September Snapshots

It seems the longer we homeschool, the more I resist a “hard start” to back-to-school.  For one thing I was feeling burnt-out in August, and while the Charlotte Mason conference did wonders to re-ignite my enthusiasm, we all know the dangers of doing too much, too quickly, while still in recovery. I had a schedule loosely fleshed-out, enough to get started. So, we got up on September 5th and started, but we also fit in visits to the beach, and the Virginia Zoo, and the Botanical Gardens the first few weeks.

The schedule is very different this year, The Daughter’s Y10, because in addition to our home school day, and YMV and AHG, I added Drawing and Conversational French. These group classes meet around the large table of a lovely Christian woman in the area, and enable The Daughter to extend her circle of friends and strengthen her skills. Her days at Young Musicians of Virginia (YMV) are twice as long. We drop her off in time for lunch, and then she sings in Concert Choir, accompanies the Middle School Choir, and plays piano in Advanced Band and Jazz Band. Piano lessons are early evening on Monday, and American Heritage Girl meetings (AHG) are early evening on Thursday.

Wednesday is our oasis most weeks.  Nowhere to go; we stay home and relax, lingering over lunch, reading school books. I love Wednesdays.

To this schedule, I added (Wait; what? Yes.) Tuesday evening rehearsals with Bellissima Women’s Chorale.  During our August prayerful ponderings of what brings joy and what brings stress, it became clear that it was time to start singing again. For a few weeks last Spring, it appeared that our Anglican community was going to pull together a chamber group to prepare some of the Anglican tradition’s gorgeous music for worship. Alas. It didn’t. Moving on, I auditioned at the end of August and to my delight, Bellissima had a space for me.  I go, all by myself, to rehearsals of beautiful music with an amazingly friendly and welcoming group of women.

#1 Son is home and mopping up, as we say, the last few courses of his GMU History degree.  He is taking a few hours each semester using their online program. He is also working part-time, and serving as assistant coach for the rowing team at his former high school with his former coach, which is great fun! Most weekends he plays Ultimate with a local club team when he’s not working. So, even though he’s home, he’s only home enough to produce copious quantities of laundry, and contribute to an increasing grocery bill. But, it’s totally worth it! He brings a quirky sense of humor and a warm hug to each day.

Weather-wise, our month kicked off with Tropical Storm Hermine, mid-month three days of heavy rain caused a great deal of flooding in the area, and schools closed due to flooded and impassable streets. At month’s end Hurricane Matthew is stirring things up southward, but experts say it will probably go out to sea. In other news, a stomach bug provided just enough time for me to watch the 4th season of Longmire on Netflix.

On my reading list this month:  I’ve started slowly making my way through The Long Roll, by Mary Johnston.  We are Virginians, and the rivers and valleys and mountains and fields of our state were drenched in the blood of blue and gray. I have been on the hunt for a well-written, narrative book on the War Between the States. So far I find it insightful and descriptive.

Even though it is my second time through it, I really enjoy the variety of poetry and prose in At the Still Point , and I’m finding some very different voices in The Discovery of Poetry: A Field Guide to Reading and Writing Poems, by Frances Mayes.  

A good snapshot keeps a moment from running away.”
Eudora Welty

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