Layin' Down Roots & a Quick Recap

First post of 2013! Where to start?! Well, as a short reflection, it has been an amazing 2012. It started with leaving my comfortable life in Philadelphia and hopping into AmeriWorld, where I met amazing people and got to do some awesome projects. I was able to do community service with my team in Iowa, North Dakota, Minnesota, and Indiana. In off time, I was able to explore Chicago and volunteer on an organic farm in Frankfurt, Kentucky. I also got to swim in Lake Superior in Wisconsin, which was a lovely day and one of my favorite Ameri-Memories. For better or worse (haha), Maple 5 will always be my AmeriFamily!

One of my favorite group shots:

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When we first started:

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Graduation night:

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Tough Mudder in Kentucky!

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Next would come going back to Philly in mid-November, where Heidi, my best friend/Philly roomie, and I threw a house show. I felt like it was such a great night and it is definitely one of my few and fondest memories of time spent being back in Philadelphia. I also got my wisdom teeth out! I will not be showing a picture of that, but I will say that my Thanksgiving was unusual due to the healing process.

December 1st, I set off with George on an overnight train to Charleston, South Carolina to meet up with Gina and Nidia for our bicycle trip! We all met during AmeriCorps, and loosely planned the trip during our last months in the program. I can't even start on everything that happened, but I will say it was a great adventure and I will never forget it. I would do another bicycle tour in a second, and if I didn't have such an awesome school lined up, I would have continued on into Texas! We started in Charleston and ended up in New Orleans....with a lot of stuff in-between!  We camped, couch surfed, stayed at hostels, and sometimes it was nice enough out to just lay out a sleeping mat! Here's a picture of our tents set up:

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WOOOSH

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Below are two sketches I took out of my sketchbook from the bicycle trip to mail away to people who contributed funding to my Kickstarter project. All letters will go out this week, and I already started working on the comic, which should be done before summer ends!

This was at a bar called Underbelly in Jacksonville, FL, at another jam session! It was so much fun and there was so many talented, friendly musicians:

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This was at an urban farm in Miami, FL. I drew a man named T, while he drew me. He was a medicine man type o' fella and quite interesting to talk to.

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The farm  in Miami, The Earth-n-Us, was really beautiful gem in Little Haiti, where we got to help clean bee boxes in exchange for a place to pitch our tent. There were goats, chickens, emus, pigs, and lots of garden space. I fell in love with a goat with an over-bite, which a local named "Smiley". Here's a picture of Smiley the goat, who confirmed, that I need to work with goats more!

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Maybe I'll elaborate and post pictures from some of these times, but for now I am jumping forward to the present! I am going to Sterling College in Craftsbury Common, VT and having the time of my life. Right now I am studying fiber arts, mythology, biology, and ecology. In addition, I am doing an independent study on vermicomposting, which is so awesome to have the freedom and encouragement to work, build and learn. I LOVE MY SCHOOL! Here's some photos that I stole from Matt's camera, since I haven't been documenting my time at Sterling at all.

During a winter botany hike, we hugged a huge Elm tree that we found!

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I learned how to ski!

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Here is a sketch I did in Glover, VT at a weekly community country and old time jam session. I got to do some of my knitting homework while listening to some great music!

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Overall, life has been splendid, and I'd love to start updating this again, especially as I start working on my comic more. Only time will tell!

Melissa