Fighting a Pipeline, Letting Go of Grief, and Celebrating a Book

Understatement of the Year: It’s been a chaotic 2 weeks.

2 Tuesdays ago I passed 2 anniversaries: that of funding my Kickstarter publishing project and 6 years since losing Kevin.

Amongst the emotions of that anniversary I become deeply immersed in a grassroots pipeline prevention (sounds much better than ant-pipeline, right?) movement in my home county of Lancaster, Pennsylvania.  While I attempted to step back for about a month, while I’m taking a course with PA Master Naturalist, I could sense the urgency of this movement.  It takes a lot of wonderful, dedicated people to volunteer their time and hearts to fight a company who makes millions off of our natural resources.  One of our volunteers launched the idea of a citizen-led bus tour to take politicians, agencies, organizations and students on a bus tour to 5 residents who may be directly impacted by the proposed pipeline.  It took a ton of organizing, time, and money to put it together, but we did it and last Saturday we made this happen:

I don’t know why, but this movement is something that has touched me deep in my soul.  I don’t know how to describe it – but growing up in Conestoga, an impacted township, living in West Hempfield, an impacted township, and loving to retreat to Wellsboro, a town heavily influenced by fracking wells, I feel that this issue of fracking, and providing the infrastructure to move this gas, is all around me.  I do believe it is destroying the place I love.  And I want to protect the place and the people I love.

This past Tuesday was our election and several key events led up to that day and I found myself heavily invested in trying to get the word out about who may be able to help us, in office, with our case.  Unfortunately, that hope didn’t come to fruition.

I felt devastated on Wednesday morning; defeated by who was still in office.  But I decided I needed to push forward, to let go of the political agenda and focus on the residents in my township and how we can band together further for tonight’s board of supervisors meeting where we will, again, ask for their help.

And then yesterday, I got an email.  An amazing email about my book, about the thing that all of you helped bring to life just over a year ago through my Kickstarter publishing project.  I had submitted my book last month for consideration in the North American Book Awards in the memoir category.  I opened the document and my book’s name was at the top of the list…











I hadn’t been selected by the memoir category, the editors had picked out my book for the first place Editor’s Choice nonfiction category!  Wow.

I feel such a confusion of emotions tonight.  The gloominess of fall, the adjustment of time change, ending my naturalist course this week and heading into my volunteer project, preparing for the board of supervisors meeting and the pipeline fight, letting go (again) of my late husband, disappointment at the election and the political process, the anger of companies and politicians who lie, seeing my book flourish, wishing I could squeeze one more hour of time in for my husband family, and never seeming to find time for quiet.  In two weeks I head on vacation and I hope being able to disconnect for a week will bring me the quiet and reflection that I need to refocus my energies, yet again, on my purpose in life and to give me time to soak in the precious moments with the ones I love.

It’s great having so many passions and to see them develop, but it’s also a struggle trying to find a way to make time for the people I love with whom I want to experience these joys.  I know not everyone who feel the same way about these things that I do, but I hope that they can walk with me and support me even if they disagree.  I hope they can set aside their agenda and know that I’m doing these things because I know they are bigger than me – they are about so many people who need a voice.









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