Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Mind of the Weary


I am so greatful for your comments and support but I have discoverd that while I love to write this blog, my work at the library takes all of the extra creative cells from my brain. I have nothing left to express when I come home in the evening. I am looking forward to a new blog when I retire in a few years. Blessings to you all.


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

One of the Last....

I know may be one of the last to jump onto the MP3 player market. Every where I go, I see people with “ear buds” stuck inside their heads. It took me awhile to remember to wave my arms or shout when I needed to communicate with a young staffer at Holden. Everyone was tuned in and sharing things on their “players”. (Not everyone has an IPod)

Art is up at Holden for Work week and so I am using this extra time to do a few things that I had put off. One of my tasks was to set up a friend’s MP3 player for her. She knew that if I got it ready to go for her and taught her to use it, that she would be spared the pain of reading the manuals.

These past couple of weeks have been a struggle for me at home. The “welcome back” charm of working again has worn off and I am struggling with thoughts of “what do I want to do when I grow up”. Planning and preparing for our time at Holden kept my daydreaming focused for a long time, but here I am at home and beginning to wonder. I have always wanted to work at the zoo, do you think it is too late for me?

Anyway, I decided to go to the Holden Audio Archive site and download a few of the worship services and a session or two. The archive is well done and doing keyword search for "matins" or "vespers" will bring up many of the services. (Please create an account and login for these links to work for you.) I do need to thank Carole Young for listening to my need to have these available from home. She and her staff put many wonderful memories up in the audio archives.

It is the music that I miss the most about Holden. There was not one hour that you did not hear someone playing, practicing or performing some song or hymn. Music soared over the snow, through the cold, in the dark and filled with me with song.

I loaded a few things on the player and went out the door with the dog for a walk. I almost started to cry as I heard people I loved in the services that meant so much to me. There was Andrew chanting the Sunday morning matins service and Dylan doing Holden Evening Prayer. I sang right along with everything. (Sorry to anyone who heard me) I found my thoughts turn from sadness to joy and comfort. I loved my walk and came home knowing that I too will soon be the owner of a MP3 player. Any suggestions for one?

Sunday, October 4, 2009

A Veggie Sandwich and a Diet Coke

The Ellensburg Film Festival was something that Art and I really wanted to attend now that we are back in home. Each fall, several films are chosen for local showing. While we did not have a lot of time we did manage to work in two movies. One of these, “Back to the Garden” caught our eye because we were sure that we knew who might be in the movie. This movie follows a group of people at a 1988 “Healing Feast” near here in Tonaskat. Tomiinson had attended, interviewed and filmed many of the people attending and then found them again 20 years later. Tonaskat the home of the “Barter Fair” and many Holden people are regular attendees. While only one person caught my eye, a young girl from Holden, the film’s director, Kevin Tomlinson and a few of the cast were actually at today’s showing of the film.

I won’t go into much detail about the film except to encourage you to see it. The film did a good job of looking at all sides of the freer “hippy lifestyle”. As I left the theatre, I felt torn between the two parts of who I am; the Holden part and the more professional Ellensburg half. This movie displayed the crux of my feelings on the two parts of my life. I love both my Ellensburg and Holden life for many things, but each brings with it many things that I would like to avoid.

How can I manage the two parts of me; the one drawn to a more open, freer lifestyle and the one that enjoys a job, a house and other trappings? Income, taxes, and bills all follow me now. I enjoyed the freedom that our year at Holden gave us. I want the good of both, am I selfish? How do you deal with these issues?

Here is what I did, I took my veggie sandwich and a diet coke to work with me today for lunch. I have the best of both worlds.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Dog Who Keeps No Accounts

Tjossie (pronounced Jossie - long story about the name) took about ten minutes to adjust to our being home and now acts as if we were never gone. She is well trained and needs no leash and will stay where she is told and a year without us has not altered her behavior at all. She holds no accounts with us for leaving her for a year. She is just glad that we are home.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Goodbye - Holden Style

Holden has a ceremony the night before you leave. Someone picked up my camera and took these pictures without my knowing it until I was home. We spent a lot of time hugging and crying.

This is how I spent most of the ceremony; in T.L.'s arms. I could not stop crying.

We really miss everyone at Holden. We felt really loved and cared for.

Afterwards we had a huge multi-household give away off of our back porch. The staff who are remaining on clamored for our no longer needed stuff.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Moving Home

Well Art just took the last boxes down to the loading dock for the truck to haul them down to the lake. I have one more hike in me and many goodbyes. I am finding this to be exhausting, my energy levels have been very low this week. We all realize that our friendships will continue after we are gone, so this long goodbye that we have to do takes it out of everyone. We are the first of several long term staff who are leaving this week. Eric and Daniel leave tomorrow, the Coffey family then next day, Mellissa Anderson on Sunday and then Nancy and Marc R.B. a week from today. I pray for all of you who are in the village this week. Stay strong and enjoy everyone on their last days.

On another note, I would love to have your email addresses (especially Becky and Terry). I am still undecided as to whether I will continue this blog, but I do know that I want to keep in contact with or discover those who read whom I do not know yet.

My email is

Please drop me a note so we can stay in contact.

Much love and support


Sunday, August 16, 2009

The End - Maybe


Art and I are busy winding down our last days here at Holden Village. We have so much to do to get ready to leave and many, many hikes and visits with friends that we making time for as we conclude our year.

Our hearts are full of mixed feelings on all levels. We want to stay longer and we want to get back home. None of this fits in a blog for those who read of our experience. We ache and are excited at the very same time.

I am not sure if I will continue this blog or not when we get back to Ellensburg. This is the turning point for those of you who are wanting a window into the life and fun at Holden Village. Many of you have shared with me your reading of this blog from home. I never knew who was reading, so your comments shared, both online and in person, really made a difference in our lives.

If I do continue on, it will be about our lives where ever we are. For now that will be in Ellensburg with periodic trips to Holden as we continue on as "Holden Angels". We are interested in possibly coming back in a few years during the mine remediation, but right now there are so many unknowns with that process.

I say good bye to those of you who are Holdenites. I will encourage others to blog so you can follow village life. To those who hang in with us during our transition, thanks. We will see where life takes us.

I know that some of you might like to experience a year at Holden as well. What I have offered here has been the highlights of a fun and fulfilling year. The reality of living here is somewhat different than the view I offered. We have worked very, very hard here; often with no days off. Keeping a village going 24/7 means giving up both your personal time and space. Living here is not for the faint of faith nor heart. Ten percent of those who made a year commitment this year did not make it for one reason or another. All that said, it felt wonderful to work hard, eat fantastic food, laugh hard and sleep like I never have before. My body loves this life. I just hope that I can find the proper balance when I am back home.

Pray for us and our transition.

Thanks, love and blessings to you all

Joan and Art Neslund

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Today is Art's birthday and we decided to spend the afternoon Huckleberry picking. Last year the berries were very poor and the bears were in the village every day foraging for food, but this year is a banner year for berries. We found more than we could pick within a half mile of the village.

The weather this week was rainy, a nice break from the heat of last week. Everything was washed clean.

We picked about a quart in all and then headed back to the village for ice cream. Fresh picked berries on ice cream, yum!!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Staff Social and a Birthday

Each Friday evening in the summer the Holden staff has a social event. Each chalet takes turns hosting the even. Last night's even was also Paul H.'s, one of Holden's directors, 60th birthday so we had a Sixties theme to our social.

Paul insisted on making his famous chocolate sauce and serving it on the equally famous Holden ice cream.

Even the kids got into the theme of hippies and the sixties.

So much of the music of the Sixties lives on in our heads and in the music of younger generations. We all sang songs and relived the grand moments of my generation.