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Learning in Freedom

Welcome to Learning in Freedom, a blog all about the learning adventures (and mishaps) of the Allen family. My four children are unschooled, following their interests and passions every day and living the lives of their choosing. The purpose of this blog is to share our every day lives (and my not-so-humble opinons) with anyone interested in stopping by. We hope this will give a glimpse of how natural learning unfolds from day to day......

Thursday, August 19, 2010


I'm sure most of you have read my post at Tea With Ren, about the fact that Bleu and I are in the process of separating our lives. There's so much to say, so much I want to write about, yet when things get difficult I tend to stop writing as much.

There were so many things I didn't write down when we went through our separation ten years ago...and I wish I had. So I'm determined to get back to writing regularly. Maybe not at my blogs, but at least for myself.

Anyhoo, in the cleaning and packing and trying to get this house ready to sell there is a lot of reflection going on. Tears and smiles both. I've been missing my family in Alaska like crazy all year, it's really hard to be this far from my roots.

My maternal Grandfather married us in Alaska, in my parents house. He has been a rock for my entire life and is now facing the end of his life. Parkinson's has ravaged his body and mind. I need to be there to hold his hand one more time.

I picked up a book from my childhood the other night. One of those books that your parents have on the shelf, that you always remember seeing and looking at. My Dad would sit and show me the pictures inside, but it was a non-fiction adult book so we mostly talked about the information within rather than reading large portions.

It is about a WW2 ship, the Queen Mary. My family has many adventurers in it's ranks. My Dad and Grandfather were the boat captains for our family trips out to the cabin in the Prince Williams Sound. They loved boats and everything to do with the ocean....that passion surrounded me from birth. That same Granddad was a pilot. He flew small planes and was on the board of directors for Wien Air Alaska. Flying and boating stories were part of the fabric of our family.

Back to the book; I picked it up the other night and sighed at the memory. Flipping it open, I noticed an inscription on the front page I had not noticed before. If I knew about it, that fact had been lost to my memory long ago. It was a note from my Grandfather to me:

Dear Karen,

Everyone should have "somethings to do someday". Dreams, you just keep them in your mind and quicker than you think they are not dreams, you are doing it. Put a visit to the "Queen Mary" on your list. To excite the dream, read this book when you're able. I guess you could share the book with your Dad. Love, Grandpa Harry

P.S. My dream to visit the "Queen Mary" just happened.


I sat weeping, so thankful for the adventuresome dreamers I was born into. So thankful for the fact that they wanted to nurture the imagination. And sad, that I probably won't make it to Long Beach California to visit the Queen Mary before he dies, so I can properly thank him for igniting so many things in a young soul.

Change is a constant in this life. I've learned to embrace most of it, to be with it and know that what it leads to will be cloaked for some time. There are great things around the next corner....I suppose it's that feeling of excitement and mystery that make me want to keep doing more in this life.

For now, packing and remembering the past are enough. Long Beach and the Queen Mary are on the bucket list! Practicalities should never get in the way of a dream. :)