Thursday, August 16, 2018

Creativity in the Summer Lull

We are in the middle of a stretch of three weeks I refer to as the summer lull. I thought it was just two weeks, but it is three - and then a holiday abroad! What luxury! We tend to keep learning during the summer break, but all of the kids' classes run on the term schedule, so there is a stretch of six to eight weeks with no extra classes to get to. We always fill up the first half of the term break with visitors and Z's attendance at camp (which means that I must occupy E, so we get out a lot), but after that is over, there is nothing pressing to get to. I schedule health checkups, but we keep the schedule light. My kids benefit from this time of less to do, and I do as well. I've been doing a lot of thinking, as I mentioned in my last post, but I am also afforded the chance to be creative in ways I cannot be during term time.

For me, creative pursuits require both time and mental space. When my mind is full of appointments and class schedules and homeschool group planning, there is little room left, not to mention the fact that blocks of time to use as I please are few and far between. But here we are, with nothing big on the schedule most days, and I have an opportunity to be creative.

This week, my creativity is mainly emerging in the kitchen. We've got a grapevine in our back garden, and it's gone crazy this year, so I tried my hand and making grape jam and syrup. Some of the syrup caramelized and is more like molasses, so I decided that I would attempt to use it as a base for barbecue sauce. And then there were the beans I cooked in a giant batch in the crock pot with cloves and smoked paprika, and the potato pancakes I figured out how to freeze so they can be reheated in the oven in just twelve minutes. And I'm not done yet! I have so many ideas! I have a feeling that my summer lull creativity is going to feed us well this autumn.

And then who knows what might happen outside the kitchen? We will have to wait and see.

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