Montana

It’s one of my favorite questions, “When have you made the greatest impact?” It allows us to remember when we’ve done things right. It recognizes our successes. And it allows us a moment to pause and reflect on when we have been effective, so we can use that as our road map to move forward. More than anything, this question gives us the chance to … Continue reading Montana

What can we create together?

We spent last week in residence with Easter Lutheran Church in Eagan, Minnesota. As part of their Lenten “Better Together” exploration, we asked the community, “What can we create together?” You can see a selection of their responses in this video, and find the entire collection in photos below. As you watch, think about how you would respond to the question…as a family, as a … Continue reading What can we create together?

Melanie Stanley

Melanie Stanley lost her home and business in Blue River, Oregon in the Holiday Farm Fire of 2020. The Meyers General Store and Liquor Shop had been in her family for 29 years. I interviewed her on the cement slab that remained. We talked about the fire that devastated the town of Blue River, her commitment to rebuild and both her dreams and fears about … Continue reading Melanie Stanley

Georgia

We landed in Georgia on the night of the big game. We were there to work with University Extension Agents to help them articulate and tell the story of how they had made an impact in their communities. Needless to say, the mood the next morning was pretty enthusiastic, as UGA brought home the national championship. Go Dawgs! They had been waiting 41 years, after … Continue reading Georgia

Kentucky

The day before the tragic storm in Kentucky, we were working with Extension agents at a statewide conference in Lexington. Extension programs are a division of land grant universities and their goal is to educate entire communities. These folks are charged with integrating the research of an institution into the day to day lives of the state’s residents. Extension agents offer nutrition programs in rural … Continue reading Kentucky

Sean Davis

Sean Davis is a writer, a veteran and a wildland firefighter. He lives in McKenzie Bridge, Oregon. In the summer of 2020, the McKenzie River Valley was devastated by a forest fire that quickly burned 174,000 acres and destroyed more than 500 homes. Sean says he has been to the apocalypse four times. He has seen difficult things and you will find that he shares … Continue reading Sean Davis

Hard times

So here we sit, wedged in between two historic Wednesdays. A week ago, an angry mob stormed the U.S. Capitol while congress was in session to certify the results of our presidential election. And a week from now, Joe Biden will be inaugurated as the 46th president of the United States. A few miles south of us crews are working overtime to build as many … Continue reading Hard times

It takes a village

Our village showed up this week, and it was amazing. To say that our 2020 Christmas tree harvest was a shit show (pardon the language) would be an understatement. Everything that could break…broke. Everything that could quit…quit. There are a few choke points in a tree harvest that if they go down, the whole operation falls apart. I say this like I know what I … Continue reading It takes a village

Unplugging…plugging in

It’s been two weeks since we left our home in Bloomington. We had a few days of planned down time with family in Wisconsin and then a few more days of unplanned down time when a small college engagement in Pennsylvania cancelled due to last-minute COVID restrictions on campus. During the last two weeks, we’ve learned to slow down a little. We no longer have … Continue reading Unplugging…plugging in