field trip :: sugar pine railroad

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Once a homeschooler, always a homeschooler.  History is moving to me.  Awe-ing.  This was all done, before us, nothing to do with us.  How can we not be grateful?

At 2 and-a-half-feet-long, it's the world's largest pine cone.  (No, you can't take any home.  But you can buy them.)  It was once the largest lumber supplier in the States.  There was a water run that zoomed 55mph, for 65 miles, transporting cut wood.  And mill workers into town for a drink.  Can you imagine, the fun, the danger of that ride?  Chinese laborers built the actual railroad, for 10 cents an hour, & I wonder at their longings, oh-so-many years ago, & look for signs of them in the trees.  (There is none.  No old canteen, no bits of lantern, of course, no worn photo frames holding some lovely maiden.)  Everywhere is industry, gears, signs of work I just know I've seen a million times, in the form of far-off banisters, pianos, hand-scraped flooring.  The little penny cars are old model Fords, made into open-bench trains for the mill workers & now offering conductor views for boys willing to ask.  

People often say to me, "Oh, I wanted to homeschool.  But I don't have a degree."  Or, "I really wanted to do that, but I don't have the time."

I don't know what it will take for each family to reach it's "educational goals," so I can't offer any advice.  But thanks, Mom, Dad & El, for loving to learn so damn much.  It's contagious, it's inspiring.  We all hope to introduce our children to something that might capture their imagination, that might move them to take their own initiative & run with it.  To motivate them to seek out their own mentors, their own resources, their own support structures to go all-out & squeeze every bit of information & experience out of a topic.  I had so many of those things.  Thank you for removing the period-bells, so I could keep thinking, keep dancing & stay engaged until I was done figuring things out.  Thank you for letting me know those period bells would always be there, so that when I needed that structure, -  when I chose that support for myself, I could step into it.  Thank you.

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