Sunday, January 8, 2017

Forced Rain

It's the new year.  And it's three (plus) years since my last post.

I live in Arizona now.  We all six do.   The weather is dry and so is the terrain.  We are near Phoenix.  They call this "the valley."  It looks flat to me.  For this "Garden in the Rain," we are in a drought for the foreseeable future.

But things are good.  Nick owns a business here with his brother.  It is an adventure, but a good one.  We have found a really nice home to rent with a fantastic pool.  For the last year, we have lived within an hour of my brother, Blair, and his family, and within two miles of Nick's sister and her family.  In the next two months, both of those distances will multiply by five.

Blogging.  Well, it slowed and then it stopped.  The stop happened because of a very long story.  Here is the nutshell.  Public school was never on my good list.  We were doing the best we could.  A certain homework assignment broke this camel's back.  I knew we needed a new plan.  Homeschool? Private school?  Organize a co-op?  One thing led to another and I became the lead founder of a charter-school-in-progress.  Whoa.  Something had to give.  Several things had to give, actually, but this blog gave everything it had and died.

Lots of time and a bit of money went by and charter schools were found "unconstitutional" in Washington.  Also Casey asked Nick to join in the ownership of his company.  Also Phoenix has my favorite charter school district, a subject on which I am now quite the expert.  You'll just have to believe me about that.  And here we are, living in a desert "valley" (who are they kidding?) and the kids are attending my dream school.  For all it's orange dirt, I'm here to stay until Pierce graduates.

So why am I back?  I do love and miss this blog.  Somehow, the kids stumbled across it a few days ago.  Since then, they have been devouring it.  They are caught up in their own, short, family history. They laugh and ooh and ask "remember when?"  Often, I don't remember.  Seeing their hearts respond and realizing how fleeting memories can be, I was tempted back.  Later, as we discussed resolutions as a family, the kids knew what mine should be.  All this forces me to commit and to write.  But this is my garden and my rain.  There is no soil in Phoenix that I know how to work and there are no familiar mountains.  Snow never falls and the limited rain is hot and unfamiliar.  When rain does fall, it sits heavily for days on the parched clay that doesn't know how to breathe it in.  When I first considered coming back to this blog, I wondered with sadness what I would have to change the name to, now that I write landlocked and chapped, but I've decided that I won't change it.  I miss green gardens and gray rain, so if this can be my garden, I'll be here often.  Maybe the drought is over.