We walked down the canal again today. It’s my favourite walk here in Mullingar. Although it’s over two hundred years old and no longer serves as a conduit for goods and passengers coming up and down from Dublin, they still keep it cleared for the occasional motorboat. I was very pleased the first time we walked down it to demonstrate my extensive knowledge of canals and those who work on them (derived entirely from the verses of The Eyrie Canal, which my mother taught me). Just a couple of weeks ago I read some more about bargees in The Railway Children, which is our current daytime readaloud. At night Tony and the children are still making their way through the Little House books. We’ve been enjoying the contrast between life in England and life in the United States during the same time period.
It reminded me of reading about Tony’s great-great-grandmother Henriette. She was a tutor at the Savoy court in Turin when she heard the Mormon missionaries and sailed to America to cross the plains with the pioneers. During the next few years as the Savoys were conquering all Italy and becoming Kings, Henriette was carrying her baby as she drove a cow from Provo to Salt Lake City on her way to settle in a log cabin in a little mountain valley.
We leave for Italy in less than a month, and it looks like it will be a long-term move. We found out today that Axa is number one on the waiting list for the preschool in our little town. As a homeschooling mother, I am somewhat ambivalent about this. The reason we want to send her is to help her with her Italian. I think a year of preschool will leave her quite fluent. She’ll only go for three hours in the morning, which made it a much easier decision. Raji might go too. It’s not a decision I ever anticipated making, and of course it assumes that she’ll like it, but we really feel good about it.