A most colorful group of ladies.
At 40 years of age, Woodstock the parrot, has seen his share of storms.
Differing generations ...
While we have become accustomed to hauling water, seeking out gas, and twisting the can opener, do we see this opportunity? More often than not, we send our kids off to school expecting an education. When the kids come home from school, parents can’t help but ask the perennial question, “How was school today… did you learn anything?” Beyond the blank stare and rolled eyeballs, we hope there has been some comprehension or attention to what is being taught. But what happens when survival becomes the main lesson of the day and the classroom is life itself? Somehow life becomes a very effective teacher. Over the past week, children throughout the district have come to realize there is much to be learned beyond the walls of the classroom. When the great outdoors has found its way inside, the learning possibilities are endless. For a few short days, our kids have been unplugged. What first comes to mind is how much time we now have on our hands. Time that is usually spent glued to Facebook or an Xbox, is time that has been reclaimed by reality. Some small doses of reality that I have seen around town include a boy helping his dad chop wood and move fallen branches. Other children have helped haul water and fill toilets. Boy scouts can finally put their skills into action and make some dinner with the outdoorsman skills they have learned. Learning happens as a child regulates a water pitcher to a trickle as he helps his mother wash the dishes. In this classroom of sorts, kids find their worth in their own toil. While some may be learning simple skills like turning a can-opener, I can bet that this situation may spur children to think of future solutions for our antiquated system of energy delivery. Today at the shelter, I saw young and old mingle around each other. They would witness one another’s ways, learning how the other generation copes and comprehends a stressful situation. Upon leaving the shelter, I couldn't help but think that we're always learning despite our age. You can teach an old dog new tricks especially when you have no choice. My kids have been fortunate to have been shipped off to Grandma’s, but not before we spent enough time at home to play Swiss Family Robinson. In reality, living in our antique home is like living in Colonial times, even on a good day. While at Grandma’s the kids have spent days on the rocks by the seashore simulating life with less. With sticks, rocks, string, a bucket and some sea critters, they would find the necessary tools to simulate simple living. It may prove to be a more effective classroom than a more structured environment like a schoolhouse. Tomorrow, my son will ride his bicycle two towns over with his grandmother, yet another learning opportunity. This week has allowed our kids to learn on their own terms with all the comforts of those that love them nearby. Perhaps, all isn’t so horrible in the end. While my kids may often forget their math lesson before they even get off the bus, the lessons learned this week would not soon be forgotten. I think this may be true for young and old alike.