Sunday, May 23, 2010

Day 143: Kylie Meets a Rattler...

I'm mud plastering walls.

Kylie took Angel for a comfort walk today. She came back a bit sooner than expected. "I had to come back because there was a rattlesnake by the road". She then went on to explain that the snake was coiled and that its rattler was buzzing.

Kylie is a pretty good historian, so I put down my hoe and we went out to find it. Not to kill it; we wanted to photograph it. The snake had slithered away.

Kylie is a country girl. She listens to Carrie Underwood (or "Underwear", as I call her). She reports seeing critters with such an understated fashion. She wasn't surprised at all to find a rattler (this is the second one she has found). When Joni, Kylie and Jazzy came across a bear last year, she talked about it like it was no big deal. This is her world.

Sometimes I feel guilty for dragging her out to this "middle of nowhere" world. To make her shower with a bucket. Heat water on the stove in the winter and then use a shower bag in the summer. Computer and TV time greatly limited due to whether the batteries have a charge in them or not ("not now honey, the sun isn't shining"). Hauling water to the cabin. Sleeping in an itsy, bitsy cabin. No Wii, Ipod, Ipad, Xbox or cell phone. She knows not to wander off at dusk (due to the mountain lions).

Doesn't seem to be having too negative of an effect on her. Kylie will skip 5th grade and go into 6th grade next year. Good for her!


lph said...


Kylie and Jazzy are lucky girls. Many of the students I teach don't least nothing longer than the assignment in front of them, and they seldom think about or are interested in print literature (or media even).

Their earbuds are plugged into i-pods, and they are talking to one friend while simultaneously texting another. Plugged in 24/7... They check facebook, watch videos, and surf the internet whenever they can get away with it. So many of them are aware of everything going on at all times, and yet so many of them are aware of nothing beyond at all.

You and Joni are providing those two a terrific experience that will serve them well. They know how to feel life. And not all kids feel that nowadays...or at least ways that I consider healthy.

In the meantime, if you don't already have one, you need to get Kylie a guitar...or a mandolin. And go buy her some Neko Case. Living in the woods and the mountains is a great place to learn to pluck on some strings. And to sing joyfully!

Take care...good post!


greentangle said...

I can understand your sometime guilt, but I suspect she'll be better served in the future by what she's learning and doing now than most of the kids her age by their childhoods.

I'd caution that skipping a grade isn't all good, but I suspect she's learning to be independent enough that she'll be able to handle it.

Allan Stellar said...

Thanks for your kind comments, Larry!

I do worry that all these plugged in kids is going to mean even more destruction to the wilderness. You can't protect what you don't know or love...

We have a couple of guitars, but the girls haven't really gotten into it yet. However, the do love John Denver!? Perhaps a little Rocky Mountain High by the campfire is in order tonight... :)


Skipping a grade is a big deal. I guess one never knows if you made the right decision in life until later. We hope for the best.

By the way, I've been enjoying your travels across the nation. It is fun to live vacariously through you.