Summer Beach Days

IMG_2025Every year we make our annual pilgrimage to one of the most beautiful bodies of water on the planet, Lake Michigan. Between our summer touring, we took 5 days and rested along the shore in Muskegon, MI at Pioneer Park.

Pioneer Park is a safe, family friendly county park with over 2,000 feet of white sandy beach frontage. They also have tennis courts, volleyball, fire pits, and bathrooms with showers. It costs $25 a night, plus $5 parking (or $20 annual pass). It’s close enough to local shops and restaurants. The only draw back is no wi-fi but who needs wi-fi when you’re at the beach!

While there we found solace, respite, refreshment, joy, reconnection, laughter, and time to reflect on our past adventures as well as what may lay ahead.

Small Wonders Farm

Small Wonders Community MealSmall Wonders Farm sits nestled among rolling hills just north of Grand Rapids, MI.  Matt and Dorothe Bonzo founded the farm about 12 years ago and have grown it into a booming CSA servicing over 30 families. Their life is full, purposeful and content.

Funny how connections happen. So, we met them through our friends Troy and Amy who reached out to the Bonzo’s to work the farm for the summer. We contacted Troy and Amy to see about a visit and they suggested that we come and stay with them on the Small Wonders Farm. For the Bonzo’s traveling/workers/visitors was a new experience and we were excited to be their first guests.

We enjoyed hearing their story, sharing community meals, jam sessions, learning about the CSA and helping with harvest. The kids learned target shooting and went on nature hikes where they found large vines that they turned into a jungle gym. Our son had an extra helping of fun when the Bonzo’s son took him fishing.

Thank you Matt and Dorothe for your kind hospitality. We hope more kinfolk find their way to your Small Wonders Farm.

 

 

Back to the Roots

In Chelsea MI, we stayed for four nights with our friend, the fantastic Scott Knies, aka. Brother Red Squirrel. He’s a musician, nomadic soul, resting for a period, connected with kinfolk in Michigan and now learning the venue side of things.

Scott lives in an small intentional community, in a big ol house, on a large property with a pond, in the middle of no where. He invited us to perform for a few days at Back to the Roots, a venue and sushi restaurant. Which we were happy about but even more delighted to be invited into and connect with his community.

We pulled down the long driveway, anticipating our next few days. We were welcomed by 5 of the most beautiful little souls you could ever meet. The boys ranged from 3-9yrs old and they were full of energy and questions. They were enthusiastic and wanted to know everything about our bus and who we were and where we’d been. They shared all sorts of stories about their pond and dog and knowledge of the reptiles.

We slowly found our way into the house and meet Susei and the rest of the crew. They welcomed us and we joined them for a meal. The weekend was filled with encouraging and spirit filled words, song and story.

We also learned that “Back to the Roots” was more than a venue/restaurant. It’s one communities way of using commerce to help those in poverty and need. They are our global/local neighbor and use their profits and resources to rescue and restore the vulnerable. These are the voiceless children, sex trafficking victims, and other poverty-stricken and enslaved people around the world. They are a multi-faceted fair trade company and use many avenues to sell fair trade products as well as raise awareness and funds for social justice issues.support a number of non-profit, groups and organizations.

Check out their mission at http://backtotheroots.org

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Lying low

Rest doesn’t come easy for us Hollands! We are all busy bodies and rest is often seen as an obstacle to overcome. However, every once in a while, our feet just stop moving. I’m thankful for family and friends that are always so willing to allow us that rest. It is when we rest that we find strength. It is when we rest that wisdom can settle in.

In Mid-August, we spend five days “lying low” and enjoying time with my Aunt Carol and Randy. They are precious people with very generous hearts. They shared in story about their journey’s through life (I love hearing the history of my family) and encouraged us in our faith. They also delighted us with opportunities to read (which don’t come very often) and the best kind of rest for our kids specially, bike ride, water ski and tubing.   

Lake Michigan

Crossing over that great Mackinaw Bridge was one of the most spectacular things we have see on our journey’s thus far. We’ve been over the San Francisco bridge in a car but there was something magical and dramatic about going over this bridge in our bus. We moved slowly at about 25 miles an hour, the sun was bright and life just stood still for a moment.

The coast line along Lake Michigan holds a special place in my heart as it is my birth state and where I spent my formative years. Folks can argue all they want about the best beaches in the world and we have seen a few, from the beaches along Hwy 1 in California, Hawaii to Miami, Fort Lauderdale, The Panhandle, Virgina Beach, and then some of the most beautiful beaches in Australia but the beaches along the Lake Michigan shore line are the one’s that hold my heart.

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