Week 5 and Neighbor Stuff

Ha-HA! I’m on time this week 🙂

Monday – Short day, just a snack to tide me over 🙂

Tuesday – “oh look at me, I can totally make bread in the morning and still have time to get everything done. I wait. I can’t. Damn.”

Wednesday – (blegh, blurry) French bread pizza, chocolate muffin.

Thursday – Ramen, bread, last of garlic bread used for pizza.

I think starting next week I’ll do this lunch recap nonsense in list form rather than pictures – not only is the quality definitively not awesome, but when I’m trying to catch the bus spending two minutes just trying to get my camera to actually take the picture is fairly annoying.

Today’s been good – I’d say “productive” but I haven’t actually crossed much off my to-do list. Did my usual rounds helping out at Fridays for Lunch and the library (also learned how to make neat-o tissue paper flowers), and tried out our new palm wax for candle making with a new friend I’ve been kind of sort of fishing for, since she’d be an awesome attribute to Jason’s community in Chico. The candles didn’t turn out nearly as cool as I hoped, but that was more operator error rather than the wax being a problem.

I had some nice lofty ideals of getting dinner done and doing a massive cleaning of the kitchen and my room, both of which are in dire need of such treatment, but low and behold we had some neighbors show up. I didn’t blog about last week’s neighbor fiasco since most of you read Joshua’s stuff and it didn’t seem to make much sense to reiterate the whole thing, but we’d all kind of forgotten about the fact that there was another date listed for the meeting; tonight.

Joshua and family are down in Chico, so a younger couple came wandering over at about 7:30 asking where Joshua and this “abbey” was. We talked for an hour and a half, and I have to say that I quite like them. I wish they’d been around last week, since they’re actually for improving the lot and brought word from another neighbor as being pro-aesthetic improvement as well.

Steve and I let them know that we’d be backing off the idea, not wanting to come off too strong, but if they happened to plant a bug in a few people’s ears, maybe talk about it a little with the neighbors and see if we could come to some sort of compromise, that would be great. The money’s still here, and we’d love to do stuff within the neighborhood, but there’s no point putting in work and money if half the neighborhood’s going to revolt and run us out of town (or shoot at us).

It only seems fitting, I guess, that as a group that talks about living like Jesus as a culturally subversive act that we act as a tiny, quiet little rebellion against the culture of Paradise. Maybe it’ll just be a gravel path this year. And some flowers next year. And I can see how someone might wonder what all the big fuss is about trying to make some vacant lot pretty – I mean really, who cares?

But I think for both sides it’s about much more than the neighborhood’s junky lot; for the “opposition” (which I mean loosely, as in just opposing the idea; I’m trying to not build them up in my mind as an enemy) they resist the improvements because it means losing the illusion of privacy and accepting some little spark of change.

For us, it means scoring a small little victory to give us hope in a stagnant, stubborn retirement community that can be split over the arrangement of the pews and altar in a church’s parish hall. And yes, that is a real example.


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