A huge admission: I have never been brilliant at making decisions. I am not talking about everyday ones, like which chocolate bar to buy (although that particular decision has been made very easy since starting a restrictive diet – i.e. one of the two that don’t contain lactose, gluten or too much taste). I am talking about the big life decisions. It turns out my other half isn’t too good at it either. It’s times like this I wonder if we should be in the world of grown-ups, or if others struggle with big moments like this too?
This all means that the ultimate decision has been all over the place over the last few months. The decision: should we move 2 hours further south and start our lives again. This means leaving behind our friends, community, lovely town and perfect home (especially for boys and dogs) in massive acreage complete with trails, tennis court, creek, swimming pool and great deck.
Anyway, after much navel-gazing, soul-searching etc it seems that the general philosophy is ‘the adventure continues’ and ‘on we go’… ho-hum, so we are heading South before the end of August to live outside Washington DC and begin our lives again. This has not been an easy decision to reach. Somedays I want to run home to relative safety, or at the very least stay put with the known, tried and tested location.
After a frantic search, looking at a variety of houses, from contemporary and oversized to small and ancient we finally settled on a place that is a complete surprise to me. We are buying a fairly new place, in a neighbourhood. All the rooms are square and the only characteristic of it that makes it a bit different is that it is ‘split level’. My head is telling me that it is the right place at the right time, but I am not in love with it. At the moment, I couldn’t let you know if that is because we are again leaving our own personal paradise and great friends and I am naturally against it, or if it is really the feelings from the bottom of my toes. However I do feel slightly consoled that my other half is excited by the house and that it has a pool.
In between these space-filling issues, the summer is going by far too quickly. There has been ALOT of rain followed by horribly hot days that leaves the dog bewildered by the stifling humidity and heat that is outside. Consequently we spend alot of time at the creek, where Seb has proudly managed to catch a huge crayfish and a massive bullfrog tadpole (“with behind legs, mummy”), serenaded by it’s irate parent. We had his birthday party at the nature center. I am so happy we didn’t do it here. The experience of a bunch of highly excited 5-7 year olds racing around (and around and around) and not listening to the feeble protests of 17-year-old camp leaders was painful enough there. Despite the general mayhem, they did have a great time though and we got to play find-the-flip-flop-in-the-mud. That particular activity was unsuccessful, but hopefully somewhere at Ashland, there is a mud-loving creature benefitting from an unusual shelter.
The boy has had a great time at various camps. He had a solid week of tennis and swimming and appreciated even more Andy Murray’s fabulous victory at Wimbledon. I am encouraging this new interest, hoping at some point to get back on the court myself. I am pretty much beaten before I start though as he is always “Handy Murray” in the Wimbledon Final. Today he actually walked off the court with a huge bag hung over his shoulder with a serious expression and signed some autographs. Somehow, I don’t think we will really have too many problems with his confidence.
He has also had day camps at the nature center and is full of the activities they covered each day. The picture above was spontaneously drawn when we got home – it shows the paths, a tree, his group, a rabbit, the marsh, water play and story time. He proudly related how they climbed Hawk Watch Mountain, and will only use plasters from his personally constructed first-aid kit.
The next phase of our summer is also going to involve alot of time in the pool and creek, trying to beat the heat and making the most of living here for our last month or so.
I did manage a day at Longwood though – check out my pics…