For weeks we puzzled over the mystery of why the middle cucumber plant wasn't growing. The two on each side of it were very happy growing up the sides of their cages. But this one... we figured it was going to die. It didn't shrivel and turn brown the way the dying tomato plant did, but it didn't grow up its cage either. Disappointed, we left it alone. And then came the Big Rain. This made the plant very happy, and the next day, we came out to the garden to discover... a watermelon. Right in the middle of the cucumbers. The kids are delighted, since they had been begging for watermelon all along. I'm sure there is some great spiritual analogy here, like how sometimes we try to force people to be cucumbers when they're actually watermelons... but it's not coming together for me right now. I'm just thinking I'm glad God is in charge of the spiritual fruit, because you can see how well I'm doing.
Over the weekend, we traveled to Lexington so John Mark could compete in the State Communications Day at UK with his PowerPoint presentation on "Bridges: Spanning the Globe". We were not expecting great things this time, since he had spent the prior week in Indiana and he hadn't had time to add additional material, or do much at all to prepare it again. But he presented as well as I've ever seen him do it, and he won Champion in his category- whew! It's hard watching your kid compete because you can't do a thing in the world to help them besides hold your breath and pray. You help them as much as you can on the front end, and then... they're on their own. Is this what it's like when they leave home?
I'm watching my summer wind down with great sadness. "School" starts for us the first week in August. I thought by mid-July, I'd have fresh energy and be ready to begin another school year with enthusiasm. The Enthusiasm Bug hasn't hit me yet.
I've been working on lesson plans for co-op this week. We're studying the 20th Century this year, and in many ways this is new territory for me. I never "officially" learned much about 20th century history in school, beyond the obligatory lessons on civil rights, so I'm sure I'll be learning a lot this year (hopefully my students will too!) I have to admit, it seems a little depressing- lots and lots of wars and other conflicts. But I also love nostalgia, so it will be fun to look back at Ellis Island, the Roaring Twenties, the Big Band era, and perhaps explore our own family histories along the way.