Loving this Loving, Lovely summer

                        Baby Jack, born 6-17-15 to my brother Nick and sister-in-law Andrea  🙂
This summer we have been blessed to have been visited by dear friends we met in India.  In May, Leigh and her son Benjamin came from Michigan, and in June, Linda and her daughter Maggie came from Nevada.  Their darling husbands could not come with due to other travels, and were very much missed, but we will catch them next time.  It was incredibly nice to have long talks and walks with those wonderful, soulful ladies–such a rich gift of precious time together.  Thank you, girls!!  Now, it\’s our turn to visit you.
Since the girls\’ string camp, there has been hours upon hours of practicing going on here.  Sam was told by her violin instructor, that if she takes the next couple of years and ups her practicing from two hours/day to four she will be able to play professionally, and she has been doing this–as hard as it may be!  And, of course that is the track Mak is on also, so she has been faithfully practicing her allotted time, and her teacher is thoroughly jealous of her abilities at age 14.  This is another dream come true for me–to live in a music conservatory.  😉  I especially love working in the yard while they practice, because when I\’m in the back I am serenaded by Sam working on her Bach and Mozart solos, and when I\’m in the frontyard I\’m serenaded by Mak working on her Viotti and Mendelsshon solos. Thank you, sweet girls, for your hard work and dedication.  Your music is making the world a more beautiful place while carrying on the legacy of the great musical minds before you.  

Sam is working as a cashier for a local grocery store.  This is her first job working for a business. She has nannied, cut lawns, and taught violin lessons, but she\’s never punched a clock.  😉   She seems to be enjoying it much more than the nannying she did over the school year–no more battles of the wit with ornery kids!   The demands of nannying seemed to have squelched her desire for having kids–for now.  😉  

Mak\’s in charge of our neighbor\’s lawn for the next few weeks while they travel.  It\’s excellent practice for driving which we love!  We may let Mak acquire her driving permit sooner than later since I am not driving.  The legal age for a permit here in Iowa is 14, but being Minnesotans at heart, we made Sam wait until she was 15 for hers which made for a tough year for us of \”why can\’t I get my permit?!?\”  Sorry Sam, first child problems.   

Speaking of my \”not driving,\” legally it looks like I can start driving again in September, but I don\’t know if I will.   The unknown seizure scares me.  If I had not stopped myself from driving after my mini-seizures, I would have most likely been behind the wheel when my grand-mals hit.  Yuck.  I obviously do not want to hurt/kill anyone, so I\’m more than happy to just be a back-seat driver for the rest of my life, and walk everywhere else.  I did mow the lawn for the first time this year which was fun, but that\’s all the driving I care to do!
As a side note: I grew up in the Christian faith, and have since grown out of it through 15 plus years of reading and thought.  I classify myself as an agnostic christian at this time as I still enjoy the culture and holidays that come out of Christianity/Paganism, and would like to pass that down to our posterity.  I know this must be painful for my believing Christian friends, and I deeply apologize for that.  I\’m a searcher of truth, and if it leads me back to any specific god, I will go there.  I am not anti-god, I am pro-truth/knowledge.  The world makes much more sense now from where I sit as an agnostic/free-thinker.  I am free in every aspect of life, and I see an abundant more beauty in my day-to-day existence.  My journey out of belief has been a long, difficult, thought-filled one that would require a☀️ book\’s worth of words, so I will leave it at what I have said.  I have received some cards filled with concern about my lack of faith in God, so I wanted to \”come out of the closet\” so to speak and clear things up a bit.  😉   No worries, thanks for the love, and take care of you!  
xoxo ~Autumn
Our 17th Wedding Anniversary cruise on the Mississippi River

*It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods, or no god.  It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.  ~Thomas Jefferson

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