Alaska – The Last Frontier (RV Series #20)

(Our family is on a five month RV trip. We are journeying West from Dallas, TX and making our way up the Western coastline finishing in Washington state before we streamline our way back to CO for the summer.)

Confession: I married a planner. As in a guy that actually likes to sit down as a couple and PLAN. Everything. It’s the most attractive quality in regards to planning for retirement, planning for a house remodel, or planning for company to visit. It’s incredibly annoying when it comes to planning vacations. He not only wants to schedule them on the calendar but also plan each day’s activities months in advance.

We planned our Alaskan cruise nearly seven months ago. We knew we’d be RVing up the West coast of North America so we let the cruise departure date drive our journey. We began in Arizona mid-January and we’d need to be at the Seattle harbor by the end of May to set sail for Alaska. John’s customer visits determined how long we visited each city and state in-between. That was the plan.

Except that four months into our five month journey, we were burned out and not looking forward to spending seven more days with our kids anywhere, let alone all stuck in one room aboard a vessel bound for a state no one prints on their driver’s license. Continue reading

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Clean Traveler

Geez, Louise, I’m tired. I don’t even know a Louise but I’ve referred to her for years. Why am I tired? I’m 72 hours away from boarding an airplane and traveling puts me in a tizzy. Well, not the traveling, but the leaving, the preparing, the cleaning, the getting things in order before I travel.

Prior to every trip, I prepare my home and my life as if I’ll never return to it. Am I crazy? I do it to myself every time. I want everything in order. I want beds made, bills paid, dry cleaning dropped off, bathrooms scrubbed, items returned to stores, credits issued, filing done, magazines sorted/recycled, laundry washed/dried/folded/hung, floors swept, flowers dead-headed, fridge shelves wiped clean, rugs vacuumed, burned out light bulbs replaced, socks darned, blankets knitted, the homeless fed, healthcare reformed, everything in its place. Every time. Every trip. Without fail.

My motive is morbid. Continue reading

Learning Connection

We began homeschooling, or as I like to think, learning at home, one year ago today. We skied Beaver Creek during Spring break last year, came home, unpacked, and went to bed unsure of what our first morning learning together would look like. I, the fearful teacher, only had two and a half weeks to prepare the curriculum and the classroom for my two students, 11 and 12.

A classroom. We needed one. My husband and I walked around the house looking for a room that met the specifications: sunlight, shelves, and silence. We found it. His poker room was the one room in our home that fit the bill. Nice round table. Comfy, height-adjustable chairs. Fireplace. Shelving for books. Sunlight peeking in through the garden level window. Silently tucked away in a cozy, basement corner.

Our basement poker/game room. To make it feel super cozy, we wallpapered the walls and ceiling.

Monday, March 28, 2011, the students and I met in my husband’s basement poker room and learned together. We met in the sunny, shelved, silent room each morning for a series of days, weeks, months until I realized what was missing from our learning room. We were missing sounds, a connection to the rest of the house, the world around us. Sounds.

No poker room is complete without 2 mounted tv’s and 2 refreshment fridges to satisfy the sight and palette.

With good intention, I sought a room offering silence but this quiet was deafening at times. Continue reading

Type A Procrastinator

The work you do while you procrastinate is probably the work you should be doing for the rest of your life.”

Simple quote that stirs up questions in my mind. Can I read books for the rest of my life? Study my Bible? Feed my brain with new information from YouTube? Travel the world? Learn for fun? This list describes how I spend my time procrastinating the things I should be doing.

Today’s task list glared at me from the laptop screen: unpack from Puerto Vallarta, schedule kids’ physicals, deadhead geraniums, hit the gym, organize the whole house, alphabetize books on organization and procrastination, grocery shop, cook for the month, reduce the national debt. If your task list reads like mine, it couldn’t be accomplished in a President’s term much less crossed off in a day!

After reviewing the looming list, predictably, I spent my morning in bed procrastinating everything before me. Alongside my kids. We read books, studied the Bible and, yes, fed our brains with YouTube videos.  It’s our version of a lazy, summer home school morning. We read about Samuel Champlain and his diligence to settle in Quebec, Canada with his fellow Frenchmen. We raced against each other looking up our memorized Bible verses among the 66 God inspired books. After reading about how spiders hunt their prey, we searched YouTube to discover a spider spinning a web to catch his prey and survive another day. Then we did some mental math calculations, read about the fall of the Phoenicians, and reviewed the different types of land and water forms that we will no doubt see firsthand on our cruise next month.

When I declared to a friend that I was going to home school my two youngest kids beginning after spring break, her response was, “A-type personalities have a hard time homeschooling because you’re list makers and homeschooling requires flexibility.” She knows me well. I am a type-A list maker. I measure my productivity by crossing tasks and errands off my list.

What she doesn’t know about me is that I’m also a bona fide procrastinator, a trait I’ve never bragged about. For the first time in my life, I consider it a positive attribute. Procrastination might be God’s way of keeping me focused on His list, the work that I should be doing.