An Evangelical Pilgrimage
Random header image... Refresh for more!

Category — Family

Give Thanks at the Table

DSC05118

Penn Valley, CA :: It’s the day after Thanksgiving. I’m sitting with my dad talking about recipes and miscellany. This is a great way to start a day. A cup of coffee, dad’s eating leftovers, I’m eating a gluten-free vegan blueberry muffin (I’m going to be enjoying a vegan diet again for a while). We’re debating the fine points of pork tenderloin, killing and plucking chickens, installing solar panels on a roof (that’s what he does these days for income), turkey stock and upcoming projects for his home.

Last night I did not stay within the vegan ideals. We enjoyed many of the traditional Thanksgiving goods: turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, pan roasted brussel sprouts, steamed green beans, cranberry jelly, stuffing with dried cranberries and cherries, and bottles of great red wine. I brought a few things to the table that I’m proud of. My teriyaki sweet potatoes, a 2007 bottle of Smith Syrah, a pecan praline pumpkin pie (say that three times fast) and a cranberry apple crystallized ginger pie. It was all wonderful. The company was wonderful, and Molly ate by the handful.

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year. You can enjoy family, friends and food (my three favorite “f” words) without the worry or pressure to also providing gifts. The table is enough. Cheers to that!

November 27, 2009   6 Comments

Welcome to California

Nevada-City-main

Penn Valley, CA :: We are in California and I’m loving it. Although Oregon has become a very special place for me and I can see us settling there when this trip is finished, I am a California girl 100%.

Fall in Nevada County, California is wonderful. The deciduous trees flash bright red, orange and yellow between tall evergreen pines. The air smells wonderful. My sister describes it like, “mushy leaves and pine needles, old brick, rusty iron, cedar, mulled cider, incense, old books.” And I add that it is all warmed to a gentle simmering fragrance by the beautiful sun light that makes it way through the trees. Topped with a little bit of smoke from the wood stoves.

California has sun. Oregon sometimes has sun. California has my kind of sun, consistent. Today we all woke up with leaves stuck to our cars and wet roads thanks to the downpour that started at about 11:00 p.m. last night. But then, by 9:00 a.m. the sun was out and it will most likely remain out for the next few days. Right now my whole family is seated around the dining room table, speckled with sunlight shining warmly through every window. It just feels warm everywhere…even if it’s chilly.

I’m happy here even though I know we won’t stay here.

November 12, 2009   12 Comments

Packing (again)

stack_o_books

Keizer, OR :: We are packing the car tomorrow. On Sunday we drive to California for the remainder of November and much of December. We don’t have all of the details worked out for December so we don’t know how long we’ll be where. I’m excited to leave Oregon. Not because I’m excited to leave Oregon, but because I need to head out, start something, start this journey.

The last month has been an amazing time for me. For all of us. John’s parents have cared for us so well. They have given us a room to live in that is larger than our old living room. Every morning I come downstairs between 6:00 a.m. and 7:00 a.m. to find fresh coffee and hot breakfast. Molly gets attention from her three uncles and is regularly watched by the grands so I can go out for a while or John and I can go on a date. It’s been a wonderful time. I’ve rested, found the rhythm my days were always lacking and enjoyed being cared for. Now it’s time to loose the pounds I added as I gave myself permission to sit, strengthen the muscles in my legs to help mend my knee, and get focused on what lies ahead.

First order of business: figure out how to pack John’s books in the car while leaving room for me, Molly and John.

November 6, 2009   3 Comments

Encouraged by Generosity

Keizer, OR :: I expect to post many stories under this title. Today I’m excited about going home. Home for me is in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, Nevada City and Grass Valley, California. Although it’s likely that home will mean a lot of different things over the next year.

Since we left our rented home in Portland we have been blessed and cared for by John’s family in Keizer. We are now making our plans to stay in NC/GV for November and our family and friends are offering to be some of the first who house us on our journey. This entire adventure will not be possible without accepting offers of generosity from others. It’s humbling and encouraging.

October 28, 2009   3 Comments

tiny rocks

DSC04790

Keizer, OR :: The other day John helped his dad unload a cubic yard of pea gravel into a newly landscaped section of their garden. All of the boys were helping and John thought it would be great to do some math with them.

The problem to solve: How much did each tiny rock cost?

They knew the following: The cubic yard of pea gravel cost $29.

I helped John find a good container to measure the tiny rocks in. We used a little nails box that measured 1″x2″x3″. After it was filled with rocks someone had to count all of the rocks…guess who ended up counting? Yep, me! 403 rocks later, we could do the math.

It turns out that they dispersed at least 3,133,728 rocks, each costing about $0.00000925.

Here is the final product. Pictures of smores to come soon!
DSC04792

October 4, 2009   2 Comments