windows are open and nature is keeping our indoor temperature at just the right place.

Tonight, we gathered, our sweet village of mamas and papas and grandmamas and grandpapas and leaders and supporters and alumni and a few current students and we stood outside while Kai hopped onto the picnic table and talked about what's next for RCM: the chairs and the tables and the materials and now, several hours later, after some requested grandma-bidding, we have Red Cottage's original pink tower in our living room.

And we have the quilt the woman who owns Tori the reading dog made. I paid a good amount for it--not likely what it's worth, because that rarely happens with handmade things--but only so high because one of my best friends wanted it too.

There's the end-night bidding report, taped to the wall. The tables and chairs and cases will have to settle back into place, but for now, the wineglasses are upended into their little cardboard slots and the treasurer has taken home the bin of checks and cash and donations upon donations. We made a good amount, the number very close to last year's, which is very close to last year's. Perhaps next year we'll break that pattern, though once we do, I won't be able to bring home the same lovely art that I have--not as many pieces anyway. And for that, my partner is kind of glad, I think. After all, there is only so much one can put into a little house.

Kai's speech really filled me with energy for the path I'm about to embark on, and she made it official: Next year I'm joining the staff of Red Cottage Montessori and will teach elementary school there. The training starts this coming June and will be hectic but good. Filling. In so many ways.