Category Archives: Friends

Tucson Community House Update

Helen St. House in Historic Blenman-Elm Neighborhood

In late October of 2016, Tom Greco and I went house hunting for us and Jock Millenson to set up a short term living community. Each of us had a purpose to accomplish during a six-month period. For me it was promoting a new book, for Jock setting up the next summer season of holistic living communities in Greece for which he continues to provide inspiration and guidance. Tom planned to work on the E.C. Riegel Institute and specific projects in alternative currencies.

Jock Millenson on Electric Bike on way to Tennis Court

Jock arrived December 1 and stayed through the end of February before taking off for Mexico for R&R. He then planned to return to Greece in the late spring to prepare for the Kalikalos Holistic Living programs in 2017. However, while in Mexico he became very ill and is currently recuperating in New York with friends and family near by. We wish him well and hope and pray he is able to return to Greece this summer.

Tom Greco with Linda Ellinor at Solar Dollar Meet and Greet

Tom and I wrote two grant applications to support the E.C. Riegel Institute and the Solar Dollar Project. Tom and Will Foster, a colleague, hosted a recent Meet and Greet about this project, there was a lot of interest and the event was well attended. We are hopeful that subsequent business meetings will result in a demonstration project here in Tucson, a town with a strong commitment to renewable energy and local exchange.

Launched!

My book, Threshold, is “out there” and making its way around Tucson. In June, Terrain.org — an online journal of the built and natural environment — will feature a Chapter excerpt and recording of me reading on their book review pages.  The book will also be reviewed on the Fellowship for Intentional Communities blog and newsletter this month. I am beginning to think about a sequel, but still not sure. Several readers believe a sequel is called for, and perhaps a miniseries or a play might evolve from the story. All these ideas are heartening for a new fiction writer. I am leaving Tucson feeling grateful to so many readers and supporters, my publisher Fireship Press, and so many friends who have helped in significant ways to help me read and present with a variety of organizations and reading groups. But by far, my most gratifying moment came when I learned the Pima County Library System selected Threshold for their collection.

So we have all accomplished goals, managed to live together and support each other, and now pack the car or fill up storage and take off in different directions: Tom to his granddaughter’s graduation and then Greece, Jock – hopefully to Greece by way of Woodstock, NY – and me to Nashville, TN to see about finding the next “House on Belmont Street”.

Mark Hainds at Milemarker 40, Sonoita, AZ

P.S. Mark Hainds returned to walk another 400 miles of his U.S. – Mexico Border walk. I dropped him off at Mile Marker 40 in Sonoita, AZ and about right now he should be somewhere close to Yuma, where he will catch the Red Eye Special home to Alabama!

Pensacola – Tucson Meet Up!

Mark Hainds at Milemarker 40, Sonoita, AZ
Mark Hainds at mile marker 40, Sonoita, AZ

Mark Hainds, whom many of you may know from the Downtown Market in Pensacola, completed the second leg of his journey to walk the entire U.S. – Mexico Border.

PBS Film La Frontera

Mark is writing a book about his experiences with migrants, people who live in communities along the borders; agencies and churches who are working to protect and support people crossing the border, and the landscape itself. Mark is a forester by profession so he notes watersheds, tree species, and the general condition of the lands that he walks.

My friend, Tom Greco, and I rendezvoused with Mark on Hwy 82 near Sonoita, AZ today as he completed this segment of his walk. Three hundred miles: El Paso to Sonoita.

See Mark’s Facebook Page for wonderful photos of the “wall” and the murals that various groups have created, and the big-hearted people who fed and housed him along the way.

Mark and Susan
Mark and Susan

 

Mark and Tom at Tucson International Airport - Homeward Bound!
Mark and Tom at Tucson International Airport – Homeward Bound!

Tucson is home to many strong border justice organizations. Check out these two:

Borderlinks

No More Deaths

Also, Tucson was the first Sanctuary City in the U.S. through the work of the Southside Presbyterian Church Sanctuary Program which is still instrumental in working for justice for people seeking asylum in the U.S.

Mark will return to Tucson in mid-April to complete the next segment of his border walk. We hope to support him again on the journey.

The Inventive Mind

Boyd's Sock SleeveBoyd Christensen, friend for life and accomplished artist,  reminded me that with attention, we can invent many practical solutions that are attractive, useful, and environmentally friendly.

Boyd’s solution to sweaty, iced drinks, and to old socks where heels wear out first, is to create the perfect glass sleeve. (Later I learned that they also make perfect sweat bands for athletics.)

Artist’s are attentive to their surroundings – they think about design and function. Boyd’s son, Scott Christensen, designed an amazing and beautiful Toro Tissue Ring. I have one in my bathroom.

Betty Christensen, my other lifelong friend joins Boyd in this pursuit for the ultimate solution to life’s little problems.

Her kitchen is a study in this practice. Take for instance how she solved her need to discard ends and tops of veggies off a cutting board as she moves through several kinds of vegetables. She elevated the cutting board and inserts two plastic vegetable containers from the grocery.

Chopping VeggiesWhen she is finished chopping, the remains of veggies go to the compost bin.