I was thinking about Virginia this week* and the differences between living here in Washington State vs. living “back east” which was Home for 4 years.
- Competitive Marching Band — goodness, how I miss it! Every weekend was filled with music and teenagers, excitement in the air and the thrill of continual improvement over the course of the season. Sure, it took nearly every spare minute I had as a parent volunteer, but it was so much fun!
- Back to school nights — maybe this is partially because I only have 2 kids in school now, but it seems to me that BOSN just isn’t as big of a deal here. Certainly we don’t have a gauntlet of campaign flyers to walk through between the parking lot and the school doors. I don’t miss the stress and annoyances but I do miss the camaraderie of the other parents who truly care about their children’s education.
- Back to school paperwork — I’ve had hardly any of this here, but in Loudoun County Public Schools, I spent hours on paperwork the first few days of school. Each kid brought home a thick packet of paper that included multiple forms for me to fill out. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I didn’t have to stay up late filling out the same forms en masse for each kid here; in fact, I’m almost gleeful thinking about it! (SPS, please don’t don’t disappoint me now.)
- Wildfire season — this is something I never had to think about in Virginia, thanks to the humid weather (which I do not miss!) and the lush, verdant foliage. Here in Eastern WA, we are under a red flag warning from the National Weather Service, and I worry about the 12 dry acres of grasses and trees behind my house. On Wednesday evening I was at the home of friends who lost their home to the complete devastation of a forest fire in 1987, and their scrapbook of the event is a sobering reminder of the danger, especially at this time of year.
Rhubarb — I couldn’t grow it in our garden in Virginia, but all I had to do when we moved here was let my MIL know that I needed some rhubarb for my garden, and the next time she came to visit, she had thinned her own plants and brought me a shovel-full.
If I don’t have enough in my own garden, I can buy it (25-cents per stalk) at the Farmer’s Market.
*Thanks to Jen on the Edge who has been keeping me abreast of the back-to-school fun in VA. 🙂