Friday, October 21, 2011

New School

Last night we went to Bickleton School District's Open House of their new school building. It was pretty neat. A lot more technology than I had in school. And though I've only seen the gym of the old school, everyone around us was commenting on how nice the new place was. The building seemed small to me for a K-12, but the rooms and hallways were spacious.

And I counted desks in a few places. The 3rd/4th grade classroom had 16 students. And the Kindergarten class had three tables that could comfortably fit three students each--but there were only four names for students in that class. My mother-in-law would have been so jealous to see a Kindergarten class of four students--her Kindergarten classes are always overcrowded. And can you imagine the one-on-one teaching you could do with only four students? My favorite thing about the Kindergarten classroom was the papers outside the classroom: "My name is Clayton and I like to ride my tractor at home with my cowboy hat."

A few people we knew there told our two year old daughter that they hoped we'd be around long enough to go to that school. Our landlord frequently tells me about how great the school is here and how so many students excel there. Looking at the elementary school classrooms, it's tempting. But not tempting enough to overcome the things I don't like about living here.

And to be honest, the high school doesn't really tempt me. Sure there are still small classes, a lot of one-on-one attention to help the students, and I especially liked how one classroom was set up in a way I only experienced in small college classes where I gained the most. But there is one foreign language option. They have a great music room, but I've only heard about band, not choir here. (My husband and I were both in choir in high school, and I'd like my children to at least have the option.) And I think they offer three sports: track, volleyball, and basketball. I'd like my children to have more extracurricular options open to them. And if they join a track or basketball team, I want it to be because they genuinely enjoy the sport, not just because there's nothing else to do.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Two Sightings

Today as I drove back to Bickleton from the valley, I could have sworn that I saw a porcupine. But I didn't know if that was possible out here. Turns out our neighbors told my husband that they had seen a couple of them, so I was not seeing things.

And bad news for me: the early morning brought the return of the fog. I didn't like the cold or the snow or the ice last year, but it was the fog that got to me. Two weeks ago was had some really hot weather. But the cold has come in with a vengeance--and I believe it's here to stay.

Monday, September 5, 2011

The Boonies

On Saturday we took a family walk to the post office. As we left, we passed an old lady sitting in her car. She smiled at my daughter riding in her all-terrain wagon with a cover, as all older people do.


Old Lady: I like your covered wagon.

Hubby: Thanks. We figured that since we live in the boonies, we might as well act like it.

Old Lady: This isn't the boonies.


Ummm, what? Turns out she lives in nearby Cleveland which has a population of 17. I guess our town of almost 100 feels a little crowded to her.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Bickleton Birds

Bickleton has a surprising amount of birds for the lack of trees here. It not only has bluebirds, but robins and lots of other birds that I can’t name. They even come in some bright colors like yellow, orange, and purple, which really surprised me for this area. We enjoy watching the birds, and a pair just built a nest right outside our door so we get an even closer view of them than before.

My two year old daughter loves having so many birds around. She gets excited when she sees them and tells me that the birds sing and fly and eat. And more recently, when we’re playing outside, she looks for birds and then leans forward and yells “BIRDS! BIRDS! BIRDS!” at them for no reason that I can see, but she is always very pleased with herself afterward.

The birds in Bickleton are abundant and beautiful. But to be honest, they are not that smart. These birds do not move out of the way of a moving vehicle. In fact, they fly off the side of the road, into the path of the car, and then panic. My husband and I have both killed more birds with the car than I care to think about.

One day a few weeks ago I was sitting in the living room when two birds slammed into our large front window in quick succession. Yes, it’s a big window, but there are no windows beyond it and though I’ve had every intention of cleaning these windows inside and out, it hasn’t gone beyond thinking about it. A few days later the birds started flying into all of our windows—even when the blinds and curtains are closed!

Seriously, what is wrong with these birds? Are they suicidal or just stupid? It gives a fresh understanding of the term “bird brain” for me.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Patriotic Pig Roast

One of the annual community events in Bickleton is a 4th of July Patriotic Pig Roast.

They roast a large pig and everyone in the community brings something for the potluck meal.

We arrived to the sound of a Christian family band--mom played the keyboard, dad was on a bass cello, the only son played guitar, and three girls in matching hand-sewn jumpers all played the violin.

After the local pastor welcomed us and prayed over the food, we dug in to the delicious pork and potluck dishes of varying deliciousness (or not).

They recognized all the veterans in the community and four of them spoke about what serving their country meant to them. We all sang along to The Star Spangled Banner and My Country 'Tis of Thee.

This is one of the times when it's a benefit to be part of a very small community.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

In a Town This Small

"In a town this small, you just have to get used to the fact that everyone knows what color of underwear you put on in the morning, and then get on with your day." - owner of the local market/cafe

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Outside Our Window

We have a large window in our living room that faces the street. The view leaves something to be desired, in my opinion, but more goes on outside our window than you might expect. And all of it serves to entertain my toddler.

She now thinks that all pick up trucks have dogs in the back of them, and around here, she's usually right.

We get to see horses and their riders taking walks down the road. This helped her learn the word "horse"--she used to moo when she saw horses.

Now that the (sort of) warmer months are here, we get a lot of biker gangs taking road trips that pass through Bickleton. My daughter loves these. She gets really excited and says, "bike! bike!" Thankfully they usually come in groups, so she gets to see a few at a time.

The local school doesn't have a track field, though track is one of the few sports here, so they run down our street. She gets really excited and says "run, run, run!" while she runs in place.