September 20, 2015

family week, day 3

5:20 a.m.

My Farmer's alarm clock had just rung when we heard quiet, quiet footsteps on the stairs.  Two inside, and one come up to use the upstairs bathroom??  We lay still, waiting.

A tall form entered the bedroom.  "Yes?" I queried, giving up the pretense of sleep, one hand on the snooze button of my own soon-to-go-off alarm.

Nice whispered back, "I think it's going to rain, so we came inside - except Spice, she wanted to stay out."

Well.  Okay.

They tucked themselves into their beds, smelling like campfire smoke.  We got up and showered.

It didn't rain.

Oatmeal around the fire again, and coffee, and then - so that it didn't feel too much like just an ordinary Sunday, I suppose - s'mores.

It was hard to leave our outdoor cathedral for the tables and chairs and sound system effects of a building, but we did, and talked long afterwards to old friends, a delightful surprise.

Mushroom barley chicken soup for lunch, around the once-again-revived campfire, and a few more chapters of Little House in the Big Woods.  It's Lil' Snip's first time through this series, and so much fun to watch him react to our long-time favorites.  Then, off we all go to our Quiet Time spaces: tent, hammock, a blanket in the grass.

A nice, long afternoon nap and a bowl of homemade caramel ice cream later, we are fortified to briefly attend a neighbor's drop-in party.

Supper is our Sunday tradition of fruit, popcorn, nuts, crackers, cheese, and tinned fishes - smoked mussels and kippered herring this time! - eaten around the fire.  The children disperse to their various amusements (jump-roping on the trampoline, using natural dyes to create designs on wood scraps) until Nice remembers chestnuts.  A posse is formed, and returns with a very small basket of chestnuts.  The harvest is apparently only starting, but there are enough for one (and a fraction) each, and the fire is spread out so that roasting may commence.

Lil' Snip still doesn't like chestnuts; his is given to Spice, whose nut was mostly wormy.

Then off they run to search for clusters of ripe grapes on the sprawling, still-not-trellised vine, which they eat with relish while we sing praise songs off of an old sheaf left from my pre-college mission training, the sun sinking lower and lower in the sky.  Finally, I can no longer see my yarn to crochet, and the children get into their pajamas.

Spice:  "When we sleep in the tent, bedtime is FUN!!"

I left them making shadows with their flashlights on the vinyl tent wall between the two "rooms," obediently, somehow, using their whisper voices.  The half moon is high in the pine tree (an intended support for tomorrow's project: a treehouse) and the stars shine brightly on a lone banjo player . . .

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