Marietta, PA: Fellow Greasers and The Little Strawbale House

After Philly, we headed West past Lancaster to Marietta, PA. It was a short, but delightful visit. We were parked at the Susquehanna Waldorf School and we had the chance to meet so many interesting people.

Hilary and her children Jahna and Simon stopped by…and brought us tomatoes from her garden, maple syrup, and homemade strawberry jam. Yum! Bella had so much fun swinging and climbing trees with the kids. It was the first tree she climbed all by herself! They live just blocks away from the school and they own a cafe in town.

Kristy from Hampton, VA was in the area for a retreat, and she stuck around to meet up with us! She and I were both photographers in the military and went to the same “military art school” at Ft. Meade, MD (at different times).

Janelle made the trek over from Coatsville, PA and we made tea and had fun chatting about life :)

We also met Scott, another “greaser” (he wrote an article about us here) and other parents from the school. Be sure to check out the photo album and see the cute little strawbale house that the Waldorf students made!

Photo album here.

Philadelphia, PA: Gimme Some Love!

The City of Brotherly Love. The Cradle of Liberty. Philadelphia! After battling the traffic from New York City…we pulled into Barrington, New Jersey (just across the river from Philly). We got settled, met our fabulous hosts…Robert, Lauren and their 3 year old daughter Ella.

That evening, we headed out to have supper with an Eastern University student group called SPEAK. We had a great time hanging out and chatting about the projects that they have going on at their campus. They have worked hard to bring social issues to light…working to make sure only fair trade coffee is served at Eastern, and also promoting awareness about where the clothing in the campus bookstore comes from. They have partnered with Dotted Line Shirt Company to make and sell ethically made shirts with the Eastern logo on them. We were so encouraged by these students…you can see the passion in their eyes as they talk about how they have helped affect change on their campus. Keep it up SPEAK!

The next day, we spent time exploring the heart of Philly. We headed down to the Independence National Historical Park and Washington Square. There is so much history there…such a rich past! We tried to visit Independence Hall (where the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776), but they had already given out all of the free tickets for the day (we were so sad!). We were able to see the Liberty Bell and also the Independence Hall Visitor’s Center. It was pretty chilly that day, but we enjoyed walking around and seeing the sights. There are so many murals! It was a very busy Saturday…so when we tried to go and get Matt an “original” Philly cheese steak, we saw lines out into the street! And after trying unsuccessfully to park in that area, we decided to head back.

Back in Jersey…we were treated to seriously gourmet meals by our hosts. Robert used to work in the restaurant business and is quite the chef. We had delicious homemade pizzas for supper and pumpkin pancakes for breakfast. Yum! Lauren kept the coffee strong and flowin’ freely :) We had a great time talking about life…where we’re at and where we’re going. Robert currently works for Tony Campolo’s organization, EAPE. Tony is an outspoken voice for social justice…his ministry focuses mainly on inner city work. Tony is also part of a growing movement of “Red Letter Christians“…who “believe that Jesus is neither a Republican nor a Democrat, and want to unite Christians who are concerned about what is happening in America”. Robert also works closely with Shane Claiborne…whose book, “The Irresistible Revolution” played a key role in our desire to downsize our possessions several years ago (click here to download a preview chapter). Shane is part of the intentional community The Potter Street Community (previously known as The Simple Way). Be sure to watch for his new book, Jesus For President, coming out in summer 2008.

Bella and Ella had tons of fun. They dressed up endlessly, jumped, played with the puppy, jumped some more, traded shoes, and painted their fingernails red (without informing the mommies). Of course, the goodbyes came too soon…and we were off to Lancaster!

Photo album here.