Tag Archives | community

((new portrait)) Red Balloons For Ryan

red balloons for ryan

I cannot even fathom what it would be like to lose my daughter.

When I learned of Ryan’s Cruz’s sudden and unexpected death, I had no feelings. Blank. I stopped and realized that the loss parents Jacqui and Dan must be feeling, this loss, this pain, it was something I knew nothing about.

I did not click through a million links and posts, staring at the car wreck by the side of the social media road. I put down my phone, hugged my daughter. And I was grateful.

Then a friend approached me about donating a painting to an auction to help support Ryan’s family, and I was completely on board.

The high bidder was Shelley Lemaire, and her portrait is now complete. You can find her on instagram, or you can read her blog. I would like to share the finished portrait with you here.

Thank you Shelley for being a part of this auction.

And thank you Jenifer Walker for organizing the auction on instagram, which raised $14,115 to benefit Ryan’s family. I am amazed that the instagram community was able to come together to support a grieving family in this manner. In addition, over $60,00 has been donated to the family.

In preparation for writing this post, I read Jacqui’s latest post on her blog, Baby Boy Bakery.  Her openhearted healing and tender heart took me aback. I’m not going to lie; I started to tear up. I am touched by her hope.

I find hope in the generosity of everyday people. I find hope in the unwavering kindness of strangers. And I hope that the life and death of Ryan Cruz has opened up other’s eyes to the everyday tragedies and needs that are right in our backyard. Who do you know that is facing loss? Who do you know that has needs? That might need comfort?

Let us build compassion on compassion, like one brick after another, creating a haven of rest. Let us grow in gentle strength. Let us be strong with the Spirit of God.

^_^ Erin

This is the photograph Shelley asked me to paint:

shelley photo sunset silhouette

^_^ And here are close-ups of the painting:

kids silhouette on the sunsetkids silhouetted on the sunsetkids silhouetted on the sunset watercolor painting

Continue Reading

Week 42 – With a Little Help From Our Friends

This week, we did not make a trip to the farm. We were busy doing this:

kiss newborn ekwetzel

And this:

kiss newborn family

And some of this:

sleep with baby

Our friends, Amy and Jesse, went in our stead, picked up the produce and took a picture for us. (Thanks guys!).

I don’t really see much charm in being independent and self-sufficient. Especially not this week, with a new baby in tow. We love community. We love helping and being helped. We love being in connection with others, and opening up our lives to them so that we have the opportunity to form a deep and meaningful relationship with them.

We live a Community Supported Life. We eat from a Community Supported Farm. Community isn’t just about agriculture or organic produce…it’s about heart and life and connection.

Food is just one expression of that bond, and one way in which you can allow yourself to meet the needs of others, and to open yourself up so that others can meet your needs as well.


week 42 csa terry's berriesCollard Greens
Spring Greens
Rutabaga Raab
Garlic Greens

By ekwetzel

Continue Reading

Week 30 – Community: Putting the C in CSA

aesop fable horse ass donkeyThis had been a rough week in Wetzelville.  Mr. Wetzel was home last week recuperating from a long overdue surgery on his ingrown toenail.  I still am having trouble eating starchy or fibrous foods (i.e. CSA fruits and veggies). Plus, baby has been growing swiftly, pushing around my body and making the bones and joints ache.

It’s been a rough week, but it has not been a sad week. We have had a community to support us, help us and encourage us along the way, and in our weakness, those bonds were shown to be strong. Friends brought us soup; others prayed and offered words of encouragement; others shouldered responsibilities in order to lighten our workload for the week. Community is a blessing, and we consider ourselves truly blessed by those around us.

I am reminded of Aesop’s Fable, A Laden Ass and a Horse:

A Horse and an Ass were travelling together on a long journey with their master. The Horse’s back was bare, while the Ass carried innumerable bundles. Stumbling under his heavy load, the poor Ass cried out to his proud companion, “Please, good Sir, I beg of you to help me carry my burdens, otherwise I fear I shall die.” But the Horse was unmoved by this desperate plea, and refused to share his load.

Soon the little Ass was completely worn out and, stumbling pathetically, finally fell. No matter how valiantly he struggled, he could not get to his feet. Seeing this, their master lifted the many packages from the Ass and flung them across the back of the Horse, who immediately began to groan and wail in self-pity. “Woe is me!” he cried. “What suffering have I brought upon myself! I would not share a lighter load, and look  at what has become of me: I must now carry everything alone.”

The strong should help the weak, so that the lives of both shall be made easier. (Excerpt & Illustration from Aesop’s Fables, illustrated by Heidi Holder; The Viking Press, 1981.)

Likewise, it is vital for us to remain in community with our farmers and food providers, that we both might be stronger for it in the long run. We are meant to shoulder responsibility for each other. We are meant to be accountable to each other and in relationship. We are meant to care.

By ekwetzel

winter csa terry's berriesWEEK 30
(Top Row)
2 Onions
(Middle Row)
Wheat Berries
(Bottom Row)
Bok Choi

Continue Reading