Saturday, August 9, 2014
I'm declaring plum season over. There are about 25 quarts in the freezer. Zucchini is coming in faster than we can eat it. I haven't done any blackberry picking this year and probably won't. The boys are gone - Daniel and Steve on their way to college because RA orientation starts early; Peter still plugging away through boot camp. He's more than halfway done now but it is a privilege once a week if we hear from him for a few minutes. I've been worrying about him a lot this week as he's supposed to be learning grenades, and no mom ever wants to think about that.
Then, too, I could start worrying about a lot of the world's problems this week. Genocide in Iraq, Ebola in Africa, baby Gammy abandoned in Thailand because he has Down syndrome, thousands of migrant children with no good options. That's why it was good to be pleasantly surprised by the beautiful little bees when I went to pick a sprig of mint yesterday. But it's hard not to worry. The house is too quiet.
I've been working hard on language learning this summer. Since discovering Duolingo last winter, I've finished two "trees" - Italian and French (French was review but Italian was all new). I'm about 2/3 done with Spanish and almost halfway with German - but German is getting hard. I've also started their beta version of Dutch, which is better than any of the others from a teacher's and learner's standpoint... but I'm taking it slowly because there is too much cross-confusion with German. I don't really have any fear about learning languages now, and there isn't a whole lot of confusion really, when you are studying multiple languages at once. It's kind of like having children -- once you've had your first and then adjusted to the extra chaos of the second, you more or less hit your stride and start going on muscle memory or maternal instinct or whatever works for the third. It's not hard, it just keeps you very busy. And even if you run through 3 or 4 names (including the pet's) before coming up with your own child's name, you both know what you meant. I'm starting to be able to recognize some interesting patterns in language structure that I would never have figured out if I weren't obsessive about learning so many languages. Maybe one of these days I'll dig further into that Proto-Indo European textbook. But for tonight, I'm heading to bed.