“Half an hour’s meditation each day is essential, except when you are busy. Then a full hour is needed.”Saint Francis de Sales
Last week was overwhelming as is always the case with the first week of school. This year, however, has seemed especially so. Each of my children met their teachers on a different night. I enjoy meeting their teachers. Teachers are some of my favorite people. Their jobs are exceptionally undervalued. With that being said, the large crowds experienced at orientation are exhausting. You are resigned to weaving your way through a see of parents and little ones who, like you, have no idea where they are going. Our town may be small, but the middle and high school are enormous and, to be honest, I need a map.
I spent much of the week reminding myself that I needed to write. Writing is cathartic. In writing, I am able to express myself and get my thoughts out of my head where I would otherwise overanalyze them. Unfortunately, I did not find the time.
My oldest began high school and I immediately felt my own aging intensify. This happens often when I hear teenagers use brand new slang terms that they have invented. Frequently, I find myself using Urban Dictionary to decipher what they are saying. She is on Color Guard. That means lots of early mornings and long days. Friday was the Boomer Band Annual Picnic. Needing to prepare a side dish, I had forgotten about it entirely until around three in the afternoon. My daughter insisted that the side dish must be homemade, so I was a bit bewildered to arrive and discover that all of the other parents purchased premade sides from Walmart. Having such a short amount of time to pull something together, I opted for loaded German potato salad. Tangy and full of flavor, it was one of the best dishes on the table at the park.
While we were there, my husband chased after the baby and the kids played with all of the band kids, leaving me to fend for myself. Knowing absolutely none of the adults made for an awkward and lonely experience. Luckily, Ava’s boyfriend’s mom was sitting across the park by herself as well and for entirely the same reason. After a few moments of trying to decide where to sit, I decided to introduce myself. How funny that I’ve met her son many times, but she had never met my daughter. Even more amusing, my daughter gave a look of both shock and immense embarrassment when she realized I was sitting with her. His mom is delightful and it was truly wonderful to finally meet her. It was one of those days, however, when there was so much going on that, by the end of it, I felt the need to disappear to my room for an hour or so just to have a moment of peace.
On Thursday, the first day of school, I made these lovely little pumpkin rolls. They’re lightly sweet and filled with cream cheese, making the perfect to enjoy with supper or as a dessert afterward. I really do enjoy baking. It’s something that I try to do often.
Sunday night was family dinner, something that I had tried to turn into a tradition. I made the most delightful homemade biscuits, fried chicken, potatoes with gravy, and green beans. The chicken was perfectly tender and full of flavor. The biscuits were warm and buttery (and even better when dipped in the potatoes and gravy). As for the green beans, they had that delicious bacon-y flavor that you’ll only find in the south.
Today, I will spend a bit of time getting my home back in order, baking, catching up on laundry, and reading Pride & Prejudice. I do not mind the busyness, but I prefer a much slower way of life. It has been a good couple of years since I last felt the desire to always be in a hurry. Life is better when it is lived slower, when moments big or small are enjoyed while you are experiencing them, when your time is spent doing what you love.
Slow down and enjoy today. You cannot retrieve it once it is gone.