Friends, I just have to write a new post. One that isn't me crying my eyes out over here. I have got to share with you some fantastic photos from October 21 when we attended McHenry County Conservation District's Trail of History at Glacial Park in Ringwood, IL.
It was a spectacular crisp Fall day filled with the sights and sounds of the 1800s.
Such great activities for the kids. For $1 the kids purchased a little bag of goodies to trade with all the other traders (kids). You wouldn't believe how serious things got. "I'll trade you this rock for a shell." One of the traders was mighty tough and Lauren and Evan had to pool their resources in the end to get a necklace.
The clouds were amazing. I thought for a minute, "I wish Mom was here." Then I realized that the one mile hike over hilly terrain to get to the event and the chilly wind might not have been her cup of tea. (Tracy and I would give her so much crap when she would talk about "how damp it is outside" and how "her ears were cold" She was definitely of the old school camp that thinks you can get a cold from a little wind!)
Attempting to show off some skills....
Evan gets in on the action....
(we ate bison chili, bison burgers, kettle corn, home made root beer, and spicy pork skins)
The luxury tent....
(most of the people doing the reenactment stayed in these actual tents for the whole weekend)
Just look at those clouds!
Waiting for the Indians to arrive via canoe to do some fur and other trading on the river bank.....
(we witnessed a woman being traded! The outrage!)
Here they come!
Lauren and Evan made corn husk dolls and got a full tutorial on why they don't have faces. (see here)
With every glance the scenery was straight out of a movie, or a book or Little House on the Prairie!
Lauren, Owen and Evan
The kids got walking sticks with rabbit fur and bead embellishments....(Of course we had to give a big warning about walking sticks NOT to be used as weapons. How do you think that went? Remember, Evan is involved)
Herbalist Healer anyone?
After the battle reenactment, the kids got to mingle with the winning troops...
Off to another battle....
Who doesn't love a tepee? (That's Lauren wrapped in a red blanket)
Hiking back to the car....
An amazing event that I highly recommend next year if you live nearby.
On Wednesday Evan and I went on his preschool field trip to Tom's Farm. There is no better time than to see how your child really acts with his teachers and classmates. I was impressed. Evan is growing up, and into his better self. He raises his hand, he's attentive and kind and inquisitive. I love him.
My words today feel weary. I tore through the boxes from mom's house labeled "kitchen" and in doing so I had to reorganize my cabinets, drawers and cupboards and then make a trip to Goodwill to drop off everything I was donating. I spotted the new kitchen towel we bought together in Stowe, VT in March and I lost it. I cried the kind of cry where it all just comes out like a streaming, sucking in air kind of wail. It's been one month now since Mom has left this Earth and I'm in disbelief. I forget for brief moments and then remember and am left in the same still wake of pain and shock and fear and anger.
It's weird that I speak of these things mixed in with all these precious photos of Evan, but it's just what's so today.
Did you know that fruits and vegetables have an air pocket inside of them and therefore they float? It turns out gourds are the same way. Even this gigantic gourd.
High five for gourds!
My hair is falling out at a rapid pace and my chin is covered in crater zits. My sister says it has got to be stress. Her zits are matching mine. We joked that the grief diet is the only positive thing to come out of this misery. My mom dies and I get skinny. Great.
I looked through mom's address book searching for some missing addresses and this fell out: (It's amazing all the little pieces of paper she wrote stuff on. They are precious gems now...)
Roses: Always something to do....
Prune, feed, water, get them started on a trellis so they grow straight and true, reaching for the sky...
That's what parenting is....
you throw out a lot of rules and good advice and hope something good blooms.
I saw the official Farmer Tom of Tom's Farm while on the field trip. Him and his big old golden retriever Susie. I remember getting a newsletter a few years ago from his business with a notice that his wife had passed of ovarian cancer. When I saw him and his dog I wanted to cry, feeling his loss, understanding his pain. In turn, his farm probably saves him everyday.
In an article interviewing Tom, he said his wife was "the unseen hero behind the farm." And isn't the mother the unseen hero behind every family? I would say the same for my Mom. So many sacrifices and little deeds done that she never get thanked for.
A stack of photos fell off the table today as I was in the midst of a giant kitchen mess of boxes and tears and disbelief at this whole damn thing when I found a card that I gave Mom when she turned 60. There were no words unspoken in the time we shared. I have no regrets.
And that is all I hope to have with my children.
Lots of laughs, silly faces and words of love....spoken and unspoken....thank you's and doing it anyway when you know you won't be thanked.
Life is fragile and amazing. I am thankful for the web of support that surrounds me. In my darkest hours I feel the light shining and I see all the faces of those who love me sending me love and support. I see my Mom's huge smile and easy laugh.
I have always felt somewhat lonely on field trips with the kids. I'm always alone with my child seeing all the classmates and all their grandparents. Because of this, Wednesday was a tiny bit easier. I had nothing to miss.
And that's all for now.
Tomorrow is a new day. New thoughts, new feelings.
It won't always hurt this much.
I will always miss her.
But she is always with me.
Inside of me and inside my children.
She taught me how to love and how to be a parent.
And for that I am grateful.
Grateful that I have no regrets and experienced a great love in my love. The love between mother and child.