Tag Archives: simplicity

Broken Fences

This morning, in this quietness while my kids are still sleeping, I am sitting here trying to start planning my elementary Zoology class that I am going to be teaching at the homeschool co-op in the fall (yes, already…I’ve never taught it, so I have to learn it first) and doing a little laundry. And in my ADD-ness, or multi-tasking, if you prefer, I felt I should also start this post.

Speaking of laundry, I wish I had a clothesline.

More and more, as I get older, I wish I lived out in the country—with a clothesline and lots of space between us and the next house. I have lived so long in the subdivisions where your neighbors live 3 feet away from you and it has gotten O.L.D., I tell you. It is great when you have just moved to a new town and your kids are small and you need them to meet some other kids. But now that they are older and I am getting less social in my old age, it doesn’t seem to matter so much. And frankly, I don’t enjoy the 6, yes, 6, children, all boys, from next door climbing my fence (okay, only 4 of them can currently climb the fence, but it won’t be long before the other ones can) and then hollering over it at Jacob every. day. And when they aren’t climbing on the fence, (which, I should point out, is a shared fence) they are destroying it by practicing their pitching with the fence as a backdrop. Or, lately, they are throwing dirt clods at the house. AT MY HOUSE. Oy. They say that good fences make great neighbors; clearly, I do not have a good fence. In fact, I am not sure there is a fence tall enough or sturdy enough in this case.

I give you Exhibit A:

busted fence 6-1-12 001

SIDEBAR: People, I am not making this stuff up. If you need background, I have posted about our neighbors before here and here. And I must say that the neighbors are not bad people, and I love big families, but these folks are just not too hip on supervising the activities of their children.

Ultimately, it is my yearning for simplicity, and maybe my hatred of HOAs, that is calling me to the country. To slow down. Be at one with nature and all that good stuff. If only we could find a place that has a grocery store nearby. Guess I’m kinda spoiled that way. Maybe I’m not truly ready for country life after all.


“Love your neighbor as yourself; but don’t take down the fence.” ~Carl Sandburg

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30 Days of Thankfulness-Day 6

So, having a teen driver in the house can be, well, a tad bit stressful…okay, incredibly stressful.

  • I am really thankful that my man is the main driving teacher at my house.
  • I mean, immensely thankful.

June July '11 002Jacob got his driver’s permit in January of this year. I have driven with him some, but the majority of driving instruction has been done by my Hubby. I get so freaked out!

How in the WORLD did my parents do it? (Believe me, I have asked myself that question many times in my parental life, not just about this.)  I mean, when Jacob is behind the wheel, I am sitting there white-knuckling the seat of the car like I am on the biggest, baddest, scariest, most rickety roller coaster known to man!  My body is so tensed up, I’ve got a crick in my neck when I get out of the car! I am surprised there is not a hole in the floorboard of the passenger’s side from my stomping of the  imaginary breaks.  I find myself pressing into the floor and saying, with increasing panic, “Break, BREAK, BREAAAAKKKK!!!”

So. Stressful.

Does that ever go away?? 

So, let me just re-state, for the record, how much I appreciate that Clyn takes that on and takes Jacob out to practice his driving, because, y’all, my nerves just can’t take it!

“Adolescence is a period of rapid changes.  Between the ages of 12 and 17, for example, a parent ages as much as 20 years.”  ~Author Unknown


  • I am thankful for Daylight Savings Time and an extra hour of sleep this morning.
  • I am thankful for leisurely breakfasts of cheese biscuits and turkey bacon  that my sweet Hubby cooks for us.
  • I am thankful for re-runs of The Brady Bunch and that liquid gold that most folks simply call “coffee”.

It truly is the simple things, y’all!

Until tomorrow…Be thankful!

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Filed under 30 Days of Thankfulness, Jacob

Sweet Simplicity



“It kills you to see them grow up.  But I guess it would kill you quicker if they didn’t.”  ~Barbara Kingsolver, Animal Dreams


Yesterday morning, after chatting with one of my dear friends, I found myself wishing nostalgically for “the toddler years”…thinking back to how easy life seemed back then.  There was no school…none that mattered anyway…no homework…no dashing around…no pubescent stress…no impending high school drama…no acne.  Only sticky toddler kisses, potty training and play time. 

Seems like life was much simpler then—or was it?  Maybe I’m having an attack of selective memory.  That happens to me a lot.

Maybe what was simpler was the outlooks of my children.  There were no big, life changing decisions to be made.  Just drawing pictures of stick people—who really weren’t stick people at all. Instead, they were circles with four lines sticking out around the circle and their flat hair drawn oh-so-carefully on top.  Writing stories about happy round stick people.  Happy little stories.  And them saying things like, “See my stick people?  They are happy.”  Lots of “Play with me, Mommy.  Look at what I made, Mommy.  Read to me, Mommy.  What is this, Mommy?”  Slower pace.  Stopping to smell the roses and all that.  Ahh, sweet simplicity.  ::sigh::

They didn’t look beyond that moment.  And I don’t think I did either.  Back when they were 4, the future seemed a long way off.  And now, suddenly, it’s HERE.  The future has snuck up on me and WHACKED me on the head.  It’s daunting.  And it seems like life is so serious all the time.  Boooo seriousness.  Boo stress.  Boo dashing about like a lunatic.

I spent so much time back then wanting to get through the current stage of life.  With the constant, “when they get older, things will be easier” rolling around in my head.  What was I thinking?!  Each stage brings its own set of challenges, stresses—and joys.  It’s funny how I used to want to speed time up and now I just wish we could slow it down.

But I am so easily sucked in by all the hustle and bustle.  Worrying about “getting things done”.  I do try very hard to relish every moment.  Because I think now I realize how fast it all goes by.  I am trying very hard to watch my kids.  I mean, really watch them. Take it all in and slow down a little.  It is not easy.  And it takes conscious effort. 

Because really, even though they might not be saying the actual words anymore, my kids are STILL saying, “play with me, watch me, what is this, Mom”.  I just have pay a little closer attention so I don’t miss it.  And isn’t that the whole point? 



Filed under Lessons