Tuesday, November 24, 2015

More Exploring October 2013

     I have so much to say about these pictures, and so little, too.  I want to fill this full of "remember when" but, to be honest, so much of this time was just hard.  We put the kids back in public school, and it hurt my heart.  Add to that the way all of the teachers and school employees looked when I said I had homeschooled, and how many comments I'd receive- any success was a credit to my children's incredible intellect, any failure was a result of my terrible homeschooling. 
     On the flip side, the last three months have been so much better.  I found my way into the homeschooling community, and I'm getting the hang of homeschooling again.  I love it- I love the way my house feels when we are all here together- I miss time to myself, but I don't miss other people telling me what to do with MY kids.
     For all that, Miles' teachers at his preschool were some of God's Grace handed right to me where I least expected it- Christian women who were making hard choices because God had called them to it.  Always, always, God turns everything to good for us.  And I am resting in that.

Exploring Our New Florida- October 2013

     Now, when you look at these pictures, I want you to see them with the eyes of newcomers. Everything was interesting, and with so much to organize and unpack, it was necessary to leave the house sometimes and explore.    We would drive to Walmart for one of any thousand things we suddenly needed, the way you need something when you move to a new place.  We saw puppies- we stopped to pet puppies.  Two years ago, we had the idea that we might own our own puppy!  This is before we realized how fast the logging trucks come down our road, and before we'd seen how much road-kill would appear on that road.  This was even before someone called and had Josh help out with the cleaning of a deer that was edible because it had been recently hit in the head, and not the body.  (We ate that deer for four months.)
    We ate out- a lot.  I love to have any excuse to eat out.  I like to cook, but I hate to cook.  I hate to clean-up and I hate to do dishes with a deep, dark hatred that I need to pray through sometimes.   The Tates of two years ago were adventure eaters, and everything tasted different.  The food I made at home tasted strange, and there were so many unusual flavor combinations and restaurant names.  I had never been to a sit-down restaurant almost entirely devoted to fried things.  I have now.  I never knew how many kinds of beans there were in the world, and how many  of them taste like Lima beans.
     We drove down roads that our GPS did not acknowledge, got lost on sand tracks that could not be meant for actual travel, and found beautiful places hidden all over.  North Florida is gorgeous, full of lakes and water, and I would express concern about some place or another, only to be told, "It's not the gators you need to worry about, it's the snakes." 
We went to Lake Palestine- in the pictures below- and let the chickens play in the tea-brown water- it was certainly still warm enough to do that.  They loved it, and it was other-worldly, but when I told a lady from church about it, she looked shocked and said, "You shouldn't go in there!  There's gators!"
     I'm trying to see the Tates of two years ago, though, oblivious- nervous, maybe, but ignorant of what really lay under the water.  It was our honeymoon period- loving the sweetness and strangeness of our new home, even while we pushed aside our homesickness.