by Stefani on 12-September-2008

"Mama does a snake KNOW that it's about to shed?


Does it hurt or does it feel good, like getting new shoes?"

These are the questions he pondered after finding a snake skin in our yard (OUR YARD!) and then he pondered them all over again when he found a newly emerged Mayfly. 


We wondered if it feels like you are getting ready to sneeze, "kind of itchy and uncomfortable, and then much better when it's all over." And do the mommy and daddy snakes and Mayflies celebrate their little one's new phase? "Like a birthday party?"

"Does it take a while to get used to your new skin?"

I imagine so, just as it is taking me a little time to wiggle out of the old and into the new… 

I do apologize. I've not been very good lately about getting back to your sweet comments and emails. I haven't gotten around to the blogs much. I haven't returned too many calls either. I've been drawing inward a bit, readying for change. 

Fall (or something like it) has come, with it's bustle of new projects, stacks of books to read, lists of journeys to take – with the slightest bit of coolness in the air (only in the early mornings) and the welcome plunk, bumpbumpbump of acorns falling on our roof and roll/hopping their way to earth. 

It will still be a while before it is truly autumn, but just as any good snake or mayfly, we've got that feeling… the shedding time is almost here. The preparations are underway.

I've been thinking about taking down the cool weather clothes to see what we have, and what we need. I've been leafing through old magazines, making lists of holiday projects, and recipes to herald a new season. I've been planting the fall garden, cleaning out closets and airing out extra blankets. We've been going through our camping gear, in the knowledge that it will soon (AT LAST) be cool enough for sleeping bags and campfires again. 

I've been letting go of summer days – watching them slide away, shedding them one by one. 

It's time for a season with a little more wiggle room. 

Jen September 12, 2008 at 6:32 am

Mmmmm, I know exactly what you mean! We on the right coast are starting to see the true signs of fall. Usually I am not as…intentional…about the change in seasons. I pass someone’s fall decorations and think, “I should get some stuff out” but forget by the time I get home. Before I know it the season has come and gone with no acknowledgement from me – do you think that relates to living more indoors in our climate controlled lifestyles? But this time…yes, I think this time I FEEL the sneeze coming…I think I’ll head out for tissues.

Alicia A. September 12, 2008 at 6:34 am

oh. you’re readying to camp. and we packed it all away for the last time we think.

Regina September 12, 2008 at 7:08 am

What a great post – I love how your mind works and how your words flow – just wonderful reading to start my day, and to think about as we change seasons, too. Yesterday I listened to the rustle of the dry leaves blowing down the street and realized how many were changing color.

Caroline September 12, 2008 at 7:34 am

I feel like I am in transition too. Yesterday I packed up all of my littles summer sandals and put them in the garage sale bin, along with the tank tops and summer pj’s that will be too small for them next year. I rotated all of the shorts to the drawer to save for next summer with all of the pants and jeans saved from this past winter, with the hope that one or two might still fit.

We are not too far from you here in North Dallas so our weather has been about the same. Lovely in the first hours of the morning, but then hot and humid in the afternoon.

misschris September 12, 2008 at 7:47 am

What wonderful questions! Your boys always entertain me. We feel it here, too. Making soups and sorting through outgrown t shirts…finding the old sweatshirts and giving them a tumble in the dryer for some freshness. Change is in the air, Steph.

And I want to know why you only have 200 or so subscribers? Because you’re one of my favorite bloggers (and have been, for quite a while) and it seems a shame that more people haven’t found your sweet essays. Of course, once they do they will have *so* much fun reading your archives… xoxo

Linn September 12, 2008 at 7:56 am

I love reading how everyone prepares for the coming of fall and the moving inward. It’s beautiful to see and different for everyone, isn’t it?

Candy Cook September 12, 2008 at 8:09 am

Your blog, especially Free Range Learning, is indescribably helpful for any new home study journey. Thanks for sharing all the activities, great photos and stuff. I am passing on an “Unschool is Cool” award. You don’t have to consider yourself UNSCHOOL to accept. I just love your blog and think it’s very helpful to a variety of home study folks.

jen September 12, 2008 at 8:10 am

we are heading up into the mountains this weekend… the desert heat is still unbearable!

hope you can take those curious little ones camping soon!

Our Green Nest September 12, 2008 at 8:23 am

Oh I can’t wait for the fall…can’t wait.

Dalyn September 12, 2008 at 9:26 am

I love nature study! That skin is great! We find those too. Since we are sort of desert dwellers here on this side of the mountain, we find lovely “snake jerkey” or dried snakes in the road. We have great opportunities for science outside! he he. I like to catch the snakes live, look them up in the fieldguide, measure them, sketch them, and take digital pictures.

Miranda September 12, 2008 at 9:50 am

I love the fall transition so much. Making lists of gifts to make, having time to plop down in the evening and crochet or sew. Cool breezes blowing in the windows… wonderful!
Stephani, I do hope you’ll be sharing some of your holiday ideas. I find all of your ideas very refreshing… the commercial holiday hype can really be overwhelming.
I am hoping to make some tanagrams with zippered pouches for my 3 youngest as stocking stuffers. Enjoy your “pre-fall” time!

Thimbleina September 12, 2008 at 10:14 am

Wow a snake skin and what great questions they really do think of alot of things.
Have a great weekend

kathy September 12, 2008 at 11:49 am

oh my what a beautiful post. i’ve been feeling this transition too guided by a new chill in the air.

thank you!

Relyn September 12, 2008 at 4:01 pm

More wiggle room and shedding. What a perfect way to describe transitioning from one season to the next. My heart always quickens when the air turns nippy. And the first scent of a leaf pile burning – heaven!

ferroever September 12, 2008 at 10:50 pm

What a delightful blog.
Your children will love looking back at their childhood as seen through your blogging eyes.
It’s so refreshing to see kids outside, doing stuff.
Love it. Love it.

claudia September 13, 2008 at 5:57 am

I wouldn’t worry too much about getting back to e-mails and the like. Your posts show you are busy focusing on the “mom things” and we all know and understand priorities – especially a homeschooling mom.
Thank you for the time you share blogging. I always leave wanting to go out and dig around in our woods. That or seriously consider taking a writing class! 🙂

caroline September 13, 2008 at 2:21 pm

Great post! I’ve been having similar fall-y feelings myself. And an overwhelming urge to make a pot of soup…even though it’s 94 degrees today.

p.s. We haven’t heard from the girls lately. How’s it cluckin’?

OMSH September 15, 2008 at 7:45 pm

This weather? THIS WEATHER I want to hold on to for another month. I’d love to be able to wear a sweater or sweatshirt for more than a week or so around Christmas.

But yes, we are feeling the change too – as we settled into curriculum and moved into our own new schedule of mommy not working all day and reading, reading, reading.

I’m lost in Egyptian Pyramids, The New World, and Animal Kingdoms. 🙂

Julie @ Letter9 September 18, 2008 at 6:26 am

What great questions. I think you’ve got a writer (maybe a poet?) on your hands there, Stefani.

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