handstands & cloud-minding in sky meadows state park

Sunday, September 15:  We decide on this Sunday afternoon to go on a little outing to Sky Meadows State Park in Delaplane, Virginia.  This 1,864-acre park has scenic views, rolling pastures and woodlands on the eastern side of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The park has 7 miles of bridle trails, 17 miles of hiking trails and a trailhead for the Appalachian Trail.

the view looking over Sky Meadows
the view looking over Sky Meadows

My intention today is to spend time with family and to continue looking for people and objects interacting with clouds for the Instagram Weekend Hashtag Project #WHPmindingtheclouds.  It’s a beautiful day with a hint of fall in the air.  Sky Meadows is all rolling hills and fields of goldenrod and corn stalks.  I’d like to hang out and take a walk in quiet and solitude, but solitude is not in the cards for me today.

an old cart at Sky Meadows
an old cart at Sky Meadows

Sometimes I feel a stuck-in-time quality to my life, and today is one of those days.  I’ve been to Sky Meadows many times with my sons in various stages of their lives.   They are now 22 and 20, and they still run around doing cartwheels and handstands as they did when they were little boys, although their abilities have increased considerably.  Alex, my 22-year-old, spends hours in solitary training sessions developing control over his body and making it do things I would never aspire to or be able to do.  He is still trying to figure out what to do with his life, and much to my frustration, this process is taking longer than I think it should.  We’re encouraging him to get a certificate in personal training since he’s so obsessed with health and fitness.

Alex does a handstand on a wooden bridge
Alex does a handstand on a wooden bridge
wildflowers at Sky Meadows
wildflowers at Sky Meadows
Alex at a stile at Sky Meadows
Alex at a stile at Sky Meadows

Adam, 20, is also obsessed with health and fitness and simple living, namely permaculture, or self-sustaining, off-the-grid communities.  Permaculture has these tenets:

  • Care of the earth: Provision for all life systems to continue and multiply. This is the first principle, because without a healthy earth, humans cannot flourish.
  • Care of the people: Provision for people to access those resources necessary for their existence.
  • Return of Surplus: Reinvesting surpluses back into the system to provide for the first two ethics. This includes returning waste back into the system to recycle into usefulness. (Wikipedia: Permaculture)
    Alex & Adam
    Alex & Adam
    Sky Meadows
    Sky Meadows
    Sky Meadows State Park
    Sky Meadows State Park
    the road less traveled
    the road less traveled
    Alex does a handstand
    Adam does a handstand

    Adam has also toyed with the idea of starting a business building specialized backyard exercise equipment and involving communities in growing and sharing vegetables and then selling the excess in a farmer’s market, a kind of co-op arrangement.  His ideas are many and varied; he’s got to find out himself what will work in the real world and what won’t.

    stile
    stile
    fences at Sky Meadows
    fences at Sky Meadows
    old log cabin at Sky Meadows
    old log cabin at Sky Meadows
    corn stalks and fences
    corn stalks and fences
    an old barn  at Sky Meadows
    an old barn at Sky Meadows

Neither of my sons seem to think they need any kind of education to do these things.  This is heartbreaking to me, but as young men with ideas of their own, they don’t feel their parents have any wisdom to impart.  They will simply have to find out things the hard way.  All we can do is give them a time limit and an ultimatum, which we have now done, although many might think we’re being too generous giving them a year’s time frame to get their acts together and get out of the house.

As of last month, we had both boys sign a contract that they should start paying us rent by September 30 and that we expect them to be out of the house and self-supportive (or in school full-time) by the end of August 2014.

As I intended, I take some cloud pictures, but frankly the clouds today are not that interesting.  Here’s what I come up with.

Little do I know that the boys have other intentions for me: they want me to take pictures of them doing their gymnastics moves so that they can post the pictures on their Facebook pages.  They have some idea of starting a business involving videos of their workout moves, which I think seems to be falling by the wayside now that they realize the difficulty of creating a viable business plan and marketing this business.

Anyway, I’m roped into taking pictures of their many moves, which isn’t exactly relaxing for me and isn’t really the way I hoped to spend my rare day off.  Oh well, it makes them happy, so I do it.  After all, the first 40 years of motherhood are always the hardest. 🙂

After leaving Sky Meadows, we make a stop at Trinity Episcopal Church in Upperville, where the boys balance on the church railings and do handstands in front of the old church door.  Adam leapfrogs over stone gates and squats in the tree like a wise & serious owl.

Trinity Episcopal Church
Trinity Episcopal Church
Trinity Episcopal Church in Upperville
Trinity Episcopal Church in Upperville

Upperville is our last stop this Sunday afternoon, meaning that the weekend coming to a close and another hectic work week begins.   My weeks, and even parts of my weekends, are occupied more than I would like with running from class to class or zipping to the office to make lesson plans, mark papers and make photocopies.  Thank goodness that we have over a month off between semesters. 🙂

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9 thoughts on “handstands & cloud-minding in sky meadows state park

  1. It is hard, I think, to push our fledglings out of the nest, but if they do not find a direction of their own and seriously pursue it to become self-sufficient and independent, we do them a disservice. Life is not, unfortunately, a handstand. You are right, the first 40 years of motherhood are the hardest.

    >

    1. Agreed. And we are doing our best to push them out right now. If we can’t convince them of our wisdom, I’m afraid we will be actually forcing them out of the house!! I’ve heard of people selling their houses just to get their grown children out!!

  2. You have a couple of fit young men there Cathy, I’m sure they will find a way to utilise their talents sooner or later. As for pushing the fledglings out of the nest I had to move my self to force my middle son to venture out on his own. Not so sure that has worked out so well though in hindsight! Hope you get some ‘me’ time shortly 🙂

    1. I hope you’re right, Jude! They are really causing me so much stress right now. We may have to move too, just to force ours out. By the way, I read your email, but am rushing out today to go to southern Virginia for the weekend, and will have to respond to you later this weekend or early in the week. I love hearing your story!

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