Skip to content

homestead happenings: stirrings

2012 March 12
by Rachel Turiel

It’s all coming back to me: the chives wending their way out of snowmelt, the evening grosbeaks gathering at our feeders, the tomatoes seedlings unfurling into various vegetal yoga poses.

It’s the first inkling of spring, more like a stirring than a season.

Last week the kids and I were checking the buckets on our box elder trees (which incidentally, was one of those days where I was like hells yes to homeschooling! Who cares that Col’s handwriting is scrichity scratchy, he gets to roam around the hood observing the osmotic pressure of the sap flowing through the sapwood layer…naw, I was just happy to see my kids drinking up spring, outside), when Rose approached me with her hands behind her back.

“This is very rare, Mama,” she said in a voice that can only be described as italics. And then she whips out a blooming dandelion, which she totes home, sets in a mason jar filled with water, and tends to so lovingly that the flower crumples under her attentive, ahem, touch.

Over the weekend we took the kids south to New Mexico, for the day. We live in the intersection of the Four Corners, we can do that.

That particular sensory slam of sagebrush, red rocks and sunshine brought back every pre-childbearing memory of camping in the desert. The familiarity was strange, like a word being on the tip of your tongue, or like watching a grainy movie of your own life through the wrong prescription glasses. Was that us, trekking through the desert hoodoos, spires, pinnacles and slot canyons while our minds whirled on their axis? In today’s sequel we’re saddled with snacks, 1 mile from our car, and ready to leap at a nanosecond’s notice to rescue a child from the claws of a yucca plant.

The kids hiked in about a mile, which is easy when you’re completely distracted by the thrill of steep drop-offs,

Nothing to see here, children, just the edge of the world

…or the thrill of releasing a gazillion cattail seeds to the wind, which holds both the allure of flight and the agony of tiny seeds in your eyeballs.

it took five million ill-placed cattail seeds before the kids tired of this game.

…or finding a ruin perched on a steep boulder.

Which your Mama won’t let you scramble up via the rope provided. Access: left side of large boulder. (But I could see in Dan’s eyes, that had I not been there, he would have toted one kid under one arm, while using the other arm to shinny up the rope).

Rose is not happy with my decision.

The highlight was this rope swing, hung from a stout old cottonwood.

Rose affixed her little fun-hog bottom to that swing and didn’t move for an hour, while underneath her Col fashioned bark lifeboats for a mouse family, “this is called lifeboat #92, for the baby mice,” and built a dam, “to help the beavers out.”

We spent five hours in the canyon. Col wondered if his friend Sebastian would love the rope swing. I could imagine a tangle of parents kicked back in the sun, drinking beer and watching our tribe of kids frolic. But it was nice to be there together, just us, one family feeling the stirrings of spring.

Happy Wednesday to you!

Related posts:

It's Friday and what is she talking about?
Working Man
roll your children in dirt


21 Responses leave one →
  1. March 14, 2012

    Oh man, Rachel. You’re killing me here. I love many things about Berkeley, but there is just nothing like home. sigh

  2. March 14, 2012

    Oh man, Rachel. You’re killing me here. I love many things about Berkeley, but there is just nothing like home. sigh

  3. Melissa permalink
    March 14, 2012

    really love this post. i especially love the photo of rose on the swing; and the veggies practicing yoga; oh yes, and your “voice” coming through on your happy homeschooling day. hells yeah!

    would love to make the syrup from the last post, too . . .we’ll see whether desire, reality or something else wins out there. fingers crossed!

  4. Melissa permalink
    March 14, 2012

    really love this post. i especially love the photo of rose on the swing; and the veggies practicing yoga; oh yes, and your “voice” coming through on your happy homeschooling day. hells yeah!

    would love to make the syrup from the last post, too . . .we’ll see whether desire, reality or something else wins out there. fingers crossed!

  5. March 14, 2012

    Dang…. I miss getting out like this. Unless we’re in a kayak….. the swamp is not very, uhm explorable. I am looking forward to heading somewhere a wee bit drier and greener in the next year….. with hiking trails. I miss hiking trails. And this is why the four kids & I are headed to my parents for seven weeks this summer. Hello great outdoors!!

    :)

  6. March 14, 2012

    Dang…. I miss getting out like this. Unless we’re in a kayak….. the swamp is not very, uhm explorable. I am looking forward to heading somewhere a wee bit drier and greener in the next year….. with hiking trails. I miss hiking trails. And this is why the four kids & I are headed to my parents for seven weeks this summer. Hello great outdoors!!

    :)

  7. March 14, 2012

    It looks like my kind of place!

  8. March 14, 2012

    It looks like my kind of place!

  9. March 14, 2012

    you know my question…..where is that ruin and rope swing?

    • Rachel Turiel permalink*
      March 15, 2012

      call me and I shall divulge.

  10. March 14, 2012

    you know my question…..where is that ruin and rope swing?

    • Rachel Turiel permalink*
      March 15, 2012

      call me and I shall divulge.

  11. March 15, 2012

    i would not have let my kids climb up to that ruin either. you’re not alone. you did make me smile with the image of dan, showing you somehow with his eyes that he would have scampered on up there with a kid dangling under an arm. ha! i’ve been looking for the first dandelion. maybe today? the bees are looking too! i keep wondering where they’re getting all the pollen i see them toting into the hive. the pines? loved this post. new mexico is my love. i hope we get down there this summer.

  12. March 15, 2012

    i would not have let my kids climb up to that ruin either. you’re not alone. you did make me smile with the image of dan, showing you somehow with his eyes that he would have scampered on up there with a kid dangling under an arm. ha! i’ve been looking for the first dandelion. maybe today? the bees are looking too! i keep wondering where they’re getting all the pollen i see them toting into the hive. the pines? loved this post. new mexico is my love. i hope we get down there this summer.

  13. March 15, 2012

    I don’t often get to escape my hectic urban life so when I really need to and can’t afford to physically whisk myself away, I come here.

    Happy Spring mama!

  14. March 15, 2012

    I don’t often get to escape my hectic urban life so when I really need to and can’t afford to physically whisk myself away, I come here.

    Happy Spring mama!

  15. janie permalink
    March 15, 2012

    Love you guys! When Grandma and Grandpa came to visit me at Evergreen, we went on a hike and Grandma pointed out a very rare flower (white with three petals…I forget the name). She didn’t pick it to show it to me, but Rose just reminded me of that day. Thank you.

    About the scrichity scratchity handwriting, I heard from Jazzy’s teacher that boys often have that till junior high. Especially those super genius boys. ;)

    xoxoxo

  16. janie permalink
    March 15, 2012

    Love you guys! When Grandma and Grandpa came to visit me at Evergreen, we went on a hike and Grandma pointed out a very rare flower (white with three petals…I forget the name). She didn’t pick it to show it to me, but Rose just reminded me of that day. Thank you.

    About the scrichity scratchity handwriting, I heard from Jazzy’s teacher that boys often have that till junior high. Especially those super genius boys. ;)

    xoxoxo

  17. March 15, 2012

    Oh my goodness, I wanna ride that swing. I wanna wanna wanna!!!

  18. March 20, 2012

    love the red dirt on the bottom of rose’s boots. :)

  19. March 20, 2012

    love the red dirt on the bottom of rose’s boots. :)

Leave a Reply

Note: You can use basic XHTML in your comments. Your email address will never be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS