Big Lessons

It wasn’t a big farm. It wasn’t a big stay. It was definitely not a big home where I lived while volunteering at a nonprofit garden 24-miles-by-bike away as the pilot-test for my cross-country journey titled ‘Round America with a Duck

But big things happened, and I learned big lessons. I’m still processing it all, but I thought I’d share some of the thoughts, unfiltered and in the order I jotted them down in my journal each day (the cover art on the journal is a photo I took while Traveling at the Speed of Bike — pardon the curse word, but I’ve actually found that phrase inspiring right now). 

Maybe, at the end of the day, this is it — everything that I’m going to learn. Or maybe it’s just the beginning.

What I Learned:

Keep going; You are strong; You can carry a lot — but maybe you can lighten your load (on your bike, in your life)

Stopping for breaks is nice even if it adds time to the trip — never pass swings without swinging

Share bounty; You have enough; Your needs are met

You are flexible

It’s ok to just be

People are here for many reasons — it’s a liminal space; Meet everyone where they’re at

You are the only person in charge of your good time

It behooves you to “be of good cheer”

Space heaters are honestly the best invention ever

Be present; Be kind

Take care of your needs unapologetically

There are lots of ways to live a life


Find solutions

Keep it simple

Have fun, and invite folks into your fun 

Empowered women are unstoppable


Stunning #powertools class for women (partly sponsored by #HomeDepot Foundation) in the #geodome while #Disco and I were #wwoofing at #OurGivingGarden

♬ original sound – Disco and Pattie

Chickens are my farm animal of choice

There is so much time and yet not enough hours in the day

My family rocks, and I love the creative ways we stay connected

Cultivate an attitude of gratitude

The sun, moon and stars will light the way (especially to the outhouse)

Go with the flow for the first 4-5 days; then make adjustments you need

Be available but protect your need to recharge alone

If you feel the need to hoard, share instead — reminder that the world is a place of bounty

Follow the directions on the instant coffee — more is not better (and is, in fact, worse!)

Everyone needs a little caring — the trick is to figure out how (everyone is different)

There’s a magical moment when people start to believe the impossible is possible, and then, really, you’ve just begun a journey beyond your wildest imagination together

The Tiny House is very cozy in the rain!

Be careful or you could end up eating a lot of browns (rice, pasta, bread, granola bars, pita chips) — make an effort to center greens and fruit

Ask if plants have been sprayed with fish emulsion before making it a habit to nibble in the garden!

It’s ok to ask for help

It’s both hard and easy to be “in community” — it’s also easy to start caring about people very quickly