When driving up to Flathead Lake last weekend, Margot said,
I am totally, full-only so excited for this weekend.
(pronounced like full on lee)
And, just like that, full-only is my new favorite descriptor of commitment. The Full On! of the 90s needed to turn into an adverb.
Our good friends just got a boat and for two weekends in a row we’ve been the lucky tag-alongs. Perhaps it is their increasing strength and confidence in the water, perhaps it’s my increasing awareness of the preciousness of our cool, clean water, perhaps it’s because my life for the last seven years is about to change with my youngest starting kindergarten in two months. Whatever the case, I’m noticing it all. The strength, confidence, water, the time leading up to our daily rhythm changing.
I am so happy to have had Ruby at home this last year, schooling by my side. It went even better than I could have imagined: she thrived and learned, I thrived and learned. And, we have decided to enroll in public school this fall. I haven’t responded to many of your questions about our educational choices because it is a subject that belongs to my daughters and because we are figuring it out as we go — fully (full on-ly) aware (and expecting) that what feels right for our family can change. For now, our local school is right. We do plan to homeschool intermittently over the next years. And, of course – as my husband always reminds me when I am spinning out over what is best for us (oh I do think about and read about this all so very much) – we always school at home through our own love of learning and desire to be and grow with our children.
:: Always the first one awake.
:: Over dinner a few weeks ago, we developed a family summer mission statement. In an effort to resist the constant conversational flurry of “Summer is flying by!” and “I am so busy!” I sought a slower-paced naming of what it is we want during this season of long days and bare-shouldered outdoor adventure. It started as a conversation but I grabbed a pen and started recording our thoughts.
I asked questions like
What is one thing you want to do with each person in our family?
What is one thing you want to do at home?
What is one thing you want to do away from our home?
When school starts, what feeling do you hope to remember about our summer?
What do you want to learn?
Our mission looks something like: camp, swim, garden, read, write, make art and play — just the right amount, while striving for peace and ease throughout our adventures.
The “peace and ease” goal is a reminder that we want a healthy balance of getting out there and hunkering down. Not stressy. Not hurried.
:: I love camping. Scouting a flat spot for the tent, living well with very little. Teaching my kids to sharpen sticks and dig holes. Sunscreen, beadhead, same clothes over same bathing suit. No mirror, no cell service. Kids contentedly playing for hours, days with rocks and sticks and water and imagination. Falling asleep so tired in the silent, wondrous wilderness. Waking to piles of feet and paws, sun rising inside our tent. Sharing it all with Mabel, missing Alice deeply. My husband’s perfect cup of coffee, and again. And his smooches when our headlamps clink.
:: I arrange rocks. Wherever I go, I collect and sort and move them around for hours. Always have. I worked on this piece for an afternoon and left it for the next next person who washes up here.
:: A special deal for you from dig sponsor Popina retro swimwear. Hands-down my favorite bathing suits, Popina specializes in vintage swimwear that fits and lasts. My swimsuit criteria: stay on my body in a strong river current, hold shape against jumping dogs and climbing kids, give support in all the right places (got boobs? Two thumbs up: Vamp, Grace and Gina).
After trying three different suits (Popina’s customer service is outstanding!), I decided to go with another Vamp. The Jantzen bathing suits are tough to beat. I adore the sexy little skirt that gives a just a bit of butt coverage, the thick halter straps that don’t dig into my neck and the way that puppy doesn’t move around, even when I dive into a lake. Also a cool feature of the Vamp: a fitted mesh suit is under the top you can see; the fit is spectacular.
♥♥♥ Popina is giving one of you lucky ducks a suit! ♥♥♥
Simply leave a comment here for a chance to win. And, they are generously offering you 15% off with code CANUDIGIT. Go for it! You deserve to feel like a queen in your swim skivvies. You won’t regret your purchase. Thanks, Popina!
Comments closed! Coupon code remains valid. Randomly selected winner:
:: “Nothing in the world is more flexible and yielding than water. Yet when it attacks the firm and the strong, none can withstand it, because they have no way to change it. So the flexible overcome the adamant, the yielding overcome the forceful. Everyone knows this, but no one can do it.” – Lao Tzu
:: And on the note of the beautiful quote up there: I woke at 3am last Sunday morning to horrid screaming. NO! FUCK! GET DOWN HERE! over and over again. I was in our tent with my family, on an island. I woke Andy. He ran to get our friend and together they went to help whomever needed it. I thought we were the only ones on the island. Andy had grabbed our only headlamp; we forgot the others. I lay there listening to screaming and roaring wind but then realized it wasn’t windy. Our tent, perched up on a cliff top, wasn’t moving. That is water, I realized. Huge waves yelling into the night. Andy was gone forever. An hour? My phone was dead. An hour and a half? What if he fell in. What if that person was a crazy murderer. Oh the relief I felt when I saw his light ambling up the hill. He explained the scene: a big boat, on its side up against a rock, full of water. A woman pinned between a log and the rock. A man chest-deep in water with five-foot swells pushing him into the boat. A little girl watching in terror. Matt and Andy carried a full-sized driftwood tree across the island and levered the boat up onto land. They tied off the boat. It is destroyed. Everyone is ok. Our friends’ boat – the one we rode in on – on the other side of the island in a protected bay, didn’t even move. We spent hours the next morning getting ourselves and that family safely to land. Matt and Andy made a run to shore with gear and brought back Jim, a man they met who filled his boat with gas and motored out to our island to fetch the shipwrecked family. Their boat stayed behind, beat down by that soft, embracing lake with rainbow stones and rainbow skies.
:: Wildfire smoke is rolling into our valley. Before everything is clouded, I plan to take deep breaths, run on trails and study the clear sky. Full-Only.
- Photos from Clark Fork River, Salmon Lake and Flathead Lake
- Margot’s polka dot swim suit (I just ordered another. It’s so great.)
- favorite sunscreen
- other favorite sunscreen
- favorite flip flops
- new cook stove (after last year’s fire)
- Earlywood cutting board and cooking tools
- our car camp kit
Ah, summer! I love how those of us in the north embrace it so fully. Sign me up for a cute new suit!!