Native American study

One of our focuses so far in Bubble School (to the extent that we can focus on anything at all!) has been the Native people of the Northeast. It's a little bit because we started school on Indigenous Peoples' Day, and a little more because we're all interested in living a little more lightly on the land—and respecting and honoring the people who the place where we live really belongs to. We've learned some things about cooking with corn meal and making wetus; but the thing that I've learned most dramatically is that the history of the tribes of what is now New England is told entirely through the lens of the colonizers. Even in sensitive, scholarly accounts of the Eastern Algonquin people, they hardly exist before white folks wash up on these shores and run into them.

That's actually not surprising, given the historical situation. The Algonquins didn't have written history before colonization, and then the pace at which the genocide proceeded after made it impossible to preserve anything but the most superficial details about their stories and way of life over the last 10,000 years. It's pretty depressing.

We learned a little bit about that genocide too. The most rage-inducing part of it, as it applies to modern day, is the fact that tribes like the Massachusett and Nipmuc are denied Federal recognition because, contra the laws defining recognition, they don't "comprise a distinct community [that has] existed as a community from historical times." Yeah no duh, that's what a genocide will do. Other tribes, such as the Pennacook, no longer even have any groups big enough to be seeking recognition. All that: that's the history that's available to us. What if that's the history that was taught in Massachusetts elementary schools at Thanksgiving? One day.

In the meantime, I'd love to find even a little bit written by Native authors, even if they don't have any more access to pre-colonial history than white historians. We would appreciate at least a little balancing of the voices. Any suggestions? (Not entirely related but close: here's an article I read today about preserving foodways among Canada's First Nations..)


sparkles in the woods

Even though it's dark early we still have to walk the dogs after supper. Good thing Leah got us some fancy headlamps! I used one for the first time this evening, and besides being able to see the dogs' eyes glowing from hundreds of feet away I also noticed something for the first time. It was misting lightly, and naturally the ground was a dark carpet of wet pine needles and maple leaves. Then I rounded a corner and saw something shining in the light of my headlamp, much brighter than everything around it. As I got closer I thought it must have been crumpled tinfoil, it was so reflective... but then when I reached it I found that, no, it was actually an oak leaf, underside-up on the trail, dewed with drops of water on its waxy surface! Then looking ahead I noticed dozens of glowing oak leaves along the edges of the path, brighter than everything but the dogs' eyes. I had no idea they did that. Pretty cool to see something for the first time at the ripe old age of 43!

farewell to the pandemic market

We missed the last Farmers Market this afternoon. I had actually thought the last one was the week before, and we made kind of a thing about it; I bought $75 worth of meat. But then we heard there was one more. We planned to go, but after a fun walk in the morning and lots of work in the afternoon, I just didn't have it in me to make another trip out before I had to make dinner and host a Zoom meeting. Oh well. We love the Farmers Market, but I have to say it just wasn't the same this year. I understand that they needed to take precautions, and I appreciate the effort they put in to make sure that it could even happen, and happen in a way that made everyone feel comfortable. But a big part of the appeal in years past was the festival atmosphere—the crowds, the music, the general excitement—and there was none of that this year. Instead, there was a lot of standing in lines six feet apart. Oh, and also not touching any of the food! My mom points out how silly it is that we can go to the grocery store and paw over everything alongside 100 other people, but at the entrance-controlled market with the farmers eyes on the customers we can't pick out our own potatoes. Oh well. We got lots of good food there this year anyways; next year we can look forward to good food and good times too.

moments from the week

the boys running through a stubbly corn field

stubble romp

Moments from the past week.

ice in a dog dish

first ice

Blue in Fairyland Pond in the fall

fall colors and Blue

kids playing with bread dough around the table on our deck

this was school this week

Harvey and Zion sitting by the fire with marshmallows

still smoring

Lijah looking at brunch set at the picnic table

Saturday brunch

Lijah jumping his stick horse over a horse jump

hiho Pinky, away!


dark days

We've got lots going on these days, so we need to get up in time to get the day started. Unfortunately the never-ending reign of Daylight Savings Time makes that hard. What do you call it savings if you have to turn the lights on if you want to get up before 6:30 in the morning?! The real problem is that I don't like to turn lights on in the morning; it throws off my waking up process. Or so I say; maybe it's just hard for me to get up in the dark, which I imagine is quite natural. I'm sure that that putting lights on after sunset throws off my going to bed process, but, as I say, we've got lots going on, and we need to add some light somewhere! But I'm very much looking forward to the time change in a couple weeks.