21.07.2013 - 07.12.2013
So it seems we’ve been getting worse about keeping up on our blog. Life just happens and all of a sudden it’s been four months already! Well, our life has sure has been a roller coaster, to say the least, over the past couple months. In our last blog, we were in Portland. Well, we had a wonderful time there, but felt the call to keep going south to visit one more intentional community called Circle of Children near Eugene, OR. Long story short, anything can sound amazing on a website. Sadly, in reality, Circle of Children was far from amazing….we ended up leaving after two long days, even though we had just trekked across half the country to see this place, ugghhhh. A bit depressing, huh?
So we headed into the nearest town, Eugene, to gather our puzzled thoughts. Why had we felt so drawn to come all this way to end up like this? Only God knows. We still don’t, that’s for sure. Anyway, since then, we’ve stayed a number of places nearby. First, it was with an elderly couple who invited us into their home after meeting them at a farmers market. Then we work-traded in exchange for an RV spot at a local hostel. All the while, we were visiting other intentional communities around the area. None in particular sparked our interest or had any openings until we visited Heart-Culture Farm Community. Now, it wasn’t glamorous, organized, or particularly sustainable, but it had potential. 33 acres of farm land, with almost none of it being used. All of sudden, ideas of food forests, permaculture gardens, animal-crop rotation systems were dancing through our heads! So we decided to stay. And that’s where we were for the last three months.
Community life definitely isn't easy. The ideals of living in community are confronted with the reality of living in community. We realized even more about ourselves, about living with others, and about what we are really looking for in community. This has been a tremendous learning experience for us, in terms of personal, spiritual, and interpersonal growth. And we’re still learning to let go when it’s necessary and follow the signs that God is giving us.
With that said (and not going into the gory details), we decided to leave that community. We realized it was a learning experience, but definitely not the place for us to live long term. There was a possibility that we were going to get an apartment at another nearby intentional community near here, Lost Valley, but that didn’t work out (and possibly for the best). So we are now living in a 2 bedroom apartment near downtown Eugene. We are really close to parks, the Wiliamette River, and local markets. It's also been great to feel "normal" again, to have a home base. We're definitely not the wandering types. We've enjoyed getting to know the area, attending a local church and becoming part of that community, and trying to meet like-minded people in Eugene. Since here though, we have been on a couple mini-vacations to the Oregon coast and up to Seattle for Jessica's cousin's wedding (we took the train!). Now, it seems a new journey has begun for us, one of rebirth and rebuilding.
So it may seem silly that we left our home and garden in Kansas City to just end up in an apartment in another US city. To many, it seems we have actually back-tracked in our life’s journey; there was a point we were wondering the same thing. However, this journey has provided us with more personal and spiritual growth than we could have ever done had we stayed in Kansas City. So we don’t have our farm yet, or even a garden, but we also know that we’re not done yet. This point in our journey is a stepping stone for something greater. We’re not sure what yet, but we know that something is coming. We will be farming and homesteading in the next few years, we’re just not sure where. Right now, we’re working on centering ourselves and connecting with God and others.
Our living situation aside, here's a little update about each one of us!
Tracy got a job as a counselor at a local non-profit. He's been there for a little over two months now and loves it. He really realized how much he missed counseling and is happy to be back helping people. He is also working on getting his license to do private practice here in Oregon. It's been a change having him away most of the day, but we're getting used to it. Elijah usually starts talking about dada an hour or so before he comes home from work. He is also able to ride his bike to work, now that our apartment is only 1.5 miles away!
Jessica is adjusting to being at home with Elijah all day by herself. It's definitely a task to chase a toddler around all day! And as the weather gets colder (we just had our first snow actually!), she's having to get even more creative to keep Elijah busy. We have been able to meet some new friends here in Eugene who have children, so that's been nice for Elijah and mama. Jessica has also been busy in the kitchen. She is soooo happy to have a kitchen that functions (that was one of the problems at Heart-Culture), and she has been baking breads, making ice cream, and making other simply things from scratch!
And finally Elijah, well he mainly poses for pictures all day, if you can't tell already He has changed so much in just the last few months. He is doing more talking. He likes to try and repeat what we say. He also says most words that start with "B" like ball, balloon, baboon, bubble, etc. He actually hasn't gotten any more teeth, which is weird, but he is eating a lot of food now. He eats pretty much everything, but meat and cheese (with the exception of bacon and really expensive cheese, haha). Also, he is out of diapers!! You heard it, by about 17 months old (because we did EC), we stopped putting him in diapers because he is finally telling us when he needs to go potty! It's been pretty awesome! He is also loving playing instruments. He plays the guitar, the harmonica, the drums, the piano, etc. He also loves animals; one of the hardest things to leave at Heart-Culture were our chickens. We raised them for 8 weeks from day-old chicks and Elijah would give them kisses. It was super cute! Hopefully, someday soon, we will have some farm land and chickens again.
Until then, I will keep updating you all on our adventures in Eugene!