Archive for September 15th, 2006

Taking This Show on the Road

September 15, 2006 @ 11:28 am | Filed under:

Things are picking up speed now, as far as our move has concerned. Nope, the house hasn’t sold yet, but the kids and I are heading west before winter sets in. What do you think, am I taking my whole Little House motif a little too far?

This week I’m interviewing movers, having our minivan’s windshield replaced, selling off the contents of my garage, hauling vanloads of clothes to the thrift store, and trying to think of all the places (like PayPal) at which I need to change my email address.

Which: while I’m thinking of it! If you’re still using an EARTHLINK address for me, it’s time to retire it. The correct address is thebonnyglen (at) gmail (dot) com.

And speaking of the Bonny Glen! When I announced that we were moving to Southern California, a few friends lamented the loss of "bonny glen" as a descriptor of our home. Of course you know the name really comes from one of my Martha books, Down to the Bonny Glen, which in turn came from a line in an old Scots ballad:

"I’ll fetch my nut-brown maiden
Down from the bonny glen."

Here at the feet of the Blue Ridge Mountains, there are bonny glens around practically every curve of the road. This is the bonniest of bonny countrysides. Every time I look up at the hills, which really are blue, my heart soars. Of course I’m a Colorado girl by upbringing, and no landscape is quite right without some mountains holding up the sky.

They have mountains in southern California, too, but I’m betting they aren’t blue. Of course, they’ve got a stretch of big blue that ought to go a long way toward satisfying my craving. My girls can’t wait to see the sea. It won’t be long now…

But about the bonny glen, I was telling you about how a few friends expressed regret or sympathy for the fact that "Here in the Bonny Glen" was going to cease to be an appropriate title. I was going to write a long post about how the Bonny Glen is a state of mind—which it is, for me; this blog is my way of celebrating what I love about our life together, and it helps me to look out for the bonny moments, great and small, as they come to us. Sometimes we joke about how it isn’t always sunshine and roses in the Bonny Glen (and believe me, it isn’t). But this blog helps me to be mindful of living joyfully and making our days worth celebrating in print.

However, be that as it may—and it IS—I am pleased to announce I’ve thought of a way for "Here in the Bonny Glen" to continue to be a literal description as well as a metaphorical one. Actually, it was Scott’s idea. I’ve been reading up on California homeschooling regulations and have decided to go for the "register as a private school" option. I told Scott we’d need to come up with a NAME for our "school." Without missing a beat, he IM’d back: "Duh. Bonny Glen Academy."

Actually, what he wrote was "The Bonny Glen Academy for Exceptional Children and Road Scholars." Which made me laugh. (Of course we think all children are exceptional in some way or other. Ain’t no mold fits all of ’em.) We bandied about various terms in lieu of Academy…"Day School" doesn’t fit; "Institute" makes me shudder; "Lyceum" seemed a bit over the top. Personally, I like "Brainery," which is listed as a synonym for academy at

In October, we shall indeed be Road Scholars. The gang and I are driving to my parents’ place in Colorado (more mountains!) and Scott will meet us there for the last leg of the drive. He’s got places he wants to show us, points he passed on his own drive two months ago. Tucumcari Mountain, the desert, the Broccoli Crossing

It will be quite an adventure.

These next few weeks will be crazed, no doubt. As opposed to, um, the serene and uncomplicated days we’ve passed since Scott’s departure in July. Ha. Such is life here in the bonny glen, where "bonny" = "noisy and chaotic" and "glen" = "house in extreme uproar."

And since it’s Poetry Friday, I’ll share the lyrics to the ballad that inspired the name of my book, my blog, and my homeschool. You can listen to the melody here.

Horo, My Nut Brown Maiden

Horo, my nut brown maiden
Hiri, my nut brown maiden
Horo, ro maiden
For she’s the maid for me.

Her eye so mildly beaming
Her look so frank and free
In waking and in dreaming
Is evermore with me.

Oh Mary, mild-eyed Mary
By land or on the sea
Though time and tide may vary
My heart beats true to thee.

With thy fair face before me
How sweetly flew the hour
When all thy beauty o’er me
Came streaming in its power.

The face with kindness glowing
The face that hides no guile
The light grace of thy going
The witchcraft of thy smile.

And when with blossoms laden
Bright summer comes again
I’ll fetch my nut brown maiden
Down from the bonny glen.