Monday, July 13, 2009
"Somewhere around the time my first baby was five months old, the word "motate" came into my life. One night, while we were enjoying an evening at home, Spencer, a little genius even at that age, began using his arms and legs to propel himself across the carpet. It wasn't exactly crawling, because his belly was on the ground, but he was certainly moving himself across the room. My proud husband exclaimed, "Look at that baby motate!" I looked at him, puzzled.
A few days later, my husband's family came to visit and were filled with pride and all commented on our child's motation skills. "Look at him motate!", they said. Bewildered, I called my mother. "Is "motate" a word?" I asked her. Always wise about such things she advised me, "No, but it describes what he is doing just perfectly" and we laughed.
My daughter who was born a few years later made my eyes twinkle when she began to motate at around six months of age. I used the word without embarassment or restraint and was seldom questioned. My sisters had children, and luckily, all of them started to motate at the appropriate age. The term was adopted whole-heartedly by my immediate family from California.
Over the years, I have occasionally heard the word used outside my family, mostly by folks from rural Idaho, like my (then) in-laws and husband.
Recently, I searched Merriam-Webster.com for a definition of "motate," I was bluntly informed "The word you've entered isn't in the dictionary. Click on a spelling suggestion below or try again using the search bar above." No, I didn't mean "mutate" or "mutter" or even "metate" (which is a stone with a concave upper surface used as the lower millstone for grinding grains and especially Indian corn). NOT EVEN CLOSE. And no, I didn't type it wrong.
Tonight, my heart pounded with joy as I watched Ella scoot across the Pergo in my kitchen. She doesn't quite have forward motation mastered, but she can sure motate backwards. When she reaches a wall or cupboard, we turn her around and she can backward motate across the room again.
Me: "Ella! You are such a good motator!"
Abby (usually jealous of her little sister): "I'm a good motator too!"
Me: "Yes, you are too Abby."
Abby (getting on the floor face down): "Wait, do you shut your eyes when you motate?"
Ella at the motation age.
Last Sunday, LT, Ella, Jonathan and I took a little road trip to Soda Springs to see Anna Beauregard and her Old Rock House. I want to preface this blog by saying there is no way I could do this house justice by my words or photos. This house is just a dream. Anna left no detail out when she carefully restored this house. Although she denies being an "artist," this house is a work of art.I'm not sure where to even begin describing this house. She has restored this historic home with salvaged materials and architectural treasures. Wildflowers greet you at the road. An iron gate with keys leads to a path paved with flagstones and rusty iron fragments.
The details are amazing, from the old ceiling tin flowers to the front porch rails (made from antique iron beds, complete with glass knob finials). I can't even describe how amazing this house is. I'll post some pictures that I took and some from the website just to give you a taste. But being there to see it all, plus hearing all of Anna's stories made it so much better. Anna imported three outhouses into the back yard. One has a delightful front door with curtains and a front porch and a chair to sit.
The house looks amazing at night because the yard is luminated with lights (even in the trees).
If you want to learn more about the Old Rock House, please go visit Anna's website http://www.theoldrockhouse.com/ . Although she has quite a following, (CEO's and Honeymooners are some of the Old Rock House's visitors), I would encourage everyone to support this wonderful treasure close to our home. My mom is coming to visit near the end of this month and I am trying to book a mom/daughter getaway at the Old Rock House for a night. When I have family and friends visit from out of town, I will definitely let them know about this wonderful place.
Anna holding my baby Jonathan.