hayward build may 2012 done done


Country(fied) Creativity

I miss the lake front and country living I grew up understanding.  I took it for granted and even hated it when I was a kid.  I always wanted to be in town running around or biking with the rest of my classmates. I believed that they were always having more fun than I was…Now, I wonder.

I took my 2 boys home to the lake this past Memorial Day weekend.  I showed my youngest how to fish, taught both of them how to bait a hook, hauled tree limbs from the water’s edge and romped around in the fields and muddy driveway.  I loved it.

I miss the smells, the fresh grass after a rain, the cool expanse of greens and browns after a storm, the lake scent…sometimes as putrid as anything when the algae collects too much so.  I remember watching the bugs crawling and walking on top of the algae, it was so thick.  My brothers and I have a memory of being in the lake with our good neighbor friend and the lake being so still and covered in algae that the temperature was about 10* different on the surface than the bottom.  I remember our neighbor ducking underwater and inhaling a mouthful of the green goo and spewing it out like a fountain.  A green, chunky, waterfall!  BLEH!!!!!!  Well, we all did it—at one another.  I still recall our parents coming to find us, we must have looked like something from the Green Lagoon!  Ahhhh the fun.  I miss that.

A thought ran through my head as I sat at the water’s edge, talking nonsense with my youngest and swatting the gnats and flies.  There was no way I could grow up in this environment and have been a girly girl.  I often felt like a Laura Ingalls tramping through the trees or a Jo March engaging in all manner of rough and tumble play with my brothers and cousins.  I grew up playing with boys, that’s who made up my family.  I learned much from them.  That’s another blog completely…..or a couple.

I miss the play I experienced so long ago.  I think I became more creative as a result of that time.  I did not have a pool to run to and spend the summer.  My pool was the lake, I learned to swim and dive at the end of the dock.  In the winter, that pool froze and an Olympic size skating rink appeared, where I swore I was Kristi Yamaguchi.  C’mon, we’ve all done it with some sports star.  My brothers and I had only ourselves with whom to play…we had to invent our games.

Tag became–Guerilla Warfare ( Thanks to Mr. Streuwe and 8th grade History teaching my oldest brother the terminology)  Kick ball was an afternoon endeavor, all the way across the lots…and there were at least 2 acres spanning our field.  Fourth of July meant rocket launchers, chucking fireworks, and extended family.  I have no idea how to not throw firecrackers.  Imagine a dainty lady chucking Black Cats!  We were outside from sun up to way past sun down.  We were brown and fit and happy….covered in scabs, and often my mother wondered if it was TAN or dirt that enveloped us.  Prolly a good combo of both.  WE lived in the outdoors, the trees, lake, rocks, docks, and fields were our best friends.  It became part of our souls…It did mine at least.

Now I yearn for the sound of the water…my bedroom faced the lake and I would open my window during all seasons to hear the water lap against the rocks, the fish jumping in early morning, the ice settle and pop in the winter.  I knew those sounds intimately…I want to hear them again.

Author, Richard Louvre writes about a disconnect with nature that our children are suffering.  AMEN and AMEN to that.  I watched my sons last weekend.  They calmed down, they romped in the grass, threw rocks at the lake, waded in the water–(albeit it was freezing…who was I to reprimand?) I would have been doing the same.  He comments that our society of children no longer know how to play, have no understanding of the nature that surrounds them…or for some children, they have no idea that nature exists!!!!  That idea baffles me, but the more I work within the city limits of the larger metropolis where I live, I see where that happens.  Children can go through their whole lives without seeing a farm, and open field, a dirt driveway leading…who knows where.

I needed that growing up, I need it now.  My kids need to experience that!  I watched as their speech slowed down and they came into the house reeking of sand and mud and lake water!!!  Eau de Herman!  I needed to see that in my children.  I struggle with now, wanting to scoop them up and march them to the country and leave even the small city behind me.  Who cares about having to commute to the bright lights if I can play in the open field with my charges…A pipe dream I know.

However, there is something to this nature deficit and I am committed to more research and contemplation on the topic.  It is part of the reason I am so in love with the work I am doing with the non-profit GROUND WORKS in SD.  It is a small attempt to connecting children and families with nature through the use of a school teaching garden.  The healing and physical health benefits are more than I can articulate. It is not simply about another “fad” standard of living…it is replicable and sustainable!  It feeds the soul and the body and nurtures relationships better than anything I understand.  I will write more about GROUND WORKS in the coming days and weeks, but for now check it out at or go to Facebook

You just might be pleasantly surprised!!!!

Until we write again…SHALOM


Wha ? HUH?

I awoke from a dream this morning where all I can remember is the fact that I was admitted to Middlebury College as a Writing/Theatre major….
WAIT!!!! I already have a bachelor’s, (2 of them) and a Master’s. Huh? Ok, then the thought was that I should get my MFA here…
It could be that I was reading the beginnings of Rchard Louv’s book: No Child Left Inside.
What do I know, my NyQuil induced sleep may have pushed me over the edge….or maybe just NOW gaining clarity.

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