We had a busy, full weekend!  Mid-October is so beautiful here and the weather this weekend was glorious — so we took advantage of it and were outside most of the time.  Saturday morning we helped our good friends plant their garlic field (they have an organic garlic business.)  It was such a great time of fellowship and fun in the dirt!  🙂  Quite a few people showed up and we all planted garlic together for several hours.  It was amazing how much we got done.  Synergy is a blessing of community life!  All the kids had a great time running around together and we managed to keep them out of the freshly-tilled and newly-planted rows (a feat in itself!)  I wish I had some pics, but I was too busy planting to take any. 

Saturday afternoon a few of us went hiking up to a mountain lake — well… we almost made it to the lake.  We ran into a guy who told us in no uncertain terms to “get off his land” (*I am almost 99% sure it wasn’t his land! — we’ve hiked it many times before without problems (it’s state land all around) —  but we weren’t going to argue with him… he was pretty grouchy about it, and around here, if you run into grouchy strangers doing heaven-knows-what in the middle of the woods, you just walk away and don’t ask questions!  🙂  It was still fun, although I was disappointed that we didn’t make it to the lake.  It was an adventure, anyhow! 

Sunday afternoon, Peter and I left Jo with my parents and then went mountain biking back on the logging roads behind our place.  Our land borders thousands of acres of state and a logging company’s land — pure wilderness… It was incredibly beautiful.  Wow.  I can’t do it justice, so I won’t even try to describe it.  I did bring my camera, so I got a couple pics as a feeble attempt to show you how inspiringly beautiful it was.  *We were wearing the brightly-colored bandanas because it’s hunting season!  🙂

Then last night we ended up with a crew of friends around a campfire for another great time of fellowship and laughter.  One of the guys we grew up with just came home recently from a year in Iraq.  It was so good having him there last night.  We’ve missed him. 

So, yeah… a great, full weekend.  Lot’s of fresh air and relational time.  I don’t know how much I’ve shared about our community, but I am so blessed to be surrounded by such good friends. Peter and I were both raised in this little community and most of the kids we grew up with are now married as well, and raising their families nearby.  Almost everyone in the community is also part of our church body… so I sometimes interchange the words “church” and “community.”  I can’t say how blessed I feel to have such deep friendships with people who have become as close as family.  It’s amazing how friends can become that close, isn’t it?  When you’ve laughed and cried together and seen each other at rock bottom, and celebrated victories, you build a depth of relationship that has been tried by fire and becomes stronger because of it. 

Anyway, enough rambling, here are a few shots from biking yesterday…

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I love how the landscape totally changes in the fall.  It’s so cool to be riding along and see brilliant splashes of color everywhere.

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Ummm… including my bandana!  🙂

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We rode along this ridge overlooking the valley for a while… I really love this view.

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Cross-country on a bike is definitely not as smooth as horseback riding!  This is when we are thankful for wide tires! 

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This is my cover-girl shot… perhaps for the November issue of Outdoor Living???  🙂

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Sophie is still learning to stay out of the way of the tires… She’s doing a lot better now than at the beginning of the summer.  She sure loves getting out with us, and I feel better having her.

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Okay, those of you that know us personally will laugh at this picture.  My husband and that cell phone!  Arghh!  I give him the hardest time –I swear the guy was born with a phone attached to his ear!  He was really good yesterday, though, and only took one call on our ride.  It’s not all business around here! 

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