To say life after Cayman has been a veritable whirlwind would be the biggest understatement of my life. Life has been nothing short of a tornado.
There was, of course, much celebrating my return home; including my two oldest nieces surprising me in the airport, a double layered chocolate cake, and a brand new living room. (My mom had failed to mention in her emails that our living room now looks like something straight out of a home decor magazine. Not even kidding.)
It was so good to see everyone at String's Class again; if it was possible to beam oneself to death, I would have done it. The only thing that dampened my jubilee was my teacher informing me that my bro-in-laws violin (which I've been using on an indefinite loan) should be given a decent funeral as soon as possible. Thus begins another quest for a new, cheap violin.
Last Thursday morning we went to Canton for a bit of holiday shopping... except, being hopelessly poor at the moment, I did little shopping. I did indulge in a $1 cup of hot chai latte though, which made the trip pretty much worthwhile. Well, that and the walkie-talkies that Joanna and I had brought, which proved to be insanely fun in the crowded flea market.
We spent the night at a friend's house, who played the ideal hostess. Besides just enjoying the company of adults (ah, I love being homeschooled! Makes it so much easier to talk with those outside my age range...) and the delicious hot meal she prepared, I also read about half of the 'Charlotte Mason Companion.' Ever since I started high school, I've been using the Charlotte Mason method, and I must say, I'm completely sold on it by now. I can't wait to have children of my own so I can invest in them all the love and joy in learning my mom invested in me.
Friday evening I was dropped off at my eldest sister's house, and I accompanied her and all nine kids to a Fall Fest Party at CJB. I had a blast! I stayed on the cake walk almost all night - just like I did last year - and again like last year, won nothing. The ladies hosting it were quite amused at my misfortune. I doggedly walked around and around the table again, sometimes with fingers crossed, but never quite got anything. At long last there was nothing left but the Grand Prize, an enormous coconut cake that everyone's mouth was watering over. I wasn't surprised when I didn't win it, but I was surprised that my eldest nephew had slipped in the circle and won on his first try! Everyone laughed when, with an overly debounair bow, he handed it to me. Have I ever mentioned how much I love that kid?
Saturday I accompanied my sister to Beaumont, where she did the monthly shopping for their family. Shopping for a family of eleven (soon to be twelve!) is no joke. We had two buggies overflowing, and the poor young man who checked us out just stood and blinked when we told him that it wasn't commercial buying. Afterwards we went to Lifeway, and I stood and drooled over Josh Groban's Noel and the Annie Moses Band new Christmas CD and the new compiled Circle Trilogy. Curse my lack of a job and money to squander.
Sunday we celebrated Jochabed's birthday with an over-iced red velvet cake and coffee. While the adults sat around in the living room talking about the election (which, incidentally, I've gotten sick of hearing about... overrated things, Presidents) and the little girls had formed a semi-circle on the floor with their dolls, Moriah grabbed my hand and said, "Let's go for a walk."
I really should have known better, but I didn't bother with shoes. (And I've been limping ever since from all the cuts on my feet.) If you cut through the woods behind Jackie and Jon's house, for about a fourth of a mile or so, over a worn little path that little feet regularly travel, you can come out straight at the public high school recreation field thing. (I really don't know what they call them these days.) It's very handy, really. So we dashed through, only to find a bunch of annoying boys on the field playing football. I was all for turning back immiediately, but Moriah insisted we hide among the bushes and see if they left soon. So, for a good while we waited.
"We could go out," suggested Obadiah, "And freak them all out. 'Eeeek, barefoot people just came out of the woods!!!!' It would be just like the village."
I held them back from such foolishness, until Malachi joined us. "Watch this!" he whispered. Ah, how many times I've heard those words before some tragedy falls! Oh-he-who-fancies-himself-a-ninja immiediately set about climbing a tree silently, and masked himself well in the leaves. And then he made noises. Really, really strange ape-like noises. The faces on the highschoolers playing were worthy of a painting.
And then, today. Nothing much of consequence has happened today, except I spent a good hour or so cleaning out our busted water heater, and getting covered in cold, wet rust. And then I fell in the chicken pen and got covered in much. As I pushed myself back on to my feet, the thought struck me that over 90% of my friends are in college right now, studying to their heart's desire, learning all sorts of interesting things about life and the universe and everything. And for the millionth time I asked myself, "And why am I still here?"
It's a fair question, one I get asked a lot by others, especially my peers. Truth be told, I hardly know myself. I mean, I know that God has called me to serve my family, and I do not doubt my place in this home at this time in my life. But honestly, sometimes I feel like the feminine equivelent of the 39-year-old loser still living in his parents basement. It just goes to prove how mainstream thinking attacks even the best of us. Heaven knows I wouldn't trade cleaning out the rusty hot water heater for all the Plato in the world. Honest.
And now, I sit here watching the election results... so it's pretty certain Obama shall be our next president? Well, no need to be gloomy over it. I mean, it's not the end of the world. Not yet anyways.