Search Chandra's Blog
Blog Tags
"Apparition" "Art of Spiritual Warfare" "Best in Show" "Body of a Girl" "Exposure" "Gone with the Wind" "Half a Life" "Husband and Wife" "My Foreign Cities" "Myth of You and Me" "Open Your Heart with Gardens" "Stiltsville" "Substitute Me" "Temptation by Water" "The Bird Sisters" "The Book Thief" "The Guardian Angel Diary" "The Heroine's Bookshelf" "The King's Speech" "The Language of Light" "The Love Goddess' Cooking School" "The Mobuis Striptease" "The Peach Keeper" "The Provence Cure for the Brokenhearted" "The Wednesday Sitsters" "This House" "Unintended" 50th Book Club Prize Pack act 'as if' Adam Levine adoption adventure advice Alpha Male Ann Hood Anna Cole Atlanta attachment parenting autism babies babywearing bad reviews bats beach house believer Ben Bethany Hamilton Betty Smith Big Nate birderd birthdays biting Blizzards blog hopping blog tour blogging blogswap blurb body image book book clubs book tour Books and Books Boudreaux boys breastfeeding Bridget Asher brothers Buffalo News Caeli Widger cake California cancer caramel oat bars Caribbean Carol Shields Carolyn Haley cats Cayman Cayman Compass Ceausescu chameleon Charles Bukwosi Cherry Cheryl Chick Lit Plus Chickens childhood CHOP CHOSEN Christina Shideler Christmas Christmas cards chuffy Cinderella clothes coconut water color Colorado comedy community connected contests cooking co-sleeping cow milking craft criticism Crown Publishers cry it out Dakota Darin Strauss David Lipsky dawn Dawn Chorus Daybreak 27 Destined to Fail Diana Abu Jaber Diane Lockward DOG BLOG Dog Whisperer dogs domestic ritual Dr. Anna Leahy Dr. Karen Monroy Dr. Oz Due Uve editing editor education eggs Elizabeth Scarboro Emily Kennedy Erin Blakemore evening walk expeditionary learning Exposure Facebook fake it til your make it Falcor family family bed fan mail fans farm life favorite books feminism Fon Wang Forrest Free stuff friends friendship gardening geography gluten-free goats God Grand Family Grant Schnarr grey hoodie grief guest blog Gyllian Davis Hannah Shelton Harper HarperCollins Hayden HHarperCollins hockey home homeschooling homework Hondiuras Honduras horses hospitals Huffington Post Huffington Post divorce editor ice hockey Ilie Ruby inspiration International Women's Day iPhone island living 'It Takes a Village' Ivan Jungé J Jane Austen jasmine tea Jeffrey Eugenides Jenna Blum Jessica Keenan Smith Jessie Jonah journals Judy Blume Julianna Baggott Kelly Simmons Kid History kids Kristin Kimball Labrador Laos Leah Stewart least favorite word letting go Lincoln Pierce Linda Davis Linden Lisa Belkin Lisa McKay literary agent live in the now living with less Lois Alter Mark Lori Odhner Lori Tharps loss Lost Boy love language love story Lucky jeans Maggie Nelson magic Maria Massie marriage Martha Beck Max Maya Ziv meat Meg Waite Clayton Melissa McNallan Melissa Senate memoir menagerie mentor Michelle McGee micro fiction mindfulness miracle Miranda July modern living mojitos momstinct money mothering MoxieMomma nachos NAIBA New Year Newfoundland Newfoundlands Nichole Bernier NRA Nutella NYTimes NYTimes Motherlode ocean Opening Heavens Doors optimistic orphanage paint Paleo Comfort Foods parenting patience Pay it forward persistence Perthes Disease Peter Pan phobia Piper pizza plot poetry ponies Portland Psychology Today publication publishing puppy puppy breath puppydom Pushcart Prize Q&A quilts Quinn readers reading Rebecca Gyllenhaal Rebecca Rasmussen Remy resolutions review reviews revision ritual rockclimbing romance writer Romania running Sally Kim Samantha March Samoyed Sampson sangria school SCUBA secret confessions security senior project Sept 11 serendipity sewing sexting sexy SheKnows Book Club PIck of the Year SheWrites shopping short fiction SImon&Schuster simple life sister sister-cousin sisters slings smells snow snow day songs Sophie space exploration Spain Spanish spiders sshort fiction Starbucks stuttering style stylesubstancesoul.com Summer reading sunset Susanna Daniels Swedenborg swimming teens Thanksgiving the climbing tree The Four Ms. Bradwells" The Grain Exchange The Name Game Thelma Zirkelbach Therese Fowler THUMOS TIME magazine tingarita Tourettes tradition travel Twitter two lives ugly dolls unschooling Utila wedding whale sharks white wine William Faulkner winter Wisconsin worry writing writing and parenthood YA Fiction yoga Zulu

Chandra's Blog

 

Entries in home (2)

Tuesday
Aug272013

First day

Today was the first day of school. The first time, since becoming a mother almost twelve years ago, that all three of my children will go to traditional school together, at the same time. For twenty eight and a half hours a week. After several episodes of homeschooling and traveling, of book touring and then leading our two lives, one here and one on Isla de Utila, I don't know what to think about this.

Hoffspring leaving their island life

 All the things I thought I'd be so excited to do--go on a long run, start writing on a brand-new project--turned into me rattling around this morning with a second cup of coffee, laying out a few hands of Aces on the Bottom, obsessively checking my email and finally getting out of the house, and browsing (without luck) at the carpet store.

Off to school, Aug 2013

It's funny, in their other life, they learned to tie nautical knots to keep the boat from drifting away from the dock cleat, and leapt barefoot from the boat to their tutor in town. In the other, this past Sunday my father and brothers taught me a hasty and sloppy half Windsor for prep school ties and I obsessed over the minutiae of dress code approved footwear.

 

After Skyping with them early this morning, J remarked privately to me that the kids look great, though maybe a little like they're auditioning for an Annie Lennox music video. That's ok. It's part of why this two lives thing works. Hopefully, we are shooting for the bigger picture--presenting them with all kinds of options for a life, and hoping we are raising people capable of playing by the rules, (and breaking a few) and figuring out what really matters.

 

Last night, I wallpapered Hayden's pencil keeper (a wooden Honduran cigar box) with photos of Amigo and Sampson, the dogs he loves in both places, and a tiny cameo of his family, just in case a hip sixth grader whose side part in the photo at left was 'ironic, mom, get it?' wanted a glimpse of familiar faces.  

The hoping we're getting it right is what had me up again at 3:30 am, cutting out Max and Piper's sandwiches in the shape of our stateside house's roofline, and leaving little notes on red paper where the front door would be, telling them I couldn't wait to hear about everything when they came HOME. 

 

Here's to a great year, and all kinds of new adventures for us all. 

* *** *

 

 

Monday
Jan172011

Monday Musing--Coming Home

“There's nothing half so pleasant as coming home again.”

-Margaret Elizabeth Sangster

 

We'll leave the light on for you...

I consider it a good sign that whenever we travel, even when we have had more than two decadent weeks in the Caribbean feasting on fresh lobster, conch and just-caught tuna, snorkeling and surfing and beachcombing, playing with cousins and making new friends, we are excited to come home. With the book tour and our winter vacation, we have been on the road plenty this year, but with homeschooling, we've also been using our home base, our classroom in the loft more. Home to my kids means ritual and familiar, means their usual foods, all of their recently acquired Christmas presents, their giant bins of Legos and art supplies, and their animals...

Saturday night, the car got quiet the last mile home from the airport. New snow had fallen--no paw prints to show the footwork of Jonah's last frolic. There was no exuberant, slobbery barking dog to greet us. For the first time in ten years, there was no Jonah to welcome us home.

Inside, the house was spotless. The three cats weaved anxiously and the youngest, Atticus, looked at us reproachfully as if to say, "You have no idea the shit that went down when you guys were gone." There were flowers and a note--a friend had left dinner in the fridge and a lovely card, chocolate in the cupboard. On the counter: Jonah's collar and brushes. J quickly carried them downstairs; everyone, human and feline, pricked up at the telltale, familiar jingle of Jonah's dog tags clinking together.

We heated the dinner and afterwards, I said reflexively, "Boys, clear your places, put your bowls down for--"before I stopped myself. It was the first time in my life that there hasn't been a dog hanging out by the table, waiting to clean the dishes.

After dinner, Hayden got his blanket and curled up on Jonah's big bed by the fireplace; he spent the night there. 

 

Moving on. Two days later, we are home, settled, 30% unpacked. There are good things happening too. I spent all of Sunday putting the final touches on my second novel and sending it off. We already have two playdates, three hockey games and a clinic under our belts, not to mention hours of fun on our finally-frozen backyard rink:

 "Eau du Joe" can still be found if you bury your nose in the throw pillows of the couch, and I already notice less hair overall, but without his cleaning assistance, more crumbs. As I write this, three deer walk boldly into our yard, sniff around to see if there is anything for them to nibble, no watchdog to keep them away.

It still feels like someone is missing. Bittersweet, but happy to be home.

 


  

Above: Hayden skating in to score