What does home mean to you? Is the place that you live your home, or is your “real” home somewhere else? For many people that may be the place where they grew up. Other people find everything that the word home stands for in a place in nature – the woods, or the ocean. For myself I feel that I’ve got two different homes. The first is in nature – the ocean does it for me. I could stay there forever, and at the risk of sounding insane, I hate to leave the ocean once I’ve actually gotten myself there. I’ve always wanted to live as close as I can get to the ocean, but so far, I’ve got to make do with living about one and a half hours away.
My second “home” is my family (specifically, my daughter). Whenever I’m with her I really do feel like I am home. I’m sure that it’s the feeling of absolute love and trust that makes me feel this way.
To talk about my “actual” home, it isn’t really set-up in a way that I would prefer, but it is still home, since this is where I’ve raised my children. We had “beach” parties in the family room in the middle of winter. I sat on the floor in the hallway outside my children’s rooms and read them The Lord of the Rings, Narnia, and a host of other books for years. We home schooled in the dining room, ate dinner together as a family every night in the kitchen, and watched movies in the living room. It may not be fancy, but it’s still home.
Share your thoughts about “home” in the comments below.
I recently read the non-fiction book The Stranger in the Woods – The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit by Michael Finkel. This is the true story of Christopher Knight, the man who lived alone in the woods of Maine for 27 years. I don’t know about you, but I often consider the option of running away from civilization and living by myself in the middle of nowhere. Of course, I’d have to be self-sufficient, including growing my own food, etc., which would require tons of work, and that’s the main reason why I haven’t done anything like that…money being the other compelling reason.
But this account brought up a lot of issues for me. Do I really consider someone who stole for survival a hermit? What about his watching t.v. (yes, he stole a t.v., and watched it frequently), he also played hand-held computer games, and listened to a purloined radio. While living alone and not speaking to anyone for 27 years (with one exception of saying hi to a hiker in the 1990’s) is an accomplishment, it’s not really what I think of when contemplating my own hermitage. If I were going to become a hermit, I’m pretty sure that I would not want any interaction with civilization. Actually, to be honest, this is something that I’ve thought about since I was a child and read a National Geographic story about a Park Ranger who lived in the middle of Yellowstone (I think) during the winter and was so isolated that his supplies were helicoptered in for him. He spent the time that he wasn’t working reading and writing. That was the life, I always felt – being paid to be alone, and to read and write! A dream come true!
At some point I understood that jobs like that just were not available, then I got married and had children. Even though I am an introvert, I can tolerate being around others for a period of time. As an aside, my children had the earliest bed-time ever, mainly because I’d had enough of “togetherness” by the end of the day and knew my limits. I need time alone to “de-compress” after a day with others, although my patience for being with groups seems to be getting smaller and smaller as I age. Do any of you daydream of the day when you just might turn into a full-time hermit? How would you go about it? Let me know in the comments below.
It seems that in America the states have lots of money for building new prisons, but no money for education. I am talking specifically about Oklahoma, but this is true of other states as well. In full disclosure, I am the daughter of a teacher, and I also homeschooled my children from grades 3 to 8. I believe strongly in a good education system where science and math are taught, along with accurate history, literature and the arts. I well-rounded education is a requirement for a good society. I’m not alone in this, since many of our ancestors were also in agreement.
I don’t know if you’ve been paying attention to the various teachers strikes, but they were not only striking for more money (remember, a teacher must have a Bachelors degree in teaching, but also a Master’s Degree – that is six years of college), but they are also striking for newer textbooks (some are over twenty years old), there are not enough books for the number of students, there are leaking roofs, moldy walls and ceilings, exposed wires, broken desks and chairs, no paper, and the list goes on and on.
So, my question is this? How did this happen? Why is education being slowly strangled due to lack of money? As a child I can remember when people who were smart were looked up to. At some point, many parts of society decided to wage a war on education. Being “smart” became less desirable, with put-downs such as “nerd” and “geek” being used. Being a “bookworm” was a negative thing. I wish I knew why education is no longer valued. I do have some thoughts, including the fact that if people are kept from learning deductive reasoning, they may be easier to trick. I’m leaving some links below that I hope you will check out. The videos of the schools are really difficult to watch because they look like third world schools. Please comment on this subject below.
This month has been more than a little strange. Some of it was good strange – I made a new friend, and god knows that making a new friend “later” in life is not an easy thing to do. So, that was a great positive! However, the negative was that my husband was laid off from his job. This was a huge blow, since his phone and laptop were both company-owned. We immediately went and got him a new phone, and a new laptop. So, now not only do we have no income, but we also have more bills to pay. Yay us!
Hopefully he will get a new job soon, and maybe even a raise? He hadn’t had a raise in about seven years, and we all know that the prices of things have just kept going up. But at the same time wages have been stagnant for most of us.
As far as my February goals are concerned, I’ve worked-out every day, and done Yoga almost every day. I have been doing a weekly dusting, so there is that! I haven’t done any work on getting my certificate, nor have I worked too much on my fiction writing, organizing, financials or anything else. This lay-off has kind of thrown a wrench into my stuff since I’ve been busy with my husband’s stuff. So, that’s how my month has gone. What about your February? Let me know in the comments and we can encourage each other.
This is the day that I had originally planned to have all my Christmas shopping done. I have to hang my head in shame. It’s not completely finished yet. However, I am close, and I’ve got what’s been bought so far wrapped. So, it’s not a complete disaster, yet. How are you doing with your preparation?
This time of year can be so stressful, please take some time out and just enjoy your life. Think about what you are grateful for, and what the season is really about. Love. Not what you can buy for someone, just the very fact that you love them. Let’s try to cut the materialism out, and just celebrate each other. My gifts are not going to be expensive this year. I’m giving what’s practical and needed instead. My house is full of “stuff”, and we don’t need any more.
What’s your plan for the holidays? Have you gotten most of it done yet, or are you like me, dragging your feet and feeling overwhelmed? Let me know how you cope with the “stress of the season” in the comments below.