Monday, October 1, 2007


Transition: The process or an instance of changing from one form, state, activity, or place to another.

I like to think that I am flexible. That I handle change well and that I am good at transition.
Apparently that is not the case ~ at least not today.

I can, and have, on numerous occasions, willingly, dropped the day's plans and run off to help Gary with whatever ranch job was deemed urgent at the moment. Fix a windmill ~ turn off the stove. Repair a watergap ~ close the history book. Run a heifer to the vet ~ put the science experiment in the refrigerator. I love it all. I love being his partner and being there to help in whatever capacity I am able.

On the other hand, I did not weather the transition well when we moved from our beloved mountains in West Texas to our present flatlands.

I did not handle today well either and my children have not fallen far from the proverbial tree.

Today was a huge transition. I saw it coming. I knew it was on the horizen. How did I know? Well suffice it to say, history repeats itself.

We just finished 6 days of fall works. 6 days that we eagerly look forward to. 6 days that leave us utterly exhausted. So yesterday I made sure that everyone rested and honored the Sabboth as it was intended. We'll ignore the fact that I still had one dayworker here until midmorning or that I scrubbed the stove, washed the floors, scoured the kitchen, cleaned up the bunkhouse and washed the towels from over there. I still rested ~ I even took a nap! I had a wonderful week of lesson plans all laid out for the following day and I wanted my students to be well-rested.

These same students have no problem removing themselves from their warm nests at 4:30 a.m. when we work cattle, but they seem to have a problem with our current transition. For some reason, it is almost impossible for them to drag themselves out from under the covers at 6:30 or 7:00 on a school day. When I posed this question to my daughter, she answered, "But M...O...M! Working cattle is fun!" Aha! I see! So I get to resume my un-fun position as teacher and attempt to squeeze some education into my children.

Here is where I can very easily wander off onto another tangent and say that they receive huge amounts of education in their daily lives on the ranch. I will not argue with that. I believe it with all my heart, but I also believe that they need a balanced education and some of that must come from good books and math lessons. They both wish to attend college so a well-rounded education is a must. The fact that they will have learned a good work ethic will serve them well, but so will the ability to communicate through a well-structured paragraph. I refuse to make them diagram sentence after sentence, but I do want them to be able to write coherently and speak intelligentlly.

I agree that is difficult to transition from a funfilled day horseback, carousing with the crew to the drudgery of completing the Apologia study guide or wading through the next chapter on the Korean War. However, everything in life cannot be fun all the time. There are days where we've simply got to put our nose to the grindstone and make the best of it. Grumbling about what must be done will not make it easier. Falling to the floor in dismay will not make it go away. Making a very heartfelt diatribe on the woes of the day will not get it done~although I might be persuaded to count that as public speaking :)

Life is full of transitions. Some we will be quite adept at steering through and some will cause us to stumble. I want to give my children the tools to handle them all.

That tool can be summed up in one word: God. Look to Him in all things. He will guide your way. When life's transitions start barreling your way, cling to Him. He will not make them all disappear, but the path will be less rocky with him by your side. There are days that I need to remind myself of this too, afterall, I'm a work in progress.

I love homeschooling. But not today.

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