While the flu is still going strong in Maine, we've taken to hunkering down and perfecting our hibernation habits. Thankfully, no one in my family has been ill (knocks on wood) and we aim to keep it that way. One of the numerous benefits to unschooling is being able to limit our exposure to germs and make our own fun at home without getting restless.
We have been to the wonderful Saco River Winter Market, held in the old mill buildings on the bank of the river. This market is diverse and full of variety and is in a beautiful and unique setting, so if you are local, I recommend checking it out.
In an effort to contain and organize our fabric stash, Alex and I spent a recent afternoon cutting felted sweaters down for making quilts. I'll let you know how that project turns out.
There's been loads of reading happening, here. Both the kids have foot-high stacks of books on their nightstands, Alex is getting deeper into Discworld, and I'm reading Riordan's Heroes of Olympus series because Adam so enjoyed it.
Netflix, of course, has been a tremendous source of fun, from the Nova Now series to our latest favorite, Doc Martin. The kids have discovered the joys of The West Wing, too, so that makes for lots of interesting conversations. We did venture out to sob through Les Miserables and now we have two Les Miz fans who burst into song (or pass around memes) at any moment (I love my life!). We mostly liked it, but as one of my friends said, "Russell Crowe singing, LOL!" We did like it better than The Hobbit, and no, we don't want to talk about it.
We've been up to the homestead and have begun going through documents and important papers, and sorting through a hundred year's worth of family history. We've found everything from old sepia photos, hand written knitting patterns in beautiful script from 1900, and letters from Alex's grandfather, when he was conscripted for WWI in 1918 for service in France. Many of his letters asked about his horse, Princess, and he worried that his family would fall ill and die, like so many did, from that flu pandemic, as did my own great-grandmother.)
Alex has been putting in a tremendous amount of time to help his father sort through his affairs, and now we begin to carry out plans at the homestead, to restore the house and plan for the land. Entire days are spent planning, discussing, and researching. Papers spread over the dining room table, many phone calls are made and the next day brings the same. And yes, we marked the first month since Alex's mom died. Two articles resonated with us recently, because of all of this:
The 25 Documents You Need Before You Die and this most of all, A Radical Homemaker's Take on Investing
We finally had snow come, lots of it, and then it thawed, reaching record temps this week, and then, today it's back to snow and seasonable. It was nearly 60F here on Monday and today, the kids' first day back to choir was cancelled due to snow.
Hibernating is good for us. It allows introspection, time to really focus and create, time to delve into subjects and explore our passions. Soon enough, the activity of spring with have us seeking projects and interests outside, but for now, looking inside is a good thing.
If you can, give yourself permission to hunker down, hibernate, settle yourself in for winter. Your body, your mind and your spirit will thank you.