thankful thursdays {03.31.2016}

We’ve been on spring break since last Thursday, and our time here upstate is winding down. For now, at least. Tomorrow morning, we’ll load the car, and make our way back to Maryland, with a pitstop in NYC to see friends. This trip has been especially replenishing. Unlike most of our visits, this one was longer, more relaxed. I tackled some organizing projects that make me feel a sense of control in our cozy house. The list was much longer, but I had the good sense to realize what I could reasonably get done while making R&R a high priority, too.

And we went for walks along the reservoir, a stroll that brings as much peace as walking along the beach in Cape Cod. I intend to make this a regular routine for us once we move back up here this summer. Yes, another move, but a familiar one this time. Before you ask, my guy and I are okay. We both know I need to come back, for my own sense of well being (and the girls’ too). 

It would be easy to say the girls and I never really settled in, or grew to like Maryland, but really, if I’m being honest—we are all New York girls deep, down in the fibers of our being. My roots are here, and like a native plant, only accustomed to living in a certain zone, this is where we flourish. I’ve learned a lot in this last year. Oddly enough, I’ve made more friends up here since leaving last June. My efforts to get the girls together with their best friends resulted in blossoming friendships with two women who are kind, funny, and good people at their core.

Having lived in the city, then the country, and now the suburbs, I can undoubtedly say 1. city, 2. country. The suburbs just don’t rank for me. I love the thrill, diversity, and convergence of just about everything you can imagine in NYC, mostly within walking distance one you get off the metro. As for the country, I appreciate the small town nature of things, and lack of chain stores, unless you choose to go in search of them. Being back up here is a good compromise, and puts me closer to NYC.

A late afternoon walk along the Ashokan Reservoir.

A late afternoon walk along the Ashokan Reservoir.

There’s more to this move than just location. We’ll be making a big change for the next year, as I set out to homeschool the girls. We need to press pause on society’s predetermined schedule; truly walk to our own beat. Coming across this book at The Golden Notebook in Woodstock was very timely today. The title is a bit misleading, or at least it was to me. I’m glad I took the few minutes to read the book jacket, and discover that the author focuses on how wonder, creativity, and initiative are crucial to the learning process.

After this short experience in Montgomery County, MD, I feel even stronger than before that there is more to education than testing, facts, and figures. That is why in putting together our homeschool plan, I refer to it as how I’d like to shape the girls’ learning experience, not curriculum. With the help of friends, who are also educators, I’ll be planning project based lessons, and include some travel so they can learn beyond the static life of the classroom. I’m excited, nervous, and everything in between, but most of all, I feel peaceful. We’ve been on a hamster wheel since Michael died. Now is the time, before Isabella enters high school, for me to jump off, and let my heart and mind guide us.


  • Joan Bianco

    Glad that you may have found some peace and tranquility. Wishing you much luck as you travel back “home” and your plans to home school Isabella and Virginia. Sending hugs to you all, Love ya, xo

  • Marissa

    it sounds like its going to be a very interesting school year for the three of you come September. Happy you found your place, Riss

  • Carol H.

    Interesting. If you hadn’t tried all those different paths, you’d have always been curious about how they turned out. “The path not taken….” You’ve had lots of experiences and can return home, content in the knowledge that you’ve made a good decision…for now. Things change, life changes. Be open. Again I thank you for sharing your life with us. It’s a joy watching you learn and grow. xo, Carol

  • elizabeth t.

    I have not homeschooled (my kids were grown up before homeschooling was even marginally acceptable). But friends have. And one strongly recommends a writing curriculum called “Brave Writer”. It’s on FB and may have a website. Lots of discussion as well about making homeschooling satisfactory for all of you.

  • Rocky Mountain Woman

    What a lovely adventure! I am so in love with where I live in the backwoods that I am willing to commute almost an hour each way each day. All the best to you and girls as you start on this new journey!

  • Glenda

    I was born and raised in NYC. I know exactly what you mean about city / suburbs. Having married a marine I moved to California, not bad adjusting, but when we moved to S. Carolina I cried. Luckily it was only the two of us at the time and I adjusted. I went back to the city in February and every visit I breathe it in and fall in love with my city NY. Sounds like you, the guy and girls are doing wonderful. I’m happy for you guys. Great update! Best to you all.

  • Emily

    We began homeschooling our youngest last fall. So glad we stepped out of our comfort zone and tried it! We love it and he does, too. Challenging days, of course! But most are GREAT! School is done promptly, leaving what’s left of the day to us! Best wishes!

  • mama's mama

    Hope you know how proud I am of you! Knowing you as I do you will succeed . I’m happy for you & the girls.:-) 🙂 XO

  • Radhika

    I have been following your journey since 2011 and felt like you have been looking for your anchor. Between the guy and your home I hope you have found it. It is wonderful that you are not afraid to take the chances and live life. Definitely inspiring. Much peace and happiness to you guys.

  • Melina

    I’m really happy to hear that you are making this change. It is going to be an amazing adventure for you and your girls. I’m sure you will always remember it. I was wondering if you would be moving back. I had a sense that might be the case.

  • Theresa

    I live in the suburbs of northern Virginia very close to the DC Beltway. I lived in NY for 6 years before that. I so relate to the city mouse/country mouse life. I am a suburban mouse and I would much rather be a city mouse:-) My son needed Special education and the suburbs provided that. I have friends who home school and it works well for them. It’s become all about the testing. I feel so much for really good teachers out there who cannot teach their true passion due to the over abundance of paperwork and testing benchmarks. So glad you’ll be heading back to the place you call home.

  • Susan

    Funny how life often brings you what you need when you least expect it. I enjoy blogs, and often consider starting my own, but alas, I’ve yet to do more than think about it. 😉 I stumbled on yours tonight through your Peanut Butter Pie recipe and knew immediately there would be substance in your blog that I would enjoy. Boy was I right! I’m a new fan/follower and look forward to getting to know you. Wishing you a peaceful soul and a joyful heart as you continue on your journey.