This has been a busy month. Not busy in the same way we were this time – this exact date last year:
But it’s all good. I keep telling myself that….all good. Le sigh. It’s GREAT. (Seriously, it is.Gratitude. Always gratitude.)
Some of the places we’ve been over the past month:
It began here:
Which is here:
About a month ago, the 8-year old and I went to Knoxville where we cleaned out the last of the storage unit I’d rented to hold my parents’ things that I couldn’t fit in my previous house after my father died two years ago this past Monday. We’d dashed through in August after dropping my daughter off at college, and since I had a rental van at the time, I’d hoped I could do the job then, but it didn’t all quite fit….so we had to go up one more time.
And so we did. We fit everything into the (again, rental- my regular car is small) SUV , closed the account at the storage facility, turned down Rutledge Pike, spent a rainy afternoon at the zoo, drove by my parents’ home which was basically demolished by the new owners and rebuilt from scratch, and then headed for the 75/40 split, me knowing that I really have no reason to ever go back again. That’s just the way it is.
One more stop on the way back:
A couple of weeks ago, we headed to Atlanta to the Fernbank Natural History Museum and the High Museum of Art – the latter to see Vermeer’s Girl With the Pearl Earring (as well as other works, of course). Oh, and to see the Shakespeare Tavern’s Twelfth Night, which we’d studied over the month.
Every Tuesday, we go to Huntsville:
The 12 year old has a class/meeting in the afternoon up there, and in the mornings, one or both of them might have another class, if we’ve signed up for that one, or else we go explore. The Space and Rocket Center, the Huntsville Botanical Gardens, and then, spying something interesting up ahead, taking a different exit than usual and pulling up beside cotton harvesting and baling in process.
By the way, much of what we do is free. Sometimes because, well, it just is, but other times because of our various memberships. We have three: Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham Zoo and McWane Science Center. Reciprocity agreements with other member institutions bring a lot of benefits. Between our multiple visits to the Space and Rocket Center, the Zoo and Fernbank and the High in Atlanta, I’ve saved a couple hundred dollars at least. The memberships have paid for themselves a few times over.
One day, we went to see the replicas of the Nina and the Santa Maria that are floating around the hemisphere. Hate to say it, but not really worth the cost. Perhaps if you’re part of a tour group or field trip they might be, but it would have probably been enough to just look at them from the dock without paying the cost to walk on the deck…..
A quick side trip to Decatur, just down (up?) river from Huntsville, on the other side of 65 to the small, quirky and free Cook’s Natural Science Museum – as in Cook’s Pest Control. As I said, it’s free, so it’s worth 20 minutes – 30, if you take it slow – many stuffed animals, rock and mineral samples, as well as (of course) preserved pests and evidence of the damage that they do. Not worth taking a day of your life to go see, but if you’re passing by….why not?
In our own town, we’ve headed to Ruffner Mountain and Red Mountain for hikes, been to the zoo a few times (homeschool class, plus an extra visit or two for the animal fanatic) and even to the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame –
This was on a day his brother had zoo class…so obviously, during those two hours, each was in his element.
And then to a local creek to collect some water.
….and study the protists in their watery universe…..
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