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Fall in North Carolina

Itinerary thus far -

Oct. 1-5 - Leave TMS, move to Ashfield, MA
Oct. 18-21- Boston, Providence, Somerville, Cambridge
Oct. 21-23- Lyman Gathering, Eliot, ME
Oct. 23,24- Philadelphia and Pendleton Hill
Oct. 24,25 - Wm. Penn House, DC, visit w. Emily Livingston, staff for Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, and Diane Randall at FCNL about abolishing the death penalty
Oct. - Durham, NC,
Oct. - Wrightsville Beach, Durham, Marion, Old Fort, Warren Wilson College, Swannanoa,
Nov. 1 - 5 Asheville and Hendersonville
Nov. 5- 6 Hickory to Statesville to Yadkinville (Branon Friends Church) to Winston-Salem
Nov. 6-7 Winston-Salem to Atlanta to Cordele,GA to Koinonia
Nov. 7-? Koinonia and Fort Benning (School of the Americas/SOA Watch)
Nov. 2? - Dec.? Florida (either before or just after Thanksgiving) till just before Xmas
Dec. ? Return to New England. My plan now is to be in NH for Christmas.
Jan. ? Richmond, IN Jan. Intensive at Earlham School of Religion
Jan. ? Five day retreat at Woolman Hill

Nov. 5, Dear Friends - As I suspected all along this has been a virtual journey as well as a physical one. I think you might not have ever got the photos I tried to send because I attached a slice of a video and it froze my computer up. Alas, I lost many in the repair/upgrade. Back on the highway, I'll try again.

For the past three days, since I left Warren Wilson (called Wilson by folks here), I've been staying with Susan Williams in Hendersonville in a lovely house high up on a hill looking out over mountains and surrounded by mixed hardwoods now shedding their leaves. Fall has been gorgeous here, better I think than it was in NH where the leaves didn't really turn fully. I hope you all are surviving the early snow.

I was traveling with Frances May who sends her love. She succumbed to the flu after dropping me at Wilson and has been in bed at a friend's house since. While in Durham I worshipped at Durham, NC Friends Meeting, bringing greetings from Durham, ME and Monadnock QM. Frances and I spent a night at Wrightsville Beach then travelled to the mountains where we visited her friend Sheila Adams, worshipped and volunteered at a soup kitchen/food pantry/clothing distirbution and toured Old Fort, where Frances grew up.

Susan Williams and Frances met at TMS right around the time of the 50th reunion and have stayed in touch ever since. When Frances got sick Susan graciously took me in and we've been getting to be friends as well as exploring my IPad and her IPhone, laughing about being gray-haired geeks. I called her on FaceTime by mistake last night and there we were staring at each other through our devices not knowing how it happened.

I had a great two days at Wilson. Saw Andrew Gibbons, Amanda Stanley, Carrie Stanton and Luke Brown and friends. They send their love to those who know them. Andrew and I volunteered on the Herb Crew, harvesting and processing Echinacea root. The campus is beautiful and the folks here are thoroughly into Southern hospitality.

Today, Saturday Nov.5, I'm planning to get hooked up with some folks from Statesville, going to Branon Friends Church In Yadkinville tomorrow before leaving for Georgia. Branon is the meeting that Monadnock QM was paired with for the FUM chain of prayer a we years ago.

That's it for now. I'm saying a little prayer that a few photos will get to you in a follow-up email. Frances has tons from her travels with me so you will see those eventually.
blessings, Sheila
Log Cabin

Give over thine own willing, give over thine own running, give over thine own desiring to know or be anything and sink down to the seed which God sows in thine heart... Isaac Penington

Planned to begin my pilgrimage with the dedication of the new temple at the Peace Pagoda but was too exhausted from moving in the pouring rain. Instead I rested, took a nice walk and visited with my new housemates and friends in Ashfield.

Yesterday - Spent all AM in the yurt packing and watching Lily while my son Eli did most of the loading. It rained hard off and on. Craig & Megan's wedding started late. I was especially mindful in worship of the commitment we make to a couple who is marrying in the care of a meeting, wanting Megan and Craig to know that they have on-going support. Sorry to leave but anxious to get to Ashfield and unload. Haven't been so tired in a long time.

10/7/11 Back at the yurt still packing and cleaning, weird being here but not FROM here. I'm remembering moving from Maine, proud to leave the place looking really clean and nice. I realize this leave taking is similar, not of my choosing. And so I want to make a CLEAN break.
Want to journal every day, spiritual journaling, to track this time and keep a record of what is holy in it for me. Example: Kristna and I were talking tonight about TMS and I was overwhelmed with a sense of what had been so sacred in our life here - that a group of teenagers could come together with no or little prior experience of the spirit and by the end of the year they could walk into the Hayden room and KNOW they could sit together in silence and be one, they could really understand corporately what a gathered meeting for worship is.

I hope to carry that spirit with me on this pilgrimage, not as an emissary for TMS but still witnessing to what my experience has been. I just won't be speaking for the school. When talking about the school I find myself constantly changing to the past tense.

The mice are scampering around all over the ceiling. I hope I can get some sleep. Hmmm, we'll see.

Oct. 11 Two days of non-stop work, still not finished at the yurt so back again, spent the whole day, finally finished last night at about9:30, drove toAshfield and got to bed about midnight.

Oct.18 AM bus from Greenfield to Boston, talking with the driver and a couple of passengers and doing emails. South Station, saw Josiah Erikson's daughter, Jaelin, witnessing as part of Occupy Boston. I went out to Dewey Square and walked through the tent city, ran into one of the folks from the Cathedral of the Pines Interfaith Council. Stayed overnight in Somerville at the cooperative house where Katherine Fisher used to live. Sat. AM I needed to see a Dr. about a tick bite, went to the ER in Somerville and they were great. Walked to Union Square, met my sister Elizabeth and we drove to Providence, to visit her daughter, Rachel. R is a sophomore in then dual- degree program at Brown and Rhode Island School of Design (RISD).

Sat. PM, Rachel's concert, the Jewish choral group, Alef Beats. Her friends Lauren and Isabelle came from NYC and Harvard respectively. Lauren had come directly from Wall St. with her sign still in her hands. The concert was the first interfaith experience of my pilgrimage. Held in the Jewish community center Hillel on the Brown campus, a wonderful combination of serious Hebrew songs, some lively ones also in Hebrew and a mix of other popular songs, even a gospel piece. The students did excellent arrangements.

Sunday AM went to meeting for worship at Providence Friends, my first really official visit. The two vocal messages shared in worship referred to the Occupation of Providence and hope for change. It seems to be an important time to be out in the world.

Mon. Had another interesting interfaith experience with my former brother-in-law Steve, who is Jewish and was the first Jewish member of our family. Tho' he is one of the most secular of our family, his marriage to my sister was the beginning of our cross-cultural family. He drove me to Jonathan Vogel-borne's. Minga is away. Got to sing that night with J's singing group.

Tues. AM met up with Chris Jorgenson and her garden helper, Hiawatha. I helped plant bulbs. Came back to Chris' for the night.

Hoping to keep on with daily worship, tho' it has been difficult to do it at the regular 8:30 AM time. Still, having it in mind and finding time for it makes a big difference. There are moments, waiting for a bus or subway train or walking down the street in the rain, that I feel the presence of prayer in my life and know that this journey is different.

Weds. and Thurs. Went to visit Keith Harvey at AFSCNERO in Cambridge, then took T out to Andover Newton Theological Seminary to visit Frederick Martin and Katherine Fisher. Worshiped w. them in the chapel there. Spent the night then back to S.Station/Dewey Sq. to occupy once more and on the commuter rail to Franklin to visit my son, d'in-law and granddaughter.

Fri. Sat. Bus to Portsmouth to Lyman Fund Gathering. Good group, lots of wonderful stories, deep worship and singing.

Sun. Drove to Philly w. Jon Watts and Harriet Nettles. Stayed at Vortex House, coop house formerly home of Barbara H. of New Society Publishers ( and Friends Journal?) an honor to sleep in her old room.

Mon. Pendle Hill helped in the garden, lunch w. Carol Sexton, art director. We graduated ESR together. Dinner w. Michelle Brimage (Beacon Hill MM) a student at PH this year and Stephen-David, friend of folks at Koinonia.

Reflections - I'm still on a bit of a whirlwind, it seems. Trying to rest when I can and finding many times for worship, formal and not. Lots of encounters with strangers, some very wonderful, even tho' very brief. Some chaos but things are generally falling into place with lots of help from friends and passersby. I love both the feeling of staying connected with loved ones and the delightful interactions w. folks I'll never see again.

Nellie Herman speaks about

Patty Wheeler from All Saints Episcopal Church and Nellie Herman, clerk of Monadnock Meeting talked to a group of Friends recently about their visit to Centro Victoria orphanage in Juarez, Mexico. Video of the talk is available:


Death Penalty with Arnie Alpert

On Sunday, Arnie Alpert of the New Hampshire office of the American Friends Service Committee came to visit Monadnock Meeting and update us on activity in the movement to end the death penalty in New Hampshire. Here are two recordings of the presentation. The longer of the two also includes some Quaker-specific material and finishes with a short discussion of other issues coming before the state legislature.

You can play the audio files at: http://halfredhouse.biz/wordpress/2011/02/06/death-penalty-in-nh-arnie-alpert/

or download them here:

 Death Penalty in NH - Arnie Alpert (short) [1:05:50m]: Download
 Death Penalty and other issues in NH - Arnie Alpert (long) [1:15:31m]: Download

Concord Quaker Meeting House

While attending the All New Hampshire Gathering of Friends in Canterbury, I took some clumsy video of the Canterbury Center and of the new Concord Meeting House (in Canterbury), which is under construction.

Jon Watts at Meeting School

Jon Watts, the bicycling Quaker rapper and general all round temple of the living light visited the Meeting School last weekend. Here is a video with cameo appearances from some Meeting School faculty, students and animals :) see http://www.jonwatts.com/ for more information enlightenment and entertainment.

Living Really Lightly

Following up on the discussions we have been having at Meeting about simplicity, consumerism and Christmas presents, etc., here is a link to a true story of a young woman who has simplified her life to the point of stepping outside the money economy altogether ( http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/jan/02/katherine-hibbert-living-without-money ). Maybe there is a bigger supportive community for this kind of choice in Britain than in the US, and maybe it is mainly a choice available to childless young people. Such lifeways may serve as a bridge to a society where gratuitous wastefulness is no longer tolerated and pointless acquisitiveness is no longer rewarded.

I am particularly mindful of the fact that she went from anxiety to calmness during her year of living money-free, Just being reminded that such a way of living is possible in this century feels like a kind of psychic floor under my feet that might embolden me to go farther toward simplicity than I might otherwise feel safe going if I believed I had to walk on air.
(cross-posted from my personal journal) A small flock of wild tom turkeys stole the show at Monandnock Quaker Meeting on December 20. We all just had to take a break from business meeting to watch them. One of the turkeys perched in a crabapple tree for a while, but unforunately his picture didn't come out well. At various points, the turkeys seemed to be acting the parts of the various birds in "The Twelve Days of Christmas" for us. Music is midi banjo playing the obvious tune.

Margaret Will be blogging from Palestine!

You can follow the events of Margaret's journey to Palestine at [http://monadnockquaker.livejournal.com/
or maybe friend monadnockquaker :)

A few pictures from the last Quaker Quest

Here are a few pictures from the social hour at the end of the last Quaker Quest on November 15.