…blogtober day 3 :: a me made road trip…
Back when we were making the final decision to homeschool, we had a discussion about excursions and the bigger things schools can offer than homeschoolers generally can’t. I knew, once we committed, that part of my job as the homeschool facilitator of the family would be to find alternatives, and make them happen. In the early days, we did lots of road trips on various adventures. We tended to gravitate towards Brisbane – while we are based in NW NSW, we are closer to Brisbane than Sydney. For us big-space-loving country bumpkins, the vibe of Brisbane works much better for us.
Then all that stopped. One final trip remains a clear line in my mind between The Before and The Roaring Doomscroll 20s. Thankfully, so many cool things went virtual, and we’ve been able to have some amazing experiences direct from the school table. Which, don’t get me wrong, is lovely, and a complete blessing for rural homeschoolers (not to mention other families with accessibility issues). But also, sometimes, mama needs a change of scenery. Cabin fever takes on a new meaning when you are homeschooling four children in a tiny house through a pandemic. In November 2020, I had jack of all the everything, and decided I needed to get away. A side effect of the pandemic meant unfortunately my husband wasn’t able to escape his various responsibilities simply because the bored housewife was throwing a tantrum, so the children and I packed our bags, left him in charge of the menagerie, and went to the zoo at Dubbo for a couple of days.
Almost two full years later, I find myself once more in the same position. We’ve had a couple of big trips recently. Those pandemic related responsibilities still require Mr Barefoot’s attention. And yet, a random cruise of the internet threw up an opportunity for the children too good to pass by. All four have done drama lessons since their preschool days. When I discovered that NIDA offered a four day stage and screen school, in a week where we mercifully don’t have any birthdays, I was thrilled. The only catch was the aforementioned inability of the husband to get away. And it was in Sydney. That part gave me pause. Did I really feel brave enough, to drive 7+ hours, with four children, plus navigate city driving with my very big very not city suitable 4WD?
Apparently I did.
At 8.30 this morning, we waved goodbye to daddy and the dogs and the very grumpy cat, and set out on what we knew would be a long-ish trip. I didn’t expect to make it in the time google suggested, knowing we would be hitting the business end of the freeway at the tail end of a public holiday. If we could do it in 8.5 hours, I thought, we would be doing well.
Can you tell I am a complete novice at guesstimating Sydney traffic? Google said under 7. I thought 8.5 with traffic and stops (and a stint of teenage driver). Do you know how long it really took me?
Almost 10. Most of which I drove myself, besides the first couple of hours where the teen drove before we hit the really busy section. What. A. Day.
We made it safe and sound though, for which I am very thankful. A big chunk of that extra time was due to traffic backed up after two seperate car accidents, so I won’t complain that we were safe as we were crawling through the 110kmh zone at 9kmh. (No that’s not a typo, nine).
I’ve unpacked and got myself sorted, and….friends, it would appear I REALLY like making stuff.
So much me made goodness – the Wool+Wax tote, holding my iPad cover, my travel pouch for my cross stitch (which is wearing my hoop cover), a newly sewn book sleeve, and the kids pocket money wallet. Also not fitting in my bag is my new laptop sleeve, my makers tote (which has me made stitch markers, plus my kindle with my me made case, and my floss box including my thread minder).
And let’s not get started on the suitcase. Five plantain tees, a linen skirt, Thurlow shorts, Avery leggings, boxer shorts, Verity Hope smock…oh, and some me made knickers too! (most pattern links can be found on this post)
I feel so out of place here. Driving in I could feel the city closing in on me. I’m a tiny house dweller, I shouldn’t get claustrophobic, yet here I am. Unfamiliar noises, unfamiliar smells, yet I can look around the apartment we’re staying in for the week and see little pieces of me everywhere, and I don’t feel quite so adrift.