Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Life is so very complex......and Seasons....

Again it has happened. My computer has crashed. Seems to happen when I go away a few days. Who comes in and plays with my computer while I am away? I picture those creatures from a Stephen Spielberg movie of long ago. You never feed these monsters after dark (or something like that) or they get just plain "BAD" and I picture them tearing up my computer in my absents. So this will be my third mother board, in only4 years. YIKES.
Why tell you this sad tale of Evil creatures and computers? Well It makes it really hard to keep up a blog in light of this. I'm on my laptop which I finally have figured out how to get some speed on the key board. I don't have a scanner to give you nice things to read and look at. I'll work on that for tomorrow. You'll have to endure Internet pictures.
I was thinking of several things related to seasons this week. When I lived in Northern California we had real seasons. Four of them. I marveled at each one, my life spun around them. It felt so good. The smells of the pears and grapes at harvest, the deafening sound of the rain in the winter (tell me 70 inches in 4 months isn't a lot of noise!), the beauty of the green hills and oaks in the spring, the lambs to tend, the tent up all summer without fear of rain, oh each season was wonderful. I miss them. The Pacific Northwest has one season, maybe two.....cold rain and warm rain.
In thinking back to my mothers generation. Their lives seemed to go around like the seasons. I knew my grandmothers days to bake bread were Tues and Fridays, laundry had a set day to be done, There was the morning chores, the afternoon chores, the evening chores. It flowed like they knew just what to do. We have lost that. We struggle to have a time for each needful chore.
I always keep a weekly chart of what I needed to do on certain days. It helped me enjoy a feeling of accomplishment. Carla, my neighbor, likes a list that she can cross off each day. This is not what I was thinking of so much but it is fun to see a finished list. I was thinking more of the feeling of each day as if it were a season, knowing what to do and producing the finished results of that day.
In visiting my grandson this week-end and seeing all his energy I remembered how hard it was to keep them busy. Two year olds can use a seasonal movement to their day. What happens in their mornings? What do they do mid-morning? Can you change it to keep them busy? I offer some ideas below.
idea #1 Have activities that children know will happen on certain days....Monday we get to finger paint, Tues is make-believe day, wed is library day, Thurs is computer day, Friday is bake something day etc. It could be you arrange your day in a seasonal rotation. What happens in the morning? The mid-morning? The afternoon? A morning chore, an evening event that can be counted on? Did you plan in some free time for yourself? That is when you put them in front of the TV with their favorite movie. Prepare your thinking for moving from one time period to the next. A day is never so long as one that has nothing planned. Give your children a feeling of connection to the whole theme of time.
idea #2 House work is more fun if you know what you will do on which days. Divide things into portions that work for your families situation. But know what is coming, look forward to the Springs of your life. The perfectly beautiful times. Be ready for the falls, master the winters. Schedule the flow of your life. This is your chance to play "Mother nature" and create a season in your home. Things for comfort, for fun, for interest. You can make your own household seasonal pull or you can follow Miss nature in her plan. Change your colors, or put out something different, do a chore that's planned just for that time. I just washed my summer sweaters, I'm happy to do fall chore, it reminds me that summer will come again and I will be wearing clean sweaters!
A planned life doesn't come out perfect this takes practice. Try one format and if that doesn't work test out something else. My favorite was from the slob sisters (I think I loaned the books but I'll try to find a web site) I learned to put chores on colored cards and rotating them through. I got so much more done!
I loved having learning stations for my kids. I'll share some of the charts for chores, the stations I used etc once I can scan again. I loved to have the kids do chores and advance on their charts. I think children can see us work and they can work (on their level) and know that we all contribute. It's good and healthy.
In my favorite housekeeping book "Home comforts" She said Monday was always wash day as it was so much hard work that it was good for after, the sabbath, the day of rest. I remember my mom washing in a outside sink and running the landry through a ringer and then putting the wet clothes up on the clothes line. I learned my alphabets in the dirt under the clothesline. I learned to count gathering eggs for my grandmother. Life needs a rhythm to it. You have been robbed of that great feeling of seasons because of the speed of our lives. It would be nice to have that back. Try making a rhythm for your life. I welcome your comments and thoughts to pass along to others.


Jessica said...

I LOVE all these tips...I definitely can use a little more organization in my life! :)

Fonnell said...

Yes I think it is a little bit of organization but I was thinking of the flow of things, the movement of our days, our chores, our children. Does it feel like the movement of the seasons? Are we comfortable with it? I am going to be changing the flow of my day. Having the kids gone makes things feel "Off" and I want to make it feel like a smooth flowing creek. Wish me luck....