Tag Archives: community

To Live with Intention

Well, the web is a buzz with “resolutions,” and I figured it’s about high time I jump on the band wagon. Last year, my only resolution was to not throw up on New Year’s, and I achieved that pretty easily. This year, my list is longer, but I cannot bring myself to call the items on it “resolutions.” The word makes me think of Congress, and I try not to mimic that cluster. So many of the words used to describe this phenomenon of fresh-start behavior feel clinical, boring and confining. I don’t want to set rules for myself. I want to make life changes and enjoy life’s experiences, little & big. So, I am penning (well, typing) this list of intentions and some ways I might live them out. Living with intention in itself seems like a pretty worthy goal for the next year, so I think I am off to a good start.

  1. I will live with intention to be healthy.
    1. Exercise at least 30 minutes 3 times/week.
    2. Drink 60 oz. water per day.
    3. Eat local, chemical free food.
    4. I will walk to work every day it is not raining.
    5. I will not become a self-loathing hypercritical crazy person if I don’t always seem to go by these intentions.
  2. I will live with intention to expand my mind.
    1. Read a book for at least 30 minutes 5 days/week.
    2. Write (on paper) at least 5 minutes daily.
    3. Work on a farm.
    4. Practice Yoga.
    5. Visit the Unitarian Universalist church to see what it’s like.
    6. I will learn more about wine.
  3. I will live with intention to connect with my community.
    1. Work on a farm.
    2. Shop local as often as possible.
    3. Become immersed in community programs I support.
    4. Attend at least one community event per month.
  4. I will live with intention to cultivate kindness.
    1. Express gratitude freely.
    2. Compliment others when warranted.
    3. Practice at least one random act of kindness each week.
  5. I will live with intention to widen my comfort zone.
    1. Learn to laugh out loud on a regular basis.
    2. Try new foods whenever the opportunity arises.
    3. Learn to cook local game (if Kevin provides meat).
    4. Get over my awkwardness about dancing in public.
    5. Lessen my apprehension about dogs.

Learning to Love My Hometown

This blog is about learning to love my hometown and growing to be an active member of the community I plan to call my home for a long time, perhaps a lifetime. Often, the posts tend to be about local food because:

  1. I love food and cooking.
  2. There are tons of great local farms here—It is Pennsylvania, after all.
  3. You can learn a lot about a town through tasting it.
View from Bear Rocks

One great thing about this area—the trails!

There are many other things I love about this town—Access to hiking trails, cultural and arts events, inspiring people …

There are also things I don’t like about this town—Poor public transportation, intolerance, suburban sprawl …

And, there are great things that I discover about this town every day. Most recently, what I’ve learned about this area is not that another great ethnic restaurant opened or that a new rail-trail is completed, but that there are passionate people doing awesome things here. Of course, I knew several inspiring people here already (take my friend Emily, for example, who has grown her family’s café, Jumbars, by epic proportions and earned a spot on the Eastern PA Business Journal Top 20 Under 40 list), but I didn’t realize the whole wealth of people who exude passion literally in my neighborhood. I didn’t get that feeling of community or that sense that I belong in this area—thus, my strong desire to move west.

Since the start of this month, I met and/or shared conversation with a person who knows a ton about edible gardening, a person who stands for the environment as a leader with Appalachian Mountain Club, a person who spends time on the train to the city working on discussion forums to help the community and blogs about modern home economics, a person who teaches people what the heck to do with tofu, a person who organized a humanist organization in this area (I didn’t even know there was one here!), a person who passionately shares her knowledge of the vegan lifestyle, and a person who inspires little girls not to be afraid of bugs and uses words like “vermaculture” when talking to 5 year olds. There are some seriously awesome people in my neighborhood.

How did I come to meet all of these people? Through the initial discussions of the Bethlehem Grocery Co-Op. YES—Each of these cool folks are also interested in FOOD! Food and community. Like me! They don’t stare at me like I am the three-eyed fish from the Simpsons because I make chips from scratch or drink raw milk or think that the community should be educated about composting. Sure, I knew a couple of these people already, but I really don’t think I would even know that my neighbors are doing so much if I hadn’t gone to that first co-op meeting. All I can say is, if these are the kinds of strong minds and passionate souls that are coming together to make a co-op happen, there’s no way that it will not rock the freaking socks off of this valley.

So, spread the word that the cool kids are at the co-op meetings. Head over to the co-op blog to download some flyers to get the word out. You’ll probably end up meeting some ridiculously awesome people.

Co-Op Flyer

Post this on your blog, site or Facebook to get the word out!

Can it be?

Can there really be enough energy, dedication and enthusiasm about a Bethlehem Grocery Co-Op that it could be a reality within a few years?


That much was made clear to me at the first co-op meeting tonight. Aside from getting to eat a ton of great food (everything from venison to red pepper-walnut dip to muffins), I learned so much about the principles of co-ops, the crazy amount of work behind setting one up, and the spirit that exists in this community towards issues a co-op would address. This is what I was looking for in a community— what I saw in Portland but hadn’t yet fully seen here. The sheer amount of ideas generated and smiles were enough to keep me positive about humanity for another year, at least.

Jaime, Cathy and Summre were masters of running an efficient meeting (I think they should come run my Brownie meeting sometime. :P), even with attendance at a much higher level than anyone expected (I would estimate around 80-100 people—fantastic!).

I walked out of the room with not only a bright outlook and a full belly, but with a new task: create and maintain a blog for co-op news, independent of the Facebook group. I came home so jazzed up from the meeting that I’ve stayed up to create it and put up the first post. So, here you have it—click here to jump in!

To read a more detailed account of what was said at the meeting take a look at The El Vee blog

Today I worked a full day, went to the Westgate Farmers’ Market, had lunch with an honored guest at work, led a Girl Scout Brownie meeting, attended a 2-hour co-op meeting, and created a new blog. I’m going to collapse now. G’Night.

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