Skip to main content


We got to go to New Harmony's Heritage Days yesterday with some other homeschoolers. I know the kids were thinking I was crazy when we had to stand in the parking lot for a half hour waiting for everyone to arrive (so we could get the group discount), but once we got started they had so much fun.

First, we went into the Atheneum and up some ramps, to watch a nine minute film about New Harmony. One of the moms in our group was a fetus in her mother's belly during the filming of the movie, so we know it's about 32 years old. It wasn't terribly interesting, but it was fun to be in the theater. Then we went back down the ramps (there were lots of strollers in our group) and outside.

There were oxen hanging out just out the back door of the Atheneum. More on that later.

The band leader (on the right) spoke to us for awhile about Civil War stuff. We learned that there was a 9 year old boy who enlisted in the Civil War and served for three years as a drummer boy. He was from Evansville and is buried in Oak Hill cemetery. (He also mentioned that cemeteries were set up as botanical gardens, and so that cemetery has lots of varieties of trees, all labeled - good to know for future reference.) They demonstrated different drum beats and horn...blows? whatever... that would signal different things to the troops, then they did a few short songs. 

Then we got to listen to Yul Brenner tell us about his oxen. (Okay he wasn't really Yul Brenner, but he was a dead ringer.) This turned out to be a big hit. These two are named Charlie and William. William is the whiter one on the left. He's a teenager and Charlie is a bit older, so he's learning how to operate in a yoke from Charlie. The most fascinating part of this is what the handler told us about the oxen's emotions. He said that another of his oxen, George, had a partner ox who died. When the handler came out to that morning and saw the dead partner, George was standing beside him with tears rolling out of his eyes, and he refused to leave his partner. It was very moving. He said often when a handler dies, the oxen will die soon thereafter. He said his friend, who was an ox handler, died last September, and by Christmas all four of his oxen had died as well. They form bonds with each other and with their human handlers that last a lifetime. Now I feel kind of bad eating beef. Why do they have to be so delicious?

Penny just couldn't keep her hands off William. They were very gentle animals and seemed to like the children petting them.

Afterwards we had a picnic in a grassy area under the bridge to Illinois at the Wabash river. Lucy took this picture of the sun through the clouds. It was an extremely fun day. 


Popular posts from this blog

My Abortion & When I Used Planned Parenthood

I don't post much political stuff on this blog or even on Facebook. I figure, people have political opinions based on their own values and their own experiences, and reading someone else's will rarely change anything. I am, however, deeply disturbed by the way a particular issue is playing out in American politics right now, and so in addition to this blog post, I am sending letters and photographs to all of my elected officials to ask them to consider all angles of a topic rather than listening to one very vocal group who views all abortions as pure evil.

First, I have been a patient of Planned Parenthood in the past. As an uninsured college student and even un- and under-insured newlywed in my early 20s, a trip to the gynecologist for an annual exam plus a monthly prescription for birth control would have been far outside my financial means as I worked (sometimes part-time, often full-time) while going to school. Planned Parenthood's sliding fee scale meant I could have …

Aw, snap! (goes Truman's arm)

We didn't get any calls for foster placements for several weeks. It was starting to bother me - why not us? Then I saw on our local foster parent Facebook group a woman asking for respite care for her three little ones for a weekend. I could do that! She and I made arrangements to meet Friday at 3:30 after I picked up Lucy from school and we'd have the kids through Sunday afternoon, then Dave and I would be leaving to go see U2 and Beck in Indianapolis for MY BIRTHDAY.

Friday was going along just fine, and I had just gotten my purse and keys out so I could be ready to leave in a minute to pick up Lucy and the little foster kids. Jacinda was napping and Penny was playing on the computer. Truman had been jumping on the trampoline for about fifteen minutes. Suddenly, Truman screamed.

Not a 'ouch' scream.

The kind of scream that kicks your parental instinct into overdrive and you drop everything you are doing to run to the aid of that screaming child.

I went out the back d…

love that has nowhere to go

Several months ago, someone shared with a card that said, "Grief is love with nowhere to go." As I've thought of that over and over again, I believe it is entirely true. Grief is not just sadness or depression. It's a constant presence of dark despair. It's a feeling of wanting to speak to or hold someone who just isn't there, and there seems no possible way to alleviate it in any other way. It leads to disturbing impulses like to dig up my baby's grave so that I can hold him again, or long for death so I can be with him again. The love needs a place to go.

Another thing I have thought about often is "For me, to live is Christ." I heard this on a song on the radio one day and didn't understand what it meant. I came home and googled the phrase - it's from Philippians - where Paul is writing and telling people that whether he lives or dies, Christ is glorified. He says (I am paraphrasing) that he would prefer to die because he'd be wit…