Birthdays, Books and “Bbbbrrrrrs” in the Mornings! Ep. 14

Birthdays ~

Late August is always accompanied by cake and candles for both our youngest and I and this year was no different. Ok, a little different ~ see, I don’t have my good stoneware baking pans … or, more accurately, they don’t fit in the boat’s oven! So, we all got pretty good at cutting off the slightly burned cake bottom while maintaining the icing position above! One never knows when THAT skill will be needed again!

Here is our youngest in front of their cake in the cockpit of our boat!

They turned 9 and I… well, never mind! I did find it comical when my mom had to correct my math calculations and remind me that she, too, was there at my birth and was aware of my correct age! Luckily, I had calculated too high for the past two years so her news was welcomed! As I embarrassingly shook my head at the mistake, I recalled how I had harrassed my mother as she made a similar mistake when she was in her mid-forties! Another shake of the head … one consolation is that the number of things that continually happen which I had sworn would never happen to me is getting smaller in reverse proportion to the numeral that represents my age! And life goes on.

Gift buying for birthday child was a challenge as both size and practicality of use on a boat were big considerations. We bought them a favorite movie – Pirates of the Carribbean – which really was a gift to all of us!! We also got them a remote controlled boat but this needed to be shipped to our friends that we were going to meet up with in Boothbay Harbor! I also picked up this fun set of cards which are used to build castles. The kids both loved this!

Here is a sample castle (sitting on our Navigation station) which was a joint project of both kids.

Books ~

We have completed week three of schooling aboard Thalia! We are settling in to a routine which should work until we are in warmer waters. As the mornings have become very cool, we are using the time for school work. The plethora of books are set into two piles — one for each child — then Tom and I assign the portions of the curriculum we believe should be tackled first, second, etc. We often read the material with the “student” in order to facilitate adequate discussion. I am truly enjoying the material and am happy to be a part of their learning process. I am realizing that I will want to be more involved on an on-going basis in what the kids are learning in school. As we proceed through discussions of Mythology, Ancient History, Sculpture, Spanish, etc., I can easily imagine a great number of students in a classroom of 20-plus tuning-out during discussion time. As a student responds to a question, there is probably very little time to query “why” or “how did you arrive at that conclusion” or “can you back up your answer with material you just learned?” I also find that I can build in mini lessons on friendship, kindness, acceptance, appreciation of diversity, generosity or any other trait I feel should be emphasized at the time. I don’t know if I am cut from the right cloth to home school full-time, but I do see how being connected to a child’s learning can assist in shaping him into a better person.

Back to our trip update! We find ourselves back in Northeast Harbor on Mt. Desert Island where most of the island is part of Acadia National Park. This is a great place, plan a visit here soon! As we were unsuccessful in having our old anchor windlass repaired, we had a new one shipped to the harbor master’s office here in Northeast Harbor. The installation went smoothly. Below is a picture of our youngest during the testing phase! They have their father’s aptitude for making things work. They have been a great buddy and helper to Tom’s many boat tasks.

We dedicated one day to play while here and rented bikes to again ride the carriage roads of Acadia National Park. We could all use the exercise and we had such a terrific time! Zachary misses his bicycle most of all of us. He thinks of his good friend Marcus each time we discuss biking. Here is Zachary thoroughly enjoying the day!

Above is a picture from atop Mt. Desert overlooking Somes Sound

Bbbrrrrrrrrrrs in the Mornings ~

Who turned off the heat!! For heaven’s sake, August just isn’t supose to be this cold! I had prepared to be cold for part of September and most of October. I had NOT prepared for this! We haven’t put so much as a toe in the ocean water in weeks! We look forward with great anticipation to a time when we will be under the influence of the gulf stream. I recently purchased wool socks, neck scarves and fleece hats for the boys and I. Why I packed away all those ski clothes, I’ll never know. We have awoken to temperatures in the mid-fifties for at least three weeks now ~ ENOUGH! It is with this chill in our bones that we now make haste in our move to warmer waters!

We have enjoyed two scheduled visits with friends before leaving Maine — Friends from our home-town of Bedford who have a place in Boothbay Harbor and friends we ski with at Sunday River who live in Kennebunk, Maine. Friends are terrific and amazingly rejuvenating to the soul! We had great conversation, lots of fun and running around for our kids and the side attraction of warm showers and laundry facilities! Most people might get a little bothered by two seperate sets of friends pleading with us to use their shower facilities–not us! We jumped into a steady stream of hot water with grins stretching from ear to ear!

Thank goodness for good friends! We know this will be the last time to see our Maine and NH friends for a year so this is the true good-bye!

Weather permitting, we leave Cape Porpoise (near Kennebunkport) Wednesday morning, September 6th with hopes of being on the south side of the Cape Cod Canal by Friday or Saturday! Yippeee … GULF STREAM, HERE WE COME!!

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