Wednesday, March 18, 2009


In this case, not the pirate sound, but the name for a semi-annual gathering of autodidactic learners in cabins at Roan Mountain, TN. The kids and I went for the first time this weekend. There were no speakers or much of a schedule and it was so relaxed. On the last night, Jesse declared, emphatically, that we need to go to every ARGH from now on. I think that would be swell. To think, I almost let some torrential rain keep me from making the drive. It was Jesse who convinced me that I must persevere. I like when they persuade me to jump outside of my comfort zone.

One of the highlights was having the blogger/author Patti Digh talk and read to us from her book, Life is a Verb - 37 Days - essays about the question of what she would do differently if she knew that she only had 37 days left to live. I bought the book. It is filled with amazing art and provocative,inspiring ideas. She too grew up a red head, in awe of her library and of Pippi Longstocking. For this, and so many more reasons, I was smitten. Here she is with (the also inspiring) Kelli:Mindy and Gail, just two of the many wise, generous unschooling women that I get so much out of seeing: It's also fun to see the ageless men:and non age-segregating kids (especially the teens):There was henna, beading, knitting, pool, table tennis, nerf gun battles, Bananagrams, Yu Gi Oh, football, In a Pickle, Catch Phrase, a pot luck...Here was the setting, as captured by Gillen on the last morning. He was on his way back to our cabin having generously agreed to venture out and retrieve my camera from another cabin - far, far away - where I had left it the night before. Both of my guys were so generously helpful, and so happy to be on this trip that I feel capable of traveling even further with them alone in the future. I will overcome any fear of fatigue. Argh! I am adventurous woman.

Just look at how humiliatingly foolhardy adventurous I can be. Jesse asked me to jump into the talent show with him at the very last second, and I did, attaching us together first like this - and then leading the patient talent show crowd in "chair yoga". (There's no one more encouraging or patient than an unschooling talent show audience).Thank you Laura and Ren for putting it all together.
Actually, in the picture, they are Ren and Laura. Both tall, beautiful, Converse-wearing , artistic, loving mamas, TN-dwelling and goofy, whatever order you put them in, I think that they are meant to create things together.


Deanne said...

We have been wanting to attend since they started, but the timing has just not been right for us. "We are sooooo jealous that we missed this time, grrrrr!" (interjected by Angelica, who is reading over my shoulder - again.) Hopefully we'll be at the next one, and in the meantime, we're only one state away - one day's drive. (Hint, hint) :D

gail said...

How did you get this up so quickly?!!
Loved it all. I'm home but too tired to do anything but go to bed. Loved spending some time with you and the boys!

Frank said...

Sigh. Wish we'd been there. Glad y'all had a swell time.

kelli said...

It's great reading about it :)
It was a great time, loved your skit. It's wonderful how you went right along with Jesse, I don't know if I could have done that!

It was great seeing all of you and of course your boys are such a treat to spend time with.

Ren said...

Awesome to see the pics so fast! You rock!:)
It was sooooo great to finally get a chance to connect with you and enjoy your warm presence.
I love creating things with Laura, they somehow turn out better. Can't wait to see you at the next gathering!

mindy said...

I love that you got everything posted....I've not been blogging, too busy with life...but this post makes me understand why I started in the first place. Thanks. We loved our time with you guys, as usual :)

laura said...

oh my, you are fast!! i probably won't blog about this til who knows when!!

i love everything you wrote here, made my heart grow 3 sizes!! i'm so glad you were there!

oh and thanks for posting our tongue pix!!! =)

Danielle said...


Jealousy here, too, Deanne! I wish we could've made it. Sounds like you guys had a blast. Thanks for letting me live vicariously.

Christine said...

It was so great seeing you at ARGH. Your skit with Jesse was a highlight of the weekend!

I'm so psyched you'll be at the Northeast Unschooling Conference - we'll get to see you there!