Saturday, January 17, 2015

Seventeenth

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The other day, before we went to the beach, we were out somewhere when I overheard someone asking Miss Pepper if she was enjoying her school holidays and what was the best thing she'd done so far. I heard her hesitate and then tell this person that she hadn't really done much at all, just lots of hanging out with her sisters on the farm, playing and doing jobs.

When I heard her say that I felt a bit guilty. I imagined her in a classroom full of students on the first day of school listening to stories of big fancy adventures and cool outings, and of her sitting there quietly, feeling like she had nothing to compare, nothing to share. Pretty much the same way I cringe inside every time I hear a grown up ask my non Santa visited children what Santa brought them for Christmas.

When we came home they resumed the game they'd been playing for days. And as I watched them in the golden light and listened to them giggling with sister glee, it occurred to me that all busy year long, these are the times we dream of. These slow days that meander along from one activity to the next, going to bed late and waking up later, eating when we are hungry, getting dressed in dirty farm clothes, wearing yesterday's braids, reading an entire book in one day, listening to an album so many times that you know every single word by heart, playing games that go on for days and days, picking fruit still warm off the trees, eating berries and plums until the juice runs down our chins and our tummies ache, walking through golden grass to feed the animals, spending time together without the demands and responsibilities of the school year.

These are our summer days. These days are golden and just right.

Sending you love and the sweetest, juiciest plum that makes you squeal with delight upon the first bite (that's what happens to us every single night).

xxxx

26 comments:

  1. Totally agree! I have suffered the same guilt about not doing lots of exciting holiday activities with the kids but I think those meandering days just hanging out and enjoying each others company are the best and so, so important. It's always just after the say "I'm bored" that some amazing game or project begins. xx

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  2. When kids have space and time, they don't need lots of fancy holiday activities. We have been picking plums from along our creek for the last two weeks. Lots of plum cooking and eating going on here!

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  3. Where you live and living as you do your girls are experiencing a holiday-like life every single day. It may not seem like much to them now but in years to come they will look back and be so grateful that you both provided such a unique and happy home. How many of their classmates know as much about Mother Nature as your girls? How many would know how to carve a spoon?....... xxx

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  4. Simple real times are often give is the most golden moments. Those plums make me want to reach out for them in the midst of the UK winter! Enjoy the fruits of your labours and those fruits that also magically seem to appear without any work at all! Happy weekend! Elaine x

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  5. These are things of great memories. My children do the same and we are ll very very happy. Jo x

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  6. absolutely! these are exactly the sorts of days that make up a great life. i have been keen on reading memoirs recently- any kind- food memoirs (ruth reichl), funny ones (bill bryson) and the moments these folks describe fmor their childhood, the ones with most detail and embedded happiness are exactly the ones you describe here.

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  7. Your children are so lucky to have a slow life...together!

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  8. Those are the days you will all remember. I really wanted to join you in a plum!

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  9. What a lovely life and holiday she is having. The memories will be there for her just as they are for me. My family NEVER took a vacation anywhere. It just wasn't in the budget. But I didn't realize that. I was busy playing and living life as I knew it and I was very happy.
    Blessings,
    Betsy

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  10. Sounds just perfect and a great way to spend summer

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  11. Oh it's so good to hear there's one other family in the world that doesn't do the Santa thing! Oh the way some people look at me when I politely tell them my family doesn't do Santa because that's not what Christmas is truly about! I suppose it's difficult for some folks to see it as I do: I don't feel the need to encourage wanton consumerism. I'd rather foster appreciation of family, kindness, and big meals together.

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  12. Those days sound perfect! My kids (eight and almost six) love just going to the beach, going for a woods walk, going to the park..... Long may it continue! My son loves just hanging out at home, reading, etc. I don't want to go out all the time, and thankfully neither do my kids! :) xxx

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  13. gosh I'm loving your pictures! These are the perfect days, Kate, and the most treasured. I cringe too when the kids are asked that question, and I think of them there in the classroom that first day back. There were no grand events or tropical getaways to talk about, but then I remember how special our home time is and how important it is for us to have these slow days here together x

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  14. These words take me back to my summers as a child when the long days were filled with play with cousins and uncles and no cares in the world. We didn't go on trips but we had oh so much fun. My kids also didn't have grand adventures in the summer but now, at ages 38 and 35, they talk about all the fun they had camping. Your girls are making memories that will stay with them forever.
    Hugs,
    Sharon

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  15. Those are the same memories of my days growing up in a small country town. Delightful!!

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  16. I couldn't agree more Kate. Right now we just have too many farm related responsibilities to have a holiday. Instead I have been working hard on making our holiday home time fun with plenty of quiet time, music, books, cooking and of course farm chores. But even the chores can be turned into fun, especially without the constraints of the school routine. Gorgeous photos x

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  17. Summer in polar fleece Foxy!! we haven't gone anywhere but Marlo did a week long craft and drama class but really we have just been hanging, beach, pool, river, repeat. x

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  18. A big fat yes. These are days are memory creators...these are the times when your girls will be able to recreate summer by a tiny smell, a slant of light, a mouthful of plum....this right here Kate. xxx

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  19. No Santa round these parts - ever. Our baby is nearly thirty and she has known forever that the myth does not play well with our philosophy of simple living and intelligent acquisition. Your girls make me smile. Happy Summer.

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  20. Double treat. I missed reading sixteenth last night, so tonight I get two! Thanks!

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  21. It feels wonderful to read this, when it is the middle of ugly rainy British winter outside. Zour pictures and lives are so full of sun ! :) I would not worry about not giving your girls massive trips and super exciting holidays abroad, I had some really great times running around my grandparents garden and just messing around with whatever I could find when I was little. They must be having the time of their lives :)

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  22. Sounds like a perfect summer to me. x

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  23. Your daughters are creating a deep bond that will be for life. Much of that comes down to the lifestyle you have chosen. What a fantastic achievement and a special gift you have given them.

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  24. Am reading you whilst I cook a nice beef stew on a gloomy day in London and loving every single post. Those summer days of yours seem perfect to me..... I really cringe when people tell me that they spend their holidays in these big resorts with childcare facilities where they can leave the kids so that they don't have to entertain/look after them..... We love the simple things and spending time together as a family....sharing lovely moments...that's what's all about really.... Have a lovely weekend, Pati xx

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Thanks so much for stopping by...

I do read every single comment you leave and appreciate it very much, but I should let you know that I can be a wee bit on the useless side when replying to comments, that's just me, everyday life sometimes gets in the way....so I'll apologise now, just in case.

Kate XX

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