Archive for June 2017

Perseverance   Leave a comment

I’ve been thinking recently about how much I admire my 16 year-year-old daughter. In the struggles she has in her life, she doesn’t let them take over so much that she becomes unkind to the people around her. She has gone from being a beginning archer in an unfamiliar sports environment to an outstanding archer who performs consistently in the 270s out of 300 points. She takes on new challenges in areas where she is not naturally comfortable and I’m thinking of 2-year-old nursery duty where she serves weekly at our church. The children have learned to love her so much. She has gone from being so quiet that other girls and leaders in scouts could not hear her speak, to delivering all kinds of lines for all kinds of characters who are nothing like her in her theater work, and she does all her own stunts!

She is an amazing person in many ways, which we already knew, but the work she has done to go above and beyond is what I want to honor today.

I admire you as much as I love you, my dear!



Posted June 29, 2017 by swanatbagend in character

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A Farewell to Birkenstocks   Leave a comment

This week, I had to say goodbye to my Birkenstock sandals.

It was not easy.

I’ve had this pair for nine years, or a bit more.  They were manky and flea-bitten, sunken, tread worn off most of the bottom, some stains, very dark, and when at spring break the top of the inside leather sole basically disconnected from the base of the right sandal, I ended up duct taping them together repeatedly to get through the week.

After we got back home, I kept duct-taping them because with re-entry, I didn’t have time to look for new sandals.  So several more weeks elapsed before I finally was able to get a visual on a new pair of Birkenstocks.

Then once those arrived, I took my time breaking them in–always a good idea, because a new pair always feels so stiff and can make your feet a bit sore.

Then the old ones sat by the back door with another pair of deceased shoes waiting to go to the clothing recycle.  I kept putting it off.

But these Birks were about as used and disgusting as a pair of sandals could get.  Definitely got the money’s worth out of them.

Why couldn’t I let them go?

Those sandals had been around so long, they had come to represent my life.  They’re like my Crunchy Mom uniform.

The sandals were something I wore every day in the house, summer or winter, rain or shine.  I put on tennis shoes to go out if I’m going anywhere, except on the hottest days of summer.  But at home I don’t like tennies because my feet get sweaty.  So–these Birks and I had been together pretty much every day for nine years.

They represent my hard work as a homeschooling mom who does most of her own cooking.

And they start with a really good memory–our first trip to the beach.  How do I know that’s when?  I had just met friends of our friends and we were having dinner together at the picnic table.  There were so many of us, there was too much on the table, the boards were uneven, Sri’s beer fell over and some got in my Birkenstocks under the table.  At first I was annoyed, but then I pulled it together and started singing, “I got beer in my Birkenstocks–it feels mighty fine….”

Hard to recycle a memory.

But hey, that’s why I still have the memory.


Posted June 28, 2017 by swanatbagend in identity, motherhood

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I love my home state   Leave a comment

It took me a few years of living here, but as I was driving home down an amazingly beautiful rural road last night, with the summer sun slanting toward me from the west, I realized that I absolutely loved the scenery and the place I was driving through.

I was returning from a gathering out in the sticks, where there was absolutely no road noise and almost no cars moving through.  I started back from a tiny community at a cross roads.  After passing over a low bridge and full creek, I drove across flat creek flood plains with fields, up wooded valleys, around curves, amongst houses and farms, through trees.  I realized how beautiful Kentucky is, and in tandem with that realization, I knew that, finally, this is my home.  It must be now–otherwise, this girl who loves the west and the wide open spaces would not react this way.

The light, the green, the trees, the horses with their tails swishing, the old tobacco barns and pastures along the way, the smell of the air at the end of a summer day.

No billboards.  No big box stores.  No gas stations, even.

It was an undesignated scenic drive–the best kind.

Posted June 26, 2017 by swanatbagend in travel journal

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Our New Math   1 comment

Monthly Master’s Conservatory tuition for two= $90

Gas money for a season of driving to practice and tech week(s) =not sure but maybe a couple hundred

Costume rental= $75

Odds and ends from Amazon to add to costumes= $30

Time compiling costume components= 10 hours

Time spent ironing costume components= 1 hour

Time kids spent at rehearsal between May 15 and May 29=
50 hours

Time mom and kids spent in the car or carpooling last two weeks= 12 hours

Free time for kids during two tech weeks= a few hours each morning

Free time for mom during two tech weeks= free time?

Last minute costume changes and additional details= at least five

Tech week meltdowns= one

Seeing my husband not recognize his own son for a few seconds after he appeared on stage. Make-up and costume can do wonders= magical.

Watching the story of Beauty and the Beast brought to life= magical. Don’t need any CG here, people.

Seeing my 13-year-old son and 16-year-old daughter waltzing with each other in “Human Again”= priceless

Tech week meltdown defused by older sister with experience, advice and hugs= priceless

Over months of practice, observing my daughter make peace with the role she was given, make it her own, and make it amazing= priceless

Seeing my gentle, peaceful daughter doing all her own stunts as the enchantress, a silly girl and the wolf who leaps on Belle= priceless

Hearing my 13-year-old son on the autism spectrum “put on” the bad guy and dance and sing his very own musical lines as Monsieur D’Arque= totally and completely priceless