Weekly Walk 38 1/2: Prince Edward Island

When last we met, my family had just spent a couple of days wandering by car, foot, and boat around Bar Harbor, Maine, and Acadia National Park. Once I’d done enough lunges up the sides of mountains, we packed into the car and headed north through the spruce-fir forests of New Brunswick to Prince Edward Island.


Brackley Beach area of Prince Edward Island National Park.

When I tell you that I’ve been wanting to go to Prince Edward Island since I was twelve years old, you will probably know what triggered my interest in Canada’s smallest province and the birthplace of Confederation. If you don’t know the connection between PEI and twelve-year-old girls, don’t worry; there are some clues coming up. Read More

Because I’ve Misplaced my Time-Turner in my Bottomless Handbag…

With all of the things that I’m doing and want to do, I’m having trouble finding enough time to do things like sleep and spend quiet time with my kids (without 57% of my brain occupied with what I want to do when we’re done with this chapter of Anne of Green Gables or when this floor puzzle is finally complete).

I’ve attempted to eke out more time using routines, sorcery, magical thinking, and that cool thing Superman does when he causes the earth to reverse on its axis thereby turning back time, but these either require even more time to implement or they require skills I’ve so far not been able to develop.

Then last night when I was reading to the kids I reflected on how pleasant it was that, for a few minutes, I wasn’t even considering what I was going to post on my blog that evening. I just hung out with them and sang songs and read stories and told tales and snuggled. I like my blog, but it’s grown to be more of a chore than a joy in the recent past. It’s my own fault. I’ve decided to do this “Post a Day Challenge” and when I don’t post every day, I feel nervous and guilty, even if I have nothing of substance to post. And now we’ve got several end-of-summer overnights/road trips scheduled, which will make it even harder to find blogging time (even as they give me more juicy blogging fodder).

To try to help infuse more joy and substance into my blogging and to allow myself more time to devote to other pursuits, I’m going to shift my blog from r-selected to K-selected. In other words, I’m going to post once a week instead of once a day for a while.

How long? I’m thinking maybe a month, then I’ll regroup near the end of September. Hopefully by then I will have put some new routines into place and will be settled into the new school year (as much as I’ve tried to liberate our homeschooling family from the public school schedule, I’m finding that it’s difficult to avoid, so I’m just going with it).

I’ve got a few more posts in the works (food and hiking-oriented) that I’m planning to finish and schedule for future auto-posting, so don’t be surprised if you see a slew of those popping up in the next week or so.

I’m looking forward to seeing how this works out for me and for the blog!

More Lessons from Story Time with my Daughter

Cover of Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Mon...

Image via Wikipedia

“You set your heart too much on things, Anne,” said Marilla with a sigh. “I’m afraid there’ll be a great many disappointments in store for you through life.”

“Oh, Marilla, looking forward to things is half the pleasure of them,” exclaimed Anne. “You mayn’t get the things themselves; but nothing can prevent you from having the fun of looking forward to them. Mrs. Lynde says, ‘Blessed are they who expect nothing for they shall not be disappointed.’ But I think it would be worse to expect nothing than to be disappointed.”

-from Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

I admit, I spend much more time in Marilla’s view of things than in Anne’s. Which should surprise no one who knows me.

I try to be Anne-like, though. And that counts for something, I think.

(Incidentally, my first child only narrowly escaped being named Marilla. As it stands, I went with another literary character, albeit unintentionally.)

Emote in haste, repent at leisure (Week 46 Review)

“Do you know,” said Anne confidentially, “I’ve made up my mind to enjoy this drive. It’s been my experience that you can nearly always enjoy things if you make up your mind firmly that you will. Of course, you must make it up firmly.”

From Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery. Spoken by Anne as Marilla is driving her to return her to the orphanage.

I’ve been doing my best to be enthusiastic this week, and I think it’s starting to work.

In fact, when we were house-hunting Saturday (we saw ten houses in one day. I can’t believe the kids lasted that long!), I went into one and just emoted all over the place. My husband asked what I thought of the house.

“I love it!” I said. I went on to detail, at my husband’s request, all of the things I loved about it: the fact that they kept two of the original 1900 windows (the year 1900, not that many windows) and the original wooden door, the beautiful cherry wood floors, the fact that the ceiling fans and chandelier were the same ones I’d been thinking of getting for our home in Utah, the cute little fenced yard, the quirky look of what I now know is called a “gambrel” style.

I really did love that house.

But in the evening, when the kids had crashed and the hotel room was quiet, I started to worry. I wasn’t worried that I’d assessed the situation incorrectly; I worried that I’d somehow messed something up—jinxed myself—by expressing how much I loved the place. I worried not that we wouldn’t get this house I loved, but that we would and I would regret it because I’d loved it too quickly and been blinded to faults in the house because of my love.

We’ve since looked at more houses and, upon further reflection, decided that another home is a better fit for our family. I like the second home a lot. I want that second home. It doesn’t inspire the strong, “I love it!” reaction, but I’m actually okay with that. I think it’s totally reasonable to find that the thing that inspires the strongest emotion isn’t necessarily the best for me.

That’s how I chose my husband, actually.

It wasn’t love at first sight. In fact, we didn’t really like each other when we first met. But our affection for one another grew over time. The flame of our love was fanned by familiarity, rather than firing up quickly only to burn out when reality set in. That doesn’t mean I didn’t like the thrill of crushes I had on myriad other lesser men/boys. It just means that I crave something stable and constant. I like kale smoothies. I keep careful records about the books I read. I’m not a thrill-seeker. And that tendency has served me well.

What concerns me isn’t that I had the “I love it!” reaction at all; it’s that I quickly became worried that simply by expressing that intensity of emotion, I was asking for some kind of retribution from the universe. I don’t believe that with my logical mind. It’s just an unbidden fear that arises.

Oddly enough, the house I loved (and still love) has over the kitchen sink that quote that goes, “Dance like no one is watching, Love like you’ll never be hurt, Sing like there’s nobody listening.”

Maybe that’s part of why I loved the house so much. I can probably put that quote up above the sink in the place that suits us better, though.