laughter is always good medicine

agwa beach lk superiorLake Superior Shoreline at Agwa Provincial Park,

In early August Virginia and I visited friends Gailia and Doug at their camp on Goulais Bay on Lake Superior in Canada. We weren’t far from where my daughter-in-law Fiona grew up in Sault Ste. Marie – the Soo.

The house has 2 bedrooms. Virginia choose to sleep the first night outside and the next two on the floor. I scored the extra bed.

Doug left the first morning. We gals spent most of our time outdoors soaking in sunshine like seals on the rocks, sometimes slipping into the water to cool off. Lake Superior has the reputation of being the coldest of the Great lakes but it is warmer than usual this year. We received a few spots of swimmers itch to prove it.

I love how 3 women can cook up a meal on a single burner, manage with an outhouse, and bathe only in the lake.


Because there is no internet service and minimal cell phone service we chatted and read, solved the world problems and played Chicken Feet with Dominoes. On the drive home Virginia and I worked on our Edible Forest Garden permaculture project.

This past weekend we were privileged to work with permaculture teacher and author Peter Bane and his sidekick plants expert Keith Johnson. The 2.5 days with Peter and Keith brought to an end our Urban Permaculture Design course organized and taught by Penny Krebiehl of the rose colored glasses here in Traverse City.

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I’ve written before about how I see shared housing and community living being a part of permaculture values and ethics. We laughed when Peter made a list of qualities we look for in plants: vigorous, widely adaptive and friendly, tractable and pest free. I was thinking good house mate qualities. And then, those of us who are “single” started to laugh – good qualities in a partner!

Yep, permaculture is more than a garden.

About Marian Methner, B.S., D.Min.

Polydox: accepting that we are many labels, I am mother of 4, mother in law (love) of 4 and grandmother of 5. My life is a collection of bits and starts. I was recently on the road for over a year exploring ideas of living in shared housing. A recent summer course in Permaculture design, solidifed my interest in "social permaculture" or ways we interact not only with our Earthly environment but also with each other. I am back Bellingham, Washington, in a small rental house, owned by my ex husband, talk about shared housing, practicing living in community with family, and friends. My doctoral dissertation A Map to Living Open Heartedly, centers around making art as a way to healing. Paradoxiclly, a recent diagnoses of heart failure (cardiomyopathy) expands this exploration...
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