We are on Long Island in a town called Springs. It’s located on the southern fork. See the blue dot in the lower right hand corner.

There’s lots to tell you. First, we’re here with our daughter, Steph, along with her old traveling buddy, Weston. This is the duo that circumnavigated Florida by bike and the Keys by canoe prior to Steph’s solo bicycle ride from Florida to California. I, too, consider Weston a dear friend having enjoyed many days and nights in his always-fascinating company.

Weston spent three months in Alaska from July-August, most of it off the coast in a fishing trawler. For two months, he and the four person crew set and hauled their nets without touching land. Weston told us it was one of the hardest jobs and life experiences he’s had in his 30 years. Before this, he fought wildfires in California, so when Weston says “it was rough” I know that I would have hidden below deck and cried for my mommy.

Currently, Weston is engaged in some leisure time. He’s reading a book about the history of trails. Weston is clearly an outdoorsman and a former anthropology student with an insatiable interest in all things in nature. For example, he’s drying out a deerskin in Steph’s garage.

Steph’s presence here in Springs is as one of ten or so apprentices on a farm. The house we’re staying in is a residence for five fellow farmers, most in their twenties, and all of whom have share a passion for putting their hands in the soil, growing vegetables and, in Steph’s case, creating a vision for how to feed people who need it.

Fellow apprentices, Sadie and Andrew, went home for the Jewish holidays to spend time with their families, so we only had a short time with them. But we did get to enjoy a meal Sadie and Steph made featuring a homemade pesto, focaccia bread, eggplant parm and a Chicken of the Woods mushroom harvested on the property. Yum.

Addy, pictured above, went with us to tour the farm, today. While we walked up and down the rows sampling mini kiwis, kale, golden sun tomatoes and other veggies, Addy gathered flowers. It seemed like this time with us – but also separate – was an opportunity for her to relax and restore. It’s the second time this week that someone modeled for me a way to take personal time inside of a group setting.

The last two nights, we spent hours after dinner playing and singing. I played super simple grooves (two chords, mostly) while Weston wove countermelodies on his guitar. We all intoned simple songs – one about Sadie’s pesto and the second about Beth’s Jewish coffee cake. We laughed a lot that first night and again last night. It was and is my favorite form of Play. I think we all needed that and I’m so glad to have helped facilitate it.

There’s much more to say, but I’ll just let a few photos tell the story.

Windy and Wild in Montauk
A beautifully constructed Mennonite barn
Reliving Steph’s Hither Hills camping days
Beth’s way to move through heavy winds
Addy and Stevie
Wall Art. The day Steph caught on fire.

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