it appears that i have once again taken a longer that expected hiatus from the land of blogging. i keep meaning to write, but then...well, life has other plans.
i, along with 2 other amazing mamas, have been working hard to get our co-op up & running for our 5th session. we began last fall, with about 8 families & have more than doubled in size since then. some families have moved on, some come for one session & then take a break, only to come back again later & others are new friends that we have met along the way.
we get better with each session...more organized, more "under our belts" to learn from. this session we are really stepping things up. we've created a membership brochure (very professional, right?? ;), we also have composition notebooks for each of our volunteer positions. these, i think, are going to come in very handy, not only as a reference of where we have been, but for where we are going.
there are 2 big changes this session, though that have us all very excited. one is that we now have a home, a real home! we have moved around quite a bit, starting out @ a community center, then on to renting a few rooms in an old high school, that has a new life as an artist studio. both were 'ok', but neither was "us" & neither was the right fit. @ our new space we actually have on site storage, which is huge, as well as the run of the building on wed. but better than that, we are loved!
we are renting from a woman who loves what we are doing, she loves that we homeschool, the focus on bringing our community together...she loves the children. it is such an amazing feeling to have such love & support under our feet, really.
second, we are changing our approach to service projects. in the past we did the standard issue ones, river cleanup, volunteering @ a food bank, helping out @ a food drive, visiting the local landfill & learning about waste, recycling & such. these all left us feeling as though we have truly given something back to our community, and yet there was something lacking.
but now we are focusing on our local community, our community...the madison county homeschooling tribe. (yes, that is our name!) & now we are living up to it.
we have decided to host monthly work parties. whoever in our group has a need, whether it be help repairing their roof, cleaning our their basement, building a chicken coop, refinishing a floor, winterizing their home puts their name in the database. when it is their turn, they pick a date, gather a list of materials & tools required, & provide refreshments for the lot of us. everyone else in the group that can make it out, gathers, working together to get the job done. the children play (supervised by a few mamas/papas), the rest of the parents work.
not only do we all have things that need tending to @ our homes, but how better to live up to our name of tribe than by walking the walk. the impact on both us & our children is that we know the folks that we are helping, they are our friends.
our children see us loading up tools & materials, heading over to help out our neighbor in need. this makes so much more of an impact on them & on us. seeing the faces, the gratitude...that love & energy then goes back into the tribe. everything comes full circle...
i am so very excited to see how everything is taking shape, & so amazingly glad to be a part of such an wonderful community of people.
what started as a spanish class, became a homeschool cooperative, and has now grown to encompass so many more facets of our lives than perhaps we ever thought possible. we continue to be the community of love & support that we were each previously searching/longing for, that each family should have one their journey to raise our children, that we started out to become, but we have already become so much more....
i look forward to where this wandering path leads us next...
in truth, there were many things i planned on discussing with you all tonight, but in the end, i suppose there was one speaking louder than all of the others.
the inspiration comes, perhaps from "knit two", which i just finished reading. (it is the second book in the "friday night knitting club" series.) it closes with a reflection of how lucky they each are to have each other & much along the same lines as what i have written here tonight...it all came about unexpectedly.
what began as one woman's journey, became a yarn shop, which led to a knitting club, which led to lifelong friendships & a loving supportive community. none of which was ever expected, but perhaps that is what made it all the more of a blessing.
may we each find the love & community that we are searching for...
blessings & good night. xo