Another year, still happily homeschooling. And with that goes lots and lots of reading- Charlotte Mason really knew what she was talking about, and I keep on following her philosophies as much as I can. I wish I had more energy, more time in the day, more, well, discipline. But I do my best, and I think we’re rocking along pretty well here at the Wright household. And it’s been a good reading year for us. The library is our best friend, and in our new home, it’s so close by that we could walk there! Not that we have, but we could! Perhaps I should set that as a goal for the spring, when the weather is nicer…
But even though we’ve gone by car, we’ve managed to pick some fantastic reads out. We do a lot of books on tape- why not fill that driving time or time stuck in Atlanta traffic with a book? And one of our recent favorites has been “A Single Shard” by Linda Sue Park. I think I’ll seek out more books by her. This one was wonderful- full of life lessons and lessons in morality, lessons in hard work. We loved it- this was one of those that had us sitting in the car in the garage because we couldn’t bear to turn it off.
Another favorite was just for fun, a book by John Grisham called “The Accused”, which is part of his series for younger folks. This book got us home from Texas, which is a 12 hour drive, with a minimum of the question dreaded by all parents being asked: “Are we there yet?” Yep. That’s a good book. Of course, who else can tell a story like John Grisham?
And as for me, I decided that if I’m going to live in the South, I’d better read “Gone With the Wind.” While I expected it to be a bit of a slog through a classic (you know, one of those that is kind of like taking medicine- you do it because it’s good for you?), it was anything but. What a book! What a story! Yes, I’m perfectly aware of its shortcomings- Margaret Mitchell definitely does some glamorizing of some of the uglier aspects of Southern history, but still a wonderful story. Scarlett- you hate her and love her all at once. And I certainly didn’t expect to like Rhett Butler as much as I did! This was such a treat for me. I read the whole thing over Christmas break. I didn’t want it to end.
And we are continuing with “Al Capone Does My Shirts” by Gennifer Choldenko that we are reading together out loud, as well as Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain, of course. Are we the only folks to read more than one book at a time?
It’s time to face reality. And that is that I live in Georgia, not France. Which is a bummer in some ways, but in others, it’s very, very good. I’ve realized, over the past year, that I actually really like it here. Sure, there are problems, but where are there not problems? It’s been an interesting year, this last year, and I’ve come to appreciate my adopted home state a lot more.
About 9 months ago, our house sold. This is a good thing. That house was a bit of an albatross- old, and not in the good, historic way, but rather in the 1970s crappy construction sort of way. Yuck. We were really naive about Georgia construction when we moved out from California, and that house was our hard lesson. You see, things rot here, in fairly short order, if not done right. And that house was one big pile of not done right. The lady who bought it knew what she was getting into, and she mostly bought because of the good schools in the area… which we weren’t using anyway since we homeschool. A win-win, as I see it.
So, while we figured out where we wanted to be next, we tried out living in a different area of the country altogether. I won’t go into all the details of that fiasco (that is how I felt about it. The Pilot did not), but suffice it to say it was not for me. Lovely city, lovely area, but seeing that some people owned their own snowplows? Nope. I am a Texas girl. So Atlanta it is, and we spent the summer house-hunting and as far as I’m concerned, we have landed in a pretty fantastic area. We can actually walk to the tiny little downtown, and the handful of restaurants and shops are quite nice and certainly inviting. Our town, Alpharetta, seems to look for any excuse to throw a party (Football game between two big southern colleges- tailgate party! Songwriters’ Festival- party with music!) We really, really like it. And if I turn right out of my neighborhood, heading away from downtown, in about half a mile I start to see horse farms, which makes me very happy. It’s a good compromise between me and the Pilot, since he prefers to be in the city while I prefer to be in the country. I see this as the best of both worlds.
So, we live in Georgia. And that is a good thing. Yes, I’d prefer to be in a farmhouse in Burgundy, shopping at the little markets each day and waking up to cows in the pasture and sheep in the field. I will be in France as often as I can possibly get there, and I’m already planning for a month there next fall. But my life, right now, is in suburban Atlanta. Time to start making the best of that! To be a tourist in my adopted state! Now, off to some adventures here in the South…