This year we are "homeschooling" again. We don't really "home"school though, we do something a bit more unorthodox. The kids and I explore life together. Right now that looks like kicking of our year by doing a practice bike adventure. We biked from our house past New Palestine, to the Boring Family Farm, some 18 miles. We took all our gear with us and camped out by Uncle Phil and Aunt Jan's pond. Alan and Denise Stuckey met us for hot dogs, bringing the smore components and Alan's banjo along. How lovely it was to listen and sing with them! The kids received a hands-on lesson with Alan, feeling how heavy the instrument is and how the metal strings make the sound. The orange sun set and we nestled-up in our tiny tent, watching for the clouds to clear and the stars to be visible. The kids fell asleep listening to me reading aloud, from The Motorcycle Diaries.
Yesterday, we swam, rowed, fished and basically, just ran wild. The kids found tadpoles, dragonfly nymphs and numerous frogs and toads. In the afternoon, we packed up and headed out to the original family farm and house that Mike's grandparents built. We saw the tomato picking equipment in action, and 3 truck loads of tomatos. We visited with Uncle Phil who was busy repairing the brakes of one of the trucks and then picked some apples in the orchard. From there we biked over to Mike's childhood home and saw the horses they have there now and the creek that Mike used to play in as a kid.
We stopped over and over, in any shade we could find because the temperature was around 95 and the humidity was high. Our progress was slow and we were quickly running out of water so we called Mike who picked us up after a much smaller ride of 8 miles.
After our rescue, we drove on to visit with Grandpa and Ruth in Shelbyville.
The learning we experienced during the last two days was easy and fun, despite the heavy and slow trek. I learned that we need to wait for cooler weather, bring more water, and be ok with not accomplishing our goal of 40 miles in two days. Together, our lessons were loving life, adventure and eachother, seeing things from a new and slower perspective and making time for the wild and natural.