Sunday, October 16, 2011

Goodbye PITS

Well this will be my final send off to the PITs' (peacing it together) contribution to the blogosphere.

I moved out of the house Friday, the new house members: Andy and Benedikt moved in the same day. As the house transitions from one group to the next I can't help but look back over the past year to analyze the effect that the house has had on my life.

Over the past year, I've really enjoyed having the community as a place to grow, learn, enjoy life, have accountability, and share. My year in the house has left me with a great sense of appreciation of the wholeness of everyone. We are all imperfect creatures; in realizing this, it's perfect. We are all broken, we all have sadness, we all strive to accept ourselves and in so doing have others accept us to. I'm grateful for the true vulnerability we've had.

Community can be hard, but most of the time the rewards are worth it.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

 I’ve often talked about my frequent travels to the East,  so I think it’s only appropriate to talk about Marie Benner-Rhoades– who has, throughout this year, been my hostess, housemate, roommate, travel buddy, retreat co-facilitator, co-worker, boss, friend, teacher, cook instructor and much more.  Her and her husband Eric have often generously hosted me at their organic vegetable farm on more than one occasion – which of course includes great vegetable meals and carrot cakes!!  For living across the country from each other – we have definitely seen a lot of each one another :) (which is of course a great thing) - we have been on a lot of road trips together-including travels to Ohio, Michigan, California, and Portland, have lead a good number of retreat together, and have definitely had a lot of good laughs! Marie and I met when I was a part of the Youth Peace Travel Team in 2009, and I'm so glad that we got to further work together this year! To share some of our year's adventures – here are a few pictures for you to enjoy. 
                                       ~ Chels

Picking peas in the greenhouse 

Rocking the Nerd and Grandma glasses!

Detour to Niagara Falls!
Planking Grandma G! lol

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Time Alone

So what has been reconfirmed to me this year after living with 3 others and spending lots of time together (and don't get me wrong, that has been an extremely valuable experience) is that I need time alone to rejuvenate and reflect.  I feel refreshed and renewed when I take the opportunity to do my own thing, travel alone, or hike alone.  A hike out in nature becomes more of a spiritual experience when I'm by myself than when I'm with others, and I crave these experiences from time to time.  I'm forced to be alone in my own thoughts, the good and the not so good, and to learn to like myself enough that I'm not bored with just me for a few hours or a few days.  This is a good thing, I think!  Some photos from my last independent excursion...- Heather

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Ahh, being in the woods. Being in the woods makes you realize the small, fleeting nature of life. It helps me rejoice in my place in the circle of life. Get off the internet, and go outside. See the Divine in every thing. See nature's perfectly imperfect garden. Breathe in the clean air. Feel the soft flowers, the cold water. Eat the fresh berries. Warm yourself in the afternoon sun. Live life in every moment.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

I thought I’d write another short poem for the post
About our new housemate and a trip to the coast.
We have a new housemate – he’s name is Stephen
Now the numbers in the house are back to even.
He’s from Indiana, and got here this past Wednesday.
And  he seems to have  fit in right away
Stephen is volunteering at a dental clinic in Vancouver, Washington
And I’m sure you’ll hear much more about him before the year is done.
We took advantage of the Labor Day weekend
and went on a road trip out of Portland
We ventured to Saddle Mountain and the coast
The sights were beautiful – if I can boast.
 We had a good time with many good laughs
That’s it for the poem – but enjoy some photographs.
                ~ Chels

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Oregon....A Great Place To Be

Near Cape Meares on the Oregon coast
 So, Jon was right....Summer in Oregon is pretty sweet.  Here are some photos from some recent excursions.  I'll let them speak for themselves.
Chelsea and I at McNeil Point with Mt. Hood behind us

The Green Lakes Basin area with the South Sister behind

Wildflowers are everywhere now!

Hiking in the Three Sisters Wilderness Area with Brokentop in the distance

The North Sister and Middle Sister from McKenzie Pass

Thursday, August 18, 2011


This week saw the departure of our omnipresent waterer-garden-tender-in-chief, Ben. We will miss his among other things his constant presence, his spontaneous outbursts of songs, humor, detailed cleanings, and knowledgeable gardening. Though Ben is off to his next adventure his presence remains, especially in our garden. We are thankful and wish you well, Ben.

As I was taking my turn watering today, it struck me about gardeners incessant giving away of produce. Please don't get me wrong, gardening is a lot of work. But really we are just helping the plants grow. The food they produce isn't something I made. We tended the beds, we watered, weeded, loved, but the food came from the plant. It is a magical, awesome gift. The produce though I worked for it, it's not mine. I wish we could view every thing from the earth as not our but a sacred gift from the Divine.