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Lawrence, Kansas visit

We drove 9 hours the next day to Lawrence, Kansas.  This is a much longer drive than I’d normally like to make, but there wasn’t a lot we wanted to do between Colorado and our Lawrence destination (though there are a lot of things to see in Kansas if we’d had a lot more time).  Lawrence has a lot in common with Boulder: progressive outlook, focus on culture, community, spirituality, and healthy living.  We really enjoyed our visit here, as it felt a lot like home.

In Lawrence, we stayed with a family (Leda and Charlie) in very comfortable accommodations. They were very welcoming.  On the first night they even cooked us a vegetarian dinner and had friends over to meet us. They have three children, so Zippy and Adam got to get a little kid time in, too, which was nice for them.

The next day, Rachel and Leda took us on a tour of Lawrence, including a yummy lunch at the Vietnamese restaurant there.

As I’ve mentioned, we’re trying to live “in community” as much as we can on this trip, and this stop (under the auspices of couchsurfing.com) was a wonderful example of that.  Not only did we get to be with our host family, but their friend Rachel and her children also spent a lot of time with us.  Being with these folks felt like visiting family.  We had great interactions, and truly enjoyed being with them and in their home.  We learned a lot about Lawrence and Kansas, expanded our knowledge of the Civil War Era, and  even learned a few things about the landfill and recycling business.

While in Lawrence, we also stopped off at the Waldorf school there to see how they do things, and also to soak up a little Waldorf energy.  The Prairie Moon Waldorf School is a startup school in many ways, they go to 4th grade, and combine grades 1&2 and 3&4, and they have two early childhood classrooms.  The school is blessed to have their own building in the form of a former public elementary school.  They also appear to have a vibrant and dedicated community.

Front of the straw bale home

Front of the straw bale home

We got to visit one of the community member’s homes, which was made of straw bale construction.  Monica welcomed us and gave us a tour of their home.  I’ve always been interested in straw bale houses, and this was a the first one I’ve seen that had more than one story (it had three!). We were enticed by the coziness of the home, and I appreciated all the details that they had, including a geothermal furnace that uses the differential between the underground temperature and air temperature to help heat and cool the house.  Plus they have an amazing view out over the plains.  They even won Natural Home’s Kitchen Of The Year Award in 2003. You can see more about their project at their Chrysalis Farm site.

Three stories

Three stories

Custom tile work in kitchen

Custom tile work in kitchen

See how thick the walls are

See how thick the walls are

Ah, a Waldorf home

Ah, a Waldorf home

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