This is Melissa, our dinner goddess. In our intentional community, we have the opportunity to eat shared dinners up to four times a week -- if anyone's willing to cook and clean them. Melissa makes our common meals happen.
Melissa puts up the monthly meal calendar and comes up with creative ideas if not enough cooks or cleaners sign up. Tonight she decided to hold a potluck. Potlucks are unusual for common meal. If it's a common meal, the cooks and cleaners do the work -- if it's a potluck, everyone does the work
. But potlucks make for a nice variety of food, and it's easier to prepare one dish for ten than to cook a full meal for thirty.
Common meals are voluntary and vary in attendence. Tonight, only four families signed up. More for us!
The highlight was Melissa's pizzas. My favorite was pizza made with a spinach artichoke spread, sun-dried tomatoes, organic chicken, pesto, and six cheeses. For dessert, Melissa took a pizza crust, added sugar, spread freshly picked blueberries, and baked it. Simple and very tasty!
Here's our occasional disclaimer -- Please enjoy our photos, but bear in mind that our intentional community is not polygamous. Although some of our neighbors have quietly expressed an interest in polygamy, Lisa, Karen and I are the only polygamous family so far. Melissa tells us that while she's not a polygamist, she "gets" how it works. We think she really does.
What do Christian polygamy and Christian nudity have in common? Plenty!
- Both are illegal in many places -- nudity at least is legal on private property.
- Both are mocked and despised by most conservative Christians.
- Both claim they support positive family values.
- Both claim they are supported by scripture.
- Both offer selective dating services.
- Both are misunderstood.
You'd think that with this much in common, polygamists and nudists would get along. Apparently not so. We've heard that some Christian polygamists regard nudity as pornographic, and that some Christian nudists regard polygamy as a perversion.
As a reader of our blog, you're probably familiar with the arguments promoting Christian polygamy. For arguments promoting Christian nudity, we'd recommend these links --
From sources like these, you can learn, for example, that "In the early centuries following the New Testament period [...] baptism was performed in the nude.
" -- Laudemont Ministries
Polygamy and nudity both play an important role in our family life. We regard both as positive family values that remind us of who we are and what our place is in the natural world.
Lisa's dad Richard was born at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1924.
Dick graduated from high school in 1942, entered the U.S. Navy where he became a hospital corpsman and a medical field technician in the F Marine Force. After combat in the South Pacific he was honorably discharged at Seattle, Washington in 1945.
He attended the University of Washington taking night and day courses in 1949-1950.
He met and married Lorene in 1948, then moved to Spokane, Washington to take over a cement contracting business for 20 years until retiring in 1986.
His daughter Lisa was born in 1959.
In 1964, Dick married Betty and raised her two children as his own.
Dick had a very full family life and his daughter Lisa spent most summers with him and his family in Spokane. Every August they would spend three weeks camping on the Washington coast.
Betty was a wonderful cook and canned salmon right in the camping trailer. Dick would bring in all varieties of fish, crab, shrimp, clams, and basically anything that he could get his hands on as she prepared all the delicacies from the sea. The children always has a joyous time during these vacations.
As time passed and Lisa had children of her own, Dick would frequently come by and visit in Seattle to see his grandchildren. He helped her and her husband built their house and taught his grandchildren to fish.
For well over fifty 60 years he has been learning and experiencing the fishing process from which he has gained a wealth of knowledge that (since 1965) he shares with the general public, non profit organizations such as sport fishing clubs, boy /scouts, YWCA kids, handicapped kids, grade school kids, Rotary Clubs, conservation groups and many sport shows.
He has held fishing seminars before thousands upon thousands of people on steelhead, salmon, walleye, bass, crappies, perch, bluegill, trout, whitefish, kokanee, and ice fishing.
Dick is survived by 3 children and 5 grandchildren.
We walked around the bluff at Rosario beach. The tidepools were strangely barren. We finally had a sunbreak, so we climbed a hill and lay in the grass, surrounded on three sides by an incredible view of lakes and islands. For more photos, see our Facebook albums.
It was time to check into the Island Tyme bed and breakfast
. We barely made it, only to find that Lisa had inadvertantly booked the wrong week. Fortunately, they still had one room left -- the honeymoon suite. They let us have it for only $10 more. Talk about luck!
The honeymoon suite turned out to be two beautiful rooms, separated by partial wall with a stained glass view of the double jacuzzi.
The breakfast was fancy, and the proprietress amiable.
Island Tyme is advertised as twenty acres of quiet beauty
, meaning it is out in the country and has a view of two goats. Lisa loves goats! Both Karen and Lisa raised farm animals -- goats, ducks, chickens -- and both share a fondness of (female) goats.
Karen's gone to Los Angeles for two weeks to visit her friends and her handicapped daughter Maria. Karen takes full advantage of having a sister-wife -- Lisa gets elaborate instructions on how to water the many indoor and outdoor plants while she's gone. For photos, see our Facebook albums.
Lisa and I decided to picnic at Rosario beach. We took a ferry to Whidbey island and crossed the bridge at Deception pass. An hour later, we arrived at the beach. We'd hoped for some sun, but the sky was partly clouded.
We trecked down to the beach with way too much picnic gear. The driftwood piles were massive, so it was easy to find a place to sit. We ate fried chicken, bacon and pea salad, potato chips, and grapes, which we shared with a not too shy chipmunk.
The beach is made of millions of small rocks, each a different color and texture. It's great for walking in shoes, but really painful in Tivo sandals, which let the rocks in. Next time I'm bringing aqua socks.
Rosario beach is quiet and flat. The waves rolling in from Puget Sound are only about an inch high, and the slope is gentle, but the water is cold! I waded out to my waist, until my legs suddenly cramped. Then I waded back in to sit and sip hot chocolate. The peace and solitude were magnificent. I can see why this is Lisa's favorite beach. [To be continued.]
Last night we were visited by the muffin fairy. An anonymouse neighbor in our intentional community has been leaving fresh muffins on porches these past few weeks, a truly random act of kindness. They look delicious, and we're saving them for a special occasion. The muffin fairy is a class act -- that's a cloth ribbon you see in the photo.
The muffin fairy could have left the muffins in our house, instead of on the front porch. Ours is a no-knock house. Let me explain --
When someone wants to build a house in our community, they run it by the architectural guidance team. We help them design the house to be friendly -- an inviting appearance, a front porch, a sitting area. We ask that they put the room they expect to spend the most time in at the front of the house. This is often a kitchen or study, with no curtains on the window, so that you can wave at neighbors or check out the action outside your door.
Bedrooms, bathrooms, and other private spaces tend to be in the back of the house, upstairs, or downstairs. The front of the house is "public", the back of the house is "private".
Several homes, like ours, have adopted a no-knock policy. After giving hundreds of tours of our community, I've noticed that some visitors get extremely nervouse learning about this. In my opinion, these are visitors who would be uncomfortable living here.
No-knock means we expect you to walk into our house without knocking. This has a number of advantages --
- We don't have to get up and answer the door.
- You can walk through the house and find us.
It also means that when we say "Our house is your house", we mean it. I've gotten up at 6:30 in the morning on occasion to find my next door neighbor rummaging through the refrigerator because he ran out of milk. Of course, I would never do anything like that to him. Instead, I might rummage through his refrigerator at midnight if I run out of ice cream. [Alas, that family left our community for Santa Barbara, but not because of this.]