Live and Learn has been first and foremost a celebration for us. Our decision to unschool has brought so much joy to our family, but that joy is unfortunately not shared with most of the people we are surrounded by daily. Much of our interactions with others become limited, because of their limited understanding of our choices. It's hard to celebrate your freedom with people who are still imprisoned by their choices, choices they may not even realize that they have to make. However, when we attend the Live and Learn Conferences, there is an overwhelming sense of understanding and acceptance that allows us all to freely celebrate our freedom! Our joy is shared by others who also seek to share the same joy!
A Live and Learn conference is peaceful, yet at times joyfully chaotic. It is calming, yet at the same time very invigorating. It is the comfort of the familiar, wonderfully mixed with the excitement of the new. It is reuniting with old friends and finding new ones. It is authentic, unpretentious, and defies complete description.
I think that I have been procrastinating writing about this year's conference, because it was the last Live and Learn conference, and I am not eager to close this chapter of our lives. I am eternally grateful to Kelly Lovejoy and her family, and all those who helped coordinate the conferences. The opportunities provided by Kelly's vision were unmeasurable. Yet, I am now provided with and opportunity to do what I can to ensure that the spirit of Live and Learn lives on by continuing to connect with other unschoolers in new ways. I am excited about continuing to develop the connections made at Live and Learn.
Knowing that there is no Live and Learn next year challenged me to go outside my comfort zone in a big way. I talked to more people this year than any year prior. I also made plans to get together with people on our own. Because the conference drew people from all over the country (and world!), this meant that we would have to do some significant travelling in order to maintain our connections. Well, I am happy to say that we already started!
Following the conference, we drove up north to visit family in several states. Then, on the way back down to Florida, we actually stopped and visited with friends in Virginia and Georgia. Gerri and her family were kind enough to let us stay at their beautiful lakefront home while we explored Washington D.C. We had a wonderful time at their house, and they made us feel so at home, as if we had been neighbors for many years. Our other stop was with Madeline and her lovely family. Once again, we were made to feel so at home and welcomed. A BIG THANK YOU to both families for being so gracious and helping to extend the "unschooling celebration" that was started by Live and Learn! I can't wait to get together again, and to share our home with you! I'm also looking forward to reuniting with other Live and Learn friends through visits and smaller unschooling gatherings that will allow us to continue to share our joyous freedom!
Here are a few pictures from Live and Learn and our post-conference travels. You can see more here.Getting down at the Masquerade Ball.
The Karaoke stars sing "I Will Survive" and "I'm Walking on Sunshine"
Some of the beauty that surrounded us at the Blue Ridge Assembly.
Sunrise and flowers at Gerri's house.
Some of the talent show at Madeline's.