Monday, September 19, 2011

10 years with my best friend

I meant to be posting little updates of our 10 year anniversary of this and that this summer... but honestly, we can't remember every date, and don't have it written down. In the summer of 2001, Adrian spent a lot of time out of Skagway for the power company, and I spent all my time in Skagway driving horse & carraige tours. We seemed to miss each other while apart, but didn't really want to admit that to anyone else. We emailed and instant messaged (via dial up) when possible.

Some long summer night we met for dinner at the Bonanza (Adrian asks if that was our first "date" but I didn't think so!). Afterward, we met up with some of his cousins and their cousins at the old haunted Pullen House. We had quite a freight as darkness fell. Another day we went out to lunch together, and he got back to AP&T much later than he was supposed to-- because my lunch "hour" consisted of unhooking the buggy, getting the horse his lunch, and then going to lunch myself. We went to the Fish Co that day and sat at a 2 top; me in my long hot velvet 1800's dress & felt hat. One Saturday in July or August, we hiked AB Mountain together. Keen memories and the embarassment of our descent lives on...

It wasn't until the end of summer (and after another road trip from Alaska to Montana) that we decided to admit we liked one another. That was prompted by one day in late August when we went innertubing on the Blackfoot River. We were with some of Adrian's childhood friends, and it was supposed to be a good time. At Thibodeau Falls, however, I flipped out of my inner tube and went under the cool water. In the commotion, with water rushing and rocks bulging all around my head, I couldn't tell which way was up. Even if I could, would I be able to propel myself that direction? The water was far stronger than I was, and the undercurrent was holding me down. I thought to myself, "so this is what it's like to drown"....

A few seconds later, someone grabbed my arm and pulled me out of the waves. It was Jason, Adrian's childhood friend whom I had only met once before. I got dragged to the river bank, coughing and sputtering, having swallowed a bunch of the river. Adrian came and sat beside me, and I could tell he was scared. That experience opened a good opportunity. That night, I told him I had once before promised myself that I would never hold back expressions of love for someone (I had deeply regretted that before). And that I felt a "connection" to him and didn't want to ignore it. I can't remember if it was that conversation, or another during the same time period when Adrian had me listen to a Tom Petty song about "changing the locks". He was a Tom Petty fan anyway, so we listened to a lot of his music to/from Alaska. But I was quick to recognize that Adrian had plans to "change the locks" -- in other words, disappear and cut off contact with me (out of fear of hurt, I believe). I asked him directly if that was his plan, to which he replied "I don't know" (translated: yes)! I told him I hoped he would reconsider.

We drove back to Oregon, where we attended Boring 1 together; his cousin Denita snapped this photo, and it was on impulse that I put my arms around him for the first time ~

Then in September, I went on our Doland Family trip to Hawaii, a gift from Grandpa & Grandma for their 50th wedding anniversary. I used the time to pray about what I would do next, and felt like moving into Mary's would be a good idea. Our romance heated up while we were apart, and we decided we didn't want to be apart. I was on an island in Hawaii on Sept 11, 2001. The no-flight policy delayed one of our inter-island flights (not really an inconvenience in my opinion!). Once we were ready to leave Hawaii, planes were allowed to fly again. When I got back to Oregon, I quickly packed to move to Montana. Upon arriving there, Adrian was back at school in Bozeman. On the weekend, I was both nervous and excited to see Adrian when he made the 3 hour drive back to Bonner ~ and we sealed it with a kiss Sept 21, 2001.

So here's then & now ~ September 2001
and September 2011
do you think it looks like we've survived having 4 kids, many sleepless nights, and 10 years together? Yes, we're a little older, and a lot happier! :)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Homeschooling Is....

     Homeschooling is the joy of coming to a quiet park, the grass still green and lush, the sunshine perfectly warm, the quiet because public school is in session.     Homeschooling is the freedom to dictate our own schedule, to go where we need to when we're at our optimum, to catch the sales, to have time to devote ourselves to the Lord & His Word first.
     Homeschooling is being flexible.  It's realizing I may be teaching my 3 year old & 5 year old to read simotaneously.  It is soaking up the days and seasons and not being tied to a clock or a calendar.  It's rolling with the interruptions and learning to love the way every day is unique.
     Homeschool fills me with responsibility.  I am to answer for the childrens' safety, manners, education, the soil of their hearts and the seed of the Word.  Sometimes we homeschoolers focus too much on the product of our instruction and it becomes a source of pride when all is going well, and delivers a sense of defeat when it's not.  But what really, truly is the goal?  Jesus Christ, the righteous.  Seek first the Kingdom and His righteousness, and all the rest (yes, the manners, the discipline, the character, the education, the patience, the energy) will come.  Sometimes I believe I'm just as responsible for keeping our calendar free, open and non-stressful as I am for teaching a basic education.
     Homeschooling is hard.  But so is sending your children to public school, I've heard.  Dealing with the classmates and the teachers and the principal and all.  The stress of what they are exposed to, and the trials of all interpersonal conflict.  I've heard a LOT about this from friends, and I think that's a word from the Lord.  Perhaps public school is a more easily measured progress.  Perhaps not.
     You see who the local homeschoolers are when you come to the park in mid-day, school year.  God, may my words & thoughts be pleasing in your sight (Psalm 19.14).  May my secret thoughts be humble, so that my life will be.  It's my heart you want, Dear Lord.  And there's no experience that gives me opportunity to turn it in quite like homeschooling does!