Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Just What the Doctor Ordered - ROADTRIP!

Last week I was feeling out-of-sorts about a couple of off days we had while homeschooling.  I should just pipe down, because in the whole scheme of things, a couple of days doesn't really register.  They just make me pause to assess, so maybe they are worthwhile in that respect.  I don't know, but what I DO know, is that life sends you subtle signals and tells you when to HIT THE ROAD!  Which we did!  We took off on an adventure to Phoenix for the weekend to see what we could see and do.

Here's Max and Dad at the Desert Botanical Gardens being dwarfed by the very tall cacti.  We loved the Saguaro cacti and learned a little about them.  It was a gorgeous day amongst all of those prickly things; some of them looked fuzzy enough to hug, but we knew better.  I had a good time with the camera and later stayed up into the wee hours artifying some of the images I took.  I am planning on doing some bigger art fairs next year, so need some material with which to stock my booth.  Max basically ran wild throughout the gardens while we traipsed behind.

In the afternoon we visited Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin West in Scottsdale and took a tour of the grounds and structures.  I was in the middle of reading Loving Frank by Nancy Horan and eating up every morsel of FLW's history, some of it fictionalized, but based on the culture of the early 1900's, especially focusing on the pressing issues of women then.  Dad and Max were game to visit Taliesin West and we all walked away with a much greater appreciation of Mr. Wright's influence on ways we can think about buildings we live in and the spaces in them.  Max is nuts for Legos and other building systems right along with millions of other children; he absorbed much of the tour in his own way, perhaps with a better understanding of what architects do.  I thought it was ultra cool.

Next day we did something unconventional.  We attended our first NASCAR race at Phoenix International Raceway!!  Along with 100,000 other crazy folks.  I won't comment much other than to say that parts of the experience were really neat - like when they fired up their engines!  That was worth the whole trip right there.  So physical and guttural - highly satisfying.  After that we put in our ear plugs and around lap twenty, I pulled out my FLW book and commenced with reading.  Dad and Max enjoyed the wildness of the race; I paid attention during the last few laps or whenever anything unusual happened. 

Reflections of Race Day
(we are all in this picture - can you see us?)

Can't say that we'll ever attend another race, but it was an interesting event with an interesting fan base :). 

We returned home yesterday a bit more refreshed.  No school work done today other than some reading; Max hung out with his dad and we worked on projects around the house.  The two of them even fixed the washing machine (thank you!) 

Maybe this is just part of the rhythm of homeschooling.  It's November.  We've been at it for ten weeks or so.  Maybe it's like a frequency node or something, a lull, a changing of the 'guard' sort of thing.  I'm fascinated with stuff like this, by the way, fascinated by the universality of our lives.  How they do ebb and flow according to some rules of physics or logic or whatever, depending on your beliefs, and how we can find commonality in that process.  I tend to power down the engines during the winter months, so I'm likely beginning that process emotionally.  

I'm interested to hear your thoughts about the cycles of homeschooling, what your days/months/years are like as you work with your kids.     


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