Monday, January 25, 2010


This was the scene out my window this morning.  It was the sort of day that conjures up images of soup and tea.  Maybe a fire.

But the girls' nature class meets in any weather.  By the time we pulled out of the driveway it was raining hard.

There were lots of puddles, Clementine told me. There was a live newt and a dead newt.  The dead newt's head was crushed by a car and its brains were spilling out.  The live newt was in a stream by the road.  They put it in a puddle to observe it for a while.  It half swam half walked in the shallow puddle for a while and then they released it into the stream where it swam under a log.

Unlike me, at home, they did have a fire.  A big fire.  The counselors brought some logs.  And Evelyn, who is knife certified and Clementine, who is newly hatchet certified, helped make kindling.  The kids took turns with the hand drill to start the fire.  One started at the top of the stick, running her hands back and forth, moving from top to the bottom.  When she had reached the bottom the next person started at the top of the stick.

Running down a slick muddy hill Evelyn slipped and slid 12 feet along the ground.  She had mud in her hair.  She took off her shoes to climb a tree (it was too slippery to climb with shoes on) and got her feet muddy.  She ended up with more mud on the inside of her socks than on the outside.

I inferred from the fine freckling of mud on Clem's cheeks that someone near her had been stomping in puddles.

They spent six hours outside on a rainy day and came home tired, muddy and happy.

No cabin fever here today.

And how about you? Are you cozying up and watching the rain and snow or venturing out?


The Stone Age Techie said...

THAT sounds like a lovely day! I'm more of a foul-weather person than fair weather, which my husband thinks is just plain weird. I like both the fire/hot cocoa/book aspects of lousy weather, and the puddle/ice stomping - although, I find I am less fond of mud as I age :-)
Thanks for sharing!

Kristin said...

Evelyn is quite the adventurer. I can't believe she slipped twelve feet in the mud. You could write fictional shorts about her character; she's that interesting.

We've been melting wax, eating homemade soups, clipping our chicken's wings, making boats, pulling out blackberry bramble and reading the very verbose, Eight Cousins, by Louisa May Alcott, together.

Seems like my kids are learning about Victorian stoicism while your girls are experiencing pure bohemian bliss.

Stefaneener said...

No bad weather; only bad clothes.
That doesn't apply when you shed your clothes, though.

I'm about to go out and slosh through the yard, but besides that I'm going to stay in and hunker, I'm afraid.

Anonymous said...

that sounds like so much fun.
have to say we have been cozying up, making stews, and watching movies-- sound of music is on right now!

Susan said...

Karen, I love the rain. Though I think I like the rain on the roof at night best. I miss the warm summer rains of my childhood in Maryland when we would run around soaking wet and not need a fire.

Kristin, I love that last line! Your days sound marvelous, too, though. Earthy and real, and nourishing.

Stefaneener, Greta was head to toe in rainproof gear, but then they decided to wade in a stream. These kids were on a mission to get wet.

Barbara, when will my kids like Sound of Music? They seem to not have gotten this essential gene. No love there. I don't get it.

patricia said...

Mr. T has been doing the "after-school" version of your kids' nature program. So he only gets two hours of mud instead of six.

On Monday I had to de-cake the last session's mud from his shoes beforehand, in an effort to keep a little of it out of the car, just so he could re-cake them again.

Me? I sat my dry, warm car in the parking lot, drinking tea, writing, and watching the rain on my window. It doesn't get better than that.

Susan said...

Tricia, driving in the rain is one of my favorite things about rain. I love windshield wipers. I have to say that having tea in the car in the rain while writing sounds like an otherworldly paradise.

gina said...

Oh, it was raining sheets here all day monday and I was out and about although for nothing as fun as what your girls experienced!

JeaneP said...

Cozying up while it snows outside and wishing for more and more!JP