Jul 8, 2012

Transatlanic mayhem

Oh my goodness me! So much I wanted to find the time to post about, but long story short- we're moving our family from California back to the UK this week! So so so much to sort out. We've been planning the move for nearly two months, but well, it turns out if you've been living in the same house for nearly seven years and you have the same sort of making stuff out of things lifestyle that we do, then there is a whooooole lot of sorting out that needs to be done before you can emigrate. I've been a little wild eyed and panicky the last couple of weeks and have been making a few too many jokes about throwing everything out on the lawn and setting fire to it, but as we get closer to the day we fly, it is actually coming together thank goodness!

There's been garage sales with friends and lemonade stands:

There's been plenty put on Craigslist. After a year of taking photos of Del in our rocking chair, we sold that a couple of days ago too.

There's been a lot of stuff to donate too. We're in luck that not far from us in San Francisco there is a fabulous school that does a lot of this open ended making and inventing and experimenting malarky with their students, so we've been up there with a couple of car loads (another couple to go this week too). Brightworks has been open for a year now and I hope they will grow and grow and allow many many more children to have this sort of experience, because it's lacking in the world today. Makes me happy to know that our tools and glue guns and soldering irons and low tech light table and paper and all manner of other makey things will be used and enjoyed some more by children. Here are the big 'uns enjoying the creations made by last week's group at Brightworks, when we popped in at the end of the day to drop things off. It was lovely to have Ellen and Justine be as excited about things like our elderly leaf blower as we were when we first picked it up at a garage sale and thought "Yes! Giant Bernoulli effect demo with a soccer ball!" Back to ping pong balls and hair dryers for us!

If you want to see more of what the kids at Brightworks get up to, Josh writes a blog daily for them with lots of great photos. They were building a harmonograph last week! Harmonographs are cool! We gave them the weights from ours, but their set up is much bigger and capable of more degrees of freedom, like the one at the Exploratorium. I'm kind of hoping that it will still be up when we call back next week to drop off the last of our tools and things.

So, things are winding down here. I'll still be posting here on Filth Wizardry in the future and I'll still be writing posts over at Alphamom.com every month once we get settled, but for the next few weeks we're going to be hopping about and kind of nomadic while we get rid of the last of our belongings here and then attempt to re-accumulate the important ones on the other side of the Atlantic. Oooh, and for those of you that are interested... After several years of staying up and being lovely and colouful, the tissue paper stained glass window came down really fast and easily without leaving any mess or damage to the window. Yay! Here's a pic I took with it all half peeled off. It was sad to see it go, but the peeling was fast and fun to do.

The kids dug up the purple potatoes yesterday and washed them off. I took apart the planter we made and painted, and the kid's lovely kindergarten teacher (who we will miss very much) has adopted the strawberry plants. Our neighbour took the twelve bags of soil over to his place for more veggie growing, so even in this rush and chaos it feels nice to have this community of help and mutual benefit surrounding us, with very little going to waste. Even the giant geoboard was taken in by my oldest's second grade teacher :)

What else, what else? Oh yes, totally awesome accidental timing on our part, but we are arriving in Manchester only a few days before they are holding a Manchester Mini Maker Faire! Yippie! Will we see any of you UK peeps there? It's Freeeeeee! My favourite price! I'm sad that we will unlikely get to all go to the Bay Area Maker Faire again any time soon though. We had such fun there the last three years. The kids were excited about it for weeks before hand this year.

Right, baby is awake and I've got to do more packing! There's so much more that I want to share. Maybe I will have time to write more when we're back in Wales and still living out of suitcases before any shipping arrives. Hope you're all having a good summer!