Mom to the Left

I'm a mom who tends to live just to the "left" of most of the people around me here in Indiana.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Camping at Pokagon State Park

Last week we went camping in Pokagon State Park in the northeastern corner of Indiana. We had never been there before so it was an adventure for us. It turned out to be well worth the long drive to get there.

We hiked through marsh (seen here) and I identified flowers I'd never seen before in person. For example, notice the water lily:

We also went to their beach. Although the weather and the water were a little cold that day, you can see that my kids had fun. Here's my 6yo playing in the sand:

But of course, the best part is always the camping. We'd reserved our campsite online using only a basic map so we weren't sure what we were in for. Generally, we had a good site. It was the middle of the week so the campground wasn't terribly busy and the people who were there tended to be families with kids like us. We were within close walking distance of the facilities that included flush toilets and showers (a new luxury in our family's camping experience). We were also close to the camp playground so that the boys could go play on the playground while we fixed dinner. They were far enough to be out of our hair, but close enough that we could still see them and wave them over when dinner was ready. Each day was rounded out by the obligatory campfire and smores. Here's my 12yo playing guitar one evening at the fire ring:

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Serendipitous library moment

Yesterday I took the boys to the public library. Now that we're on summer vacation, Tuesdays are library days. Anyway, while they were playing a game on one of the computers (an odd attraction for them since we have a computer at home), I was browsing through the picture books looking for books to read to my 6yo.

The title of one caught my eye: Snow on Snow on Snow. "That's odd," I thought. "That sounds like the lyrics to In the Bleak Midwinter." I pulled the book off the shelf and, sure enough, there was reference to the song inside the cover of the book about winter. I put the book back on the shelf since I'm looking for seasonal things and, frankly right now the highs outside are around 90 F. I'll make a mental note about this book for next winter.

Even after we left the library, I couldn't shake the feeling that this was a weird coincidence. In the Bleak Midwinter is a song I'd never heard before attending a UU church. And then, while at the UU church, it became a regular hymn sung around Christmas time. Forever in my mind it will be inseparable from the concept of UUism. It has also become my favorite Christmas-time hymn.

In the afternoon, my 6yo son and I were looking through my scrapbooking supplies. Scrapbooking is a hobby that I love to do, but never have the time for it during the school year. With summer here, I am taking stock and getting ready to start designing some pages again. While flipping through the scrapbook, I came upon a two-page layout that I'd made of the Halloween party we'd had at the UU church a few years ago. It was a happier time for us at the church and seeing the layout made me sad. I want that church to be like it used to be instead of what it has become.

The random occurrence at the library and looking at the scrapbook just generated ways for me to deal with my grief over losing a church home. There are things I really will miss there no matter how much I like our new home at the Friends meeting.

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