Board Binder

Among the transitions I've made this summer, in moving from San Francisco to Philadelphia, I also took on a new volunteer role: clerk of the Board of Trustees of Friends Publishing Corporation, the publisher of Friends Journal magazine.

I know it's un-Quakerly to say it this way, but here's my new favorite status symbol, which came in the mail today:

I'm excited and honored to be a part of the organization. With Gabe Ehri as the new Executive Director and Martin Kelley as new Editor, the organization is ramping up its online presence.

I hope you already subscribe. If not, click here. Or, choose the new digital subscription and save paper & reduce mailing costs. Also, letters will be going out to Friends meetings about student subscriptions shortly. If you know a student who could benefit, please consider this.

Be sure to look at the recently published list of focus topics for 2012 and 2013.

Finally, there will be an event at the Arch Street Meetinghouse in Philadelphia on October 1, 2011, to celebrate and appreciate Susan Corson-Finnerty and Bob Dockhorn, who are both retiring this year after many years of service to the Journal. (Email celebration -at- friendsjournal.org to learn more; replace "-at-" with "@".)

I look forward to serving alongside my fellow Board members and the staff to continue this ministry of Quaker communications and outreach.


Sound of Way Moving, though Stuttering a Bit

In spare moments, I reflect on many small aspects of our family's move this summer from South San Francisco, Calif., to Philadelphia, Penna.

The first part of the summer was magical. Getting everything packed was a challenge. The boys finished school June 8, we had packed a lot but certainly not everything when we left June 10 for Santa Barbara, where there was a family sendoff. Then Robin flew to Philadelphia to start her job with Friends World Committee for Consultation Section of the Americas (FWCC), while I left the boys at Camp Avocado (aka Camp Grandma & Grandpa -- they have an avocado orchard) and headed back to South San Francisco to finish packing.

Then I went back to Santa Barbara to pick up the boys, and we headed east, stopping first in Las Vegas to see our good Friend Jennifer C. and family. I've posted some photos to Facebook, and that's about as far as I've gotten in processing the trip for myself, let alone others.

It went really well, and was a special and memorable time. I didn't manage to blog as we went, so I've been hoping to summarize it at least for myself now that we've been here a while.

Yet I haven't had the bandwidth -- psychologically or, until recently, technologically -- to take time to compose any kind of coherent reflections, even for myself let alone for my blog. For one thing, there's been all the tasks that go with moving house across country and establishing one's legal identity, finding services, etc., while also making sure 13 Year Old and 9 Year Old have at least their minimum daily requirements met.

Our 8-year-old laptop -- our one and only home computer -- perished on the last day of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, July 31. After a while, I bought a replacement, a much better machine at half the price of what we paid for the old one.

So, the last few days I've been taking time to set things back up on the new machine. Today I got back an external hard drive from the repair shop, where they were at least able to save the data. Yes, we had backups, but they were incomplete and on different media (CDs, online storage), none of which was ample enough to hold it all. So better to get the external drive and use that consistently.

Ironically, when I was in the middle of writing the paragraph about the laptop crashing, our home Internet connection dropped out. So, even now bandwidth is a precious commodity not to be taken for granted. (Especially this week, when Verizon workers are striking to preserve some of their benefits, at a time when, I understand, top execs are very high earners and profits are high.)

Somehow, this is how my life has seemed since we got to Philadelphia -- fragmentary, disjointed, full of (summer) light and heat, few clumsy moments and dropped connections, along with fun trips, cicadas, big trees, historic buildings, and some especially hot weather... Yet it has felt right and good to be here, in support of Robin's post as Quaker diplomat with FWCC Section of the Americas.

And even though I may not notice it as much as I could or should, God has been smoothing the way for us all summer, so far, laying low the hills and filling the valleys that have inevitably arisen. Perhaps it's all the people who have been praying for Robin and also our whole family. Thanks, everyone.