|The Working Parent’s Guide To Homeschooling|
So what about a break from all the sightseeing and touring? How about a place for the kids to blow off steam and work up a sweat? We’re here again, in the City of Williams, Arizona, enjoying an afternoon at the Recreation Center, which also has a separate Skate Park, designed by local youth. All activities are free, just sign a waiver, adult supervision is provided (although I tend to stay here and provide my own supervision for Yak). Unfortunately the swimming pool is not open during the winter. If you find yourself here during the summer, however, the cost is minimal, $4 adults, $2 children for the summer of 2013.
A play park is in the same complex, so there is a little bit of something for everybody. Yak and I enjoyed several games of ping-pong and a few rounds of pool in the rec center one day. For movie nights and other free and low cost family events put on by the City of Williams Parks and Recreation Department, visit the Williams Chamber of Commerce website and click on Events and Community Calendar. You can also find a list of parks at the City of Williams website.
One of the few things Yak and his friends like better than swimming is rollerblading. Since we live about 30 miles away from Williams, it gets inconvenient if we forget something we need there. Not to fear, “The Shed”, as the skate park is called, stocks free loaners of rollerblades, pads and helmets, as well as skateboards. The equipment is sprayed with disinfectant after each use, just like at roller and ice rinks. Still, we’re more comfortable with our own gear.
I hope you enjoy hearing about the offbeat things for kids and families to do on the road. As we prepare to hit the road full-time, I’ve begun to think about ways for my son to continue with his hobbies and interests, and these things will also help him to find new friends as we travel. If you would like to read more about our adventures in downsizing and preparing to homestead, homeschool and live simply while traveling slowly, head over to our sister blog Around the Homestead (by Mrs. D’s Homestead).
In an effort to beat the heat this week, we’ve been escaping another 1000 feet in elevation to Williams, Arizona. Relaxing at one of our favorite fishing holes, my son sets up an impromptu game of “tic tac toe”. After a couple of dozen rounds, his interest wanes and he gazes off to the side of our picnic table. A tiny robin is collecting – something. Foraging through pine needles and gravel for tasty morsels, perhaps.
The earlier cool breeze now fights with a hot wind, both struggling to dominate our respite. We move to a shadier spot. My son has been suffering heat exhaustion for the past few days and the fresh, cool breezes are much better for him than sitting in front of the air conditioner. He dozes off. The lake is so quiet today. It usually doesn’t get too crowded anyway, but today is heavenly, even for midweek. In July and August, I just expect crowds no matter where we go.
Clouds build and tease around the edges of the hills. Will our “monsoons” deliver this year? The lake is way down and we have a lot of water to make up for. Boy wakes up and we take a short walk. Spending the days up here, pumping him with gatorade and water have helped keep his temperatures down. He is just about back to normal now, but his body needs a few more days to recover from the shock he’s had. He is already chattering nonstop and I expect him to start bouncing around again, soon.
Bella, released in 2006 at the Toronto International Film Festival, is one of those movies that I really meant to see, but never got around to it. Thanks to Netflix, I finally did, and wow, what a great movie!
The story, which takes place in one day, may get a little confusing as the backstory unfolds in flashbacks. Jose, a soccer star who has just signed a lucrative contract, accidentally kills a small child and serves time in prison. After his release, he works in his brother’s restaurant as a chef, where he meets Nina, a waitress who has a brief affair (not with Jose) which ends in an unplanned pregnancy. Nina’s solution is to end the pregnancy, but Jose has other ideas, and Nina changes her plans (as shown in flash-forwards, confused yet?). The subtle anti-abortion message is so powerful, that I can see why pro-life groups adopted this movie and helped to heavily promote it.
I enjoyed the portrayal of Jose’s family and particularly his interaction with his brother Manny, whose compulsive reactions Jose responds to with calm dismissal. Such as when Manny fires Jose, who simply walks out the back door of the restaurant, then returns the next morning and cooks Manny breakfast as if nothing happened.
My favorite scene has to be Jose, sitting with a rosary in his hand, while Nina is taken into the back of the abortion clinic. It’s something you might miss, if you weren’t Catholic, but to me, it screamed the power of Our Blessed Mother’s intercession.
Bella is a story about imperfect people, living sometimes difficult lives and facing complicated choices. It’s about the power of God bringing awesome good out of our human weakness.