Savoring January

Snow.  The New Year blessed us with a wonderful weekend of snow in January.  Snow in our southern coastal area is an invitation to slow down and stay home.  City officials urge everyone to stay off the roads unless travel is necessary; schools close, government and city offices close, businesses close, stores close. Northerners make fun, but I relax and look out the window and watch the silent descent of white snowflakes, and bake.  I have also been known to actually watch something on Netflix or Amazon Prime. This time, I found the The Night Manager, based on one of John Le Carre’s spy novels, with Tom Hiddleston in the main role.  (I love his poetry recitations on YouTube.)  I found it compelling. But, I was less impressed with the few episodes I watched of Blacklist. Meh.

In Virginia, our state General Assembly gathers in January of each year and remains in session for either 6 or 8 weeks.  The Daughter and I adopt two legislators each year for whom we pray as well as write and send weekly postcards of encouragement.  We have both found this challenging but a good exercise.  We each have been assigned someone with whom we disagree on the issues, but have learned to pray for them beyond their political leanings. This project is coordinated by Concerned Women for America of Virginia.  (They can always use a few more people to pray and send cards...)

Spiritually speaking, Mr. Garner and I are delighted to have joined a new “Community Group.”  Our previous group was lovely, but established, quite large, and with frequent visitors, all of which made it difficult for us connect in any meaningful way.  When a change in the meeting schedule conflicted with Bellissima rehearsals, we realized it was for the best.  We are trying again with a group just forming that is smaller.  We are excited to get to know the members and share how Christ is working in our lives.

January is usually a month of beginnings, but with our American Heritage Girls troop it also serves as a sort of culmination of the work done over the summer and fall with our semi-annual awards ceremony, the Court of Awards. The Daughter will be receiving several badges; three earned at camp: Archery, Survival, Search and Rescue, Emergency Preparedness; as well as Camping and Outdoor Cooking which she has earned over a few years of camping trips. She also earned four service stars representing 80 hours of service to the community over the summer and fall.  We are very proud of her hard work!

Serendipitously, The Daughter enjoyed a last minute opportunity to provide a series of sketches for a highly regarded authority on Charlotte Mason.  He had noticed her work on our family blog logo and messaged me to ask about it because he was looking for someone to work with him to illustrate the concepts in Charlotte Mason’s Twenty Principles.  Well, since Charlotte Mason inspires our homeschool, she was thrilled to help out!

Musically speaking, our month offered two big events; the first – the Winter Concert for Advanced Band and Jazz Band.  With the great variety of music ensembles at YMV, December gets pretty hectic with all of the Christmas concerts.  There is a limit, after all, to the number of Tuesday and Friday nights in a month.  🙂  So, a few of the ensembles opt to hold off until January.  It was a great program! We are so impressed with the caliber of music instruction at Young Musicians of Virginia.  The second big event, The YMV Variety Show, is a fundraiser for the Spring Trip in March, and not exclusively music.  We purchased tickets and dutifully attended.  The Daughter performed in the first group, Jazz Band, and the last group, Concert Choir. In between were almost three hours of offerings, mostly rather dramatic drama. Whew.

Reading List:  The Intimidation Game: How the Left is Silencing Free Speech, by Kimberley Strassel, Between Midnight and Dawn, compiled by Sarah Arthur, Dirt: The Ecstatic Skin of the Earth, by William Bryant Logan.

Taking pictures is savoring life intensely every hundredth of a second.
Marc Riboud

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