Students Together

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

We've been on a hiatus in more ways than one. For starters, I'm writing for the first time from a wobbly wooden ikea desk nestled against a beautiful backdrop of natural woods and my words aren't coming as freely as they used to. I've wanted to write, but I've felt the daunting task of summing up an incredible experience while also being so very busy to be too much every time I sit to tackle it. From my vantage point, I see six large windows and beyond them layers of pine. I'm sitting in a fairy tale- one that my husband and I have only dreamed about before. The Weigle's are out West!

I've had so many questions about what we're doing and I've found them difficult to answer. We got the opportunity back in November to travel to Colorado and we've been back and forth from here and Tennessee ever since. When we started homeschooling years ago, it was a hope of mine that our kids would get to experience more of the world as we made that choice. I didn't want to plan our adventures around one week in the Spring and one in the Fall. I wanted to be able to drop everything and seize the day if an opportunity arose. In 2020, my husband's job became mostly online and we have decided to take advantage of that when we can and so here we are!

I could talk about how we were here for that blizzard a few weeks ago. I could talk about how we've hiked around Garden of the Gods. I could tell you about the herds of mule deer who visit our front door daily. We've had fox sightings just outside the window. We celebrated Holi in the shrouds of color in the snow. We've spotted Steller's Jay on the porch and in the trees. We've traversed many miles in pursuit of endorphins. We've shivered in the wind and broke a sweat with snow still on the ground. We are learning that the West is one special place, a place where it was 80 yesterday and 30 and snowing again today.

Two strange happenings inspired me to write today, though. 

As I looked ambivalently outside at the falling snow today, I was startled by a loud sound I wasn't expecting. Thunder! How peculiar to experience both at once. I guess I didn't know that could happen. As my dad would say, "Ya learn somethin' new every day!"

Furthermore, the other day I desperately wanted to feel as if I'm still a runner, but the house sits at right around 9,000 ft and running here is very difficult. I hoped to head off this mountain into Denver for a quicker and longer run than I had been accomplishing here. With trepidation (I'm still so uncomfortable in cities), I pulled into a familiar park to run circles around a body of water with massive mountain views in the distance. I had been there once before, but on this day it felt new because before I even got a mile in, I stumbled across a field full of groundhogs. Clearly an outsider here, I paused my watch and started snapping photos because surely I had found something others had not. I looked around as everyone else kept walking like this wasn't the coolest happening of the day. Never have I seen multiple groundhogs together much less glancing up to fifty in my eyesight at least. I unpaused my watch and kept a steady pace expecting them to scatter. Some of them scurried away to another nearby hole while others looked at me unfazed. Meanwhile, the people of Colorado were also unfazed by this surprising (to me) community of rodents.

That was a first.

Here's to many more!

The kids and I are students together in a new place and I don't want to waste one moment of it.

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