Our small group from church usually has a weekend where whoever wants to can camp at a campground for the weekend, and all of us get together on Sunday a.m. for brunch and church together. We haven’t camped as the cost of two cabins for our family for two nights is prohibitive. And they are so tiny that we would HAVE to have two, and they require two nights so . . . end of that story for now. So we just go out Sunday a.m. for brunch and church.
Charity took these photos when we did that several weeks ago. Enjoy.
Kristina is such a good big sister to Katya, and Katya is responding more and more to her love.
Have book and sunshine–equals happy Todd!
Not sure what Chad was so intent on . . . . maybe the mini-football game going on?!
Todd views writing as a struggle most of the time. A huge struggle. But occasionally, he can wax eloquent. With his permission, (trust me, that is a rare treat, so value it!) I am about to share a piece he wrote this week about his Terrible Bad Day. This is as he wrote it–I did not edit it in any way.*****************************This morning I was awakened by an unusually tempestuous thunderstorm. The rain was not heavy, but thunderclaps shook the house, though the lighting was obscured by the dense cloudcover. Arising, I found that the entire household had been roused by the commotion, and were huddled together, in their nightclothes, marveling at the violence of the storm. As the hour was still early, however, I returned to my bed. The sound of the rain on the rooftop was quite relaxing, despite the thunder, and drifting in and out of sleep, I dreamed dreams of treachery and intrigue. After quiting my bed somewhat later than usual, I breakfasted poorly on foul-tasting spelt granola, before expunging the vile taste from my mouth, with several cups of black tea. I had intended to start for the university immediately thereafter, but as my sister intended to make some granola that might be better than the store-bought unpleasantness, I was obliged to first bring her some oats and chocolate chips from the bulkfood store. Having done this, I set out again, and to make up the delay, I drove as fast as I could. This was not very fast at all, since my scooter was only 150cc’s and underpowered for use on the open road. I was often overtaken by faster traffic, and forced to stop and let the more powerful vehicles pass.Traveling in this manner, the trip to the university consumed the better part of an hour. I had not gone quite half the distance, when I was painfully surprised by an insect which flew up my sleeve, and stung me on the arm. Stopping to examine the wound, I saw an angry purple welt, in the center of a swollen white lump the size of a dime; beyond this, my entire arm was turning red. As I feared an attack of anaphylactic shock, to which I am hereditarily disposed, and as my arm was really quite painful, I turned into a filling station, to await the coming of my mother. Since she had advised me that caffeine might be of some use in such cases, I purchased a can of “Venom Bite” energy shot, which was advertised to contain 80mg of caffeine. Unfortunately, the taste was so overpoweringly saccharine that I could only drink half of it.Instead of being wired by the caffeine as I had expected, I was overcome with a sudden weariness, and staggering outside to the place where I had parked my scooter, I cast myself down in the sun. I am sure I must have resembled nothing so much as a drug junkie, slumped against a wall, with one sleeve rolled up, and clutching my arm. But the only notice I attracted was from persons interested in my scooter, which is not yet a common sight in my part of rural Ohio. At last my mother arrived, bearing benadryl cream, and after applying this liberally on the afflicted limb, I set out once again for the university. Once there, I wandered around the campus for a quarter of an hour, until I found someone to direct me to the admissions office. While completing the application for non-degree-seekers, I encountered trouble regarding my status as a homeschool student. The application required a copy of my highschool diploma, and when I protested that, being homeschooled, such a thing did not exist, the admissions secretaries said that even if I had not yet received it, my “program” would have a copy of it available upon request. It was with difficulty that I explained to them that I was a pure homeschooler, and did not have a “program”. In an attempt to arouse their sympathy, I related my history, describing how my parents had been raised in religious settings that eschewed higher education, my father himself having only attained to the 8th grade. Having shown my lack of diploma and transcript to be the result of my parent’s own lack of understanding of the affairs of acadamia, I was looked upon more favorably. Once I had finished and submitted the application, I departed, bearing with me a catalog of courses offered, and the joyous and unexpected tidings that my ACT score was actually quite good.My errand at last complete, I addressed my steps to the parking lot, which lay at the opposite end of a grand, but inconveniently expansive campus. When I attempted to start my scooter, I discovered, with horror and despair, that I had lost my keys! Overcome with a sudden access of remorse, I sank to the ground, but as I did so, it was impressed upon me, by an acute jabbing sensation from within the by-no-means loose-fitting garments which encased my lower parts, that the place where I had lost my keys, was in fact the dark recesses of the very same pocket where I was accustomed to carry them. This difficulty surmounted, another obstacle beset me: I had forgotten to shut off the fuel line, and my carbuburetor was flooded. Only by the most violent exertion did I manage to start the scooter, frantically pumping the kickstart for some five minutes or more, the machine gradually migrating round and round on its centerstand from the force of the effort. Even when I had accomplished this much, I could by no means persuade it to exceed the rate of 20 mph, and I was forced to cripple home in rush hour traffic at dangerously slow speeds.During an interregnum in my homeward journey, taken with the design of allowing my overtaxed steed an opportunity of dispersing accumulated heat, I sought solace from the tribulations of the day within the confines of the local scratch-and-dent market. Here were purveyed all manner of foodstuffs; drygoods, canned articles, and comestible provisions of every kind. Candies, spices, over-the-counter pharmaceuticals, diapers, cleaning supplies, numerous varieties of rice and other staples, tea and coffee, all crowded together in motley profusion. The merchandise, apparently rejected items, discarded from retailers the continent over, is sometimes expired, often in damaged packages, frequently printed in Spanish, and always unlike anything available to be had through more prosaic channels. They are generally cheaper than comparable items sold by ordinary grocers: I purchased nine bottles of Malta Goya for $3:80, which by my estimation is a good price for 108 ounces of delectation. Malta Goya is a carbonated malt beverage; in taste, something like a ginger ale made from nuts. It is brewed from barley and hops, and is a type of unfermented beer.Finally, exhausted by the events of the day, I returned home with all possible dispatch, and spent the scanty remainder of the afternoon composing this account.–Todd ***********************************Editorial Comment by Todd’s Mom: While it is true we did not know every thing we wish we had known about preparing him for college, it is also not quite exactly true that he is in as dire straits as he made it to sound here. He has information–including Achievement Tests, letters of recommendation and so on from people that can be submitted. Todd just did not think about that right at the second, and I did not know he was going to fill out an application when he went–he was allegedly going to just pick up a course manual to choose a class to use his scholarship on that he won from this college in a computer game class this summer. SO I had not sent him prepared with his packet of stuff. He also has his ACT test etc. So it’s not so dire as he makes it sound in this write up. It is true though that both his father and I were raised in religious communities that did not look favorably on much education beyond 8th or 9th grade. Due to my own drive and determination, I successfully studied on my own, and then took and passed my GED at age 18–as soon as I was legally allowed to take it. However, we are really having to feel our way through this whole college thing and it feels a bit daunting.)