Thursday, March 31, 2011

Who are your people, where is your land, and what do you grow?

-Andrew Lytle

This was the theme for the week we spent at Northfield School in Wichita. Why is this important for us to know about ourselves or about others?

As we seek our next steps we're thinking about these questions. What have the answers been in our past and what will the answers be in our future?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Not In Kansas Anymore

A dozen lifetimes is not enough to experience all the world has to offer. A while back, we read a novel titled Replay, about a guy who died at age 40, only to wake up in his college dorm room as a 20 year-old. After reliving the second half of his life, he dies again at age 40 and returns again to a time during his 20s (repeat several times). He decides to take his life in a dramatically different direction each "replay" until he discovers life's true purpose.

We are in the process of searching for the occupation of our lives to follow the conclusion of Jubilee. God has burdened our hearts in so many ways, I sometimes wish we could live more than one lifetime together and pursue a different pathway each time.

Our visit to the Elders farm in KS this past week was inspiration for one of those lifetimes. The story of how we met the Elders is a long one . . . suffice it to say it involves a Moscow connection and a Christmas tree near Wichita, but nonetheless we do know them. Their hard work, hospitality, traditional values, frugality, strong faith, and love for conversation resonates in our spirit and reinforces many of the lessons God has taught us in our years together.

Mid-Winter Week at the liberal arts school the Elders are a part of provided the formal excuse for us to visit them. We enjoyed delivering and attending a number of lectures, as well as participating in cultural tours and service projects as part of the week long event.

Our hosts also graciously allowed us to stumble around the farm as we attempted to help in various chores, from weeding the garden, to feeding the 11 newborn goats, to prepping logs for their on-location saw mill.

Ready for the mill

The work was actually fun for us, but one of the highlights of the week was the long-awaited horseback riding . . .

Learning the ropes

Thanks Elders and Northfield community for an unforgettable Mid-winter week.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Batesville, Arkansas

A trip to Batesville. Full of memories and familiar faces for Dane. Dane entered the first grade in Batesville and stayed until he graduated. He hasn't been back much, since the family moved to Nashville soon after his graduation. But many friends from the past are still there and love to see a Forlines come to visit.

Michelle was initiated into the culture of Batesville through the excitement of a "Wild Game Supper". But she fit right in thanks to her Dad and the many weird meats he shot or picked up from the side of the road to bring home for supper during her childhood.

Decoration for the "Wild Game Supper"

We attempted for the second time during our jubilee year to relive nostalgic mountain biking memories from Dane's past. This time we actually took bikes and explored the realms of grassy creek in search of the mysterious Indian Wells. Despite forging rivers, braving mud holes, wrestling through briers, climbing cliffs, and scouring satellite images on the computer, Indian Wells has yet to be found in this decade of Dane's life.

He carried both of our bikes across...what a gentleman!

We journeyed back to Nashville with a potentially brief stop off at Natchez Trace State Park. The brief stop turned into a not-so-brief stop when a 3.5 mile hike suddenly became a 7 mile hike. Something was terribly wrong with the trail map, but we made it out uninjured, with plenty of exercise for the day and only one tick to pull off.

Crossing one of the many wet areas of our hiking trail

We accidentally found a geocache box while hiking. It was a fun surprise

The sunset from the Forlines' house when we arrived back to Nashville