2016 Porch Concert

2016 Banner -Porch Concert - COLOUR copyYou are invited to the Fourth Annual Case Street Porch Concert, on Friday June 24th at 7:00pm! Just like the last three years, we are going to turn the front porch of 97 Case Street into a mini concert stage. It will be a short and sweet event for all ages and a family friendly “happening” with all the music finishing no later than 9pm.

We are happy to have a really diverse line up of music this year:

  • Jon Corbin (formerly known as The Runaway) is a Canadian hip-hop & spoken word artist with lyrical themes of faith, love, family, social justice and personal growth. Over the past 11 years he has performed on stages big and small, providing a dynamic show that represents the basic tenets of hip-hop: peace, love, unity and having fun! Jon lives in Milton, ON with his wife and five children.

  • Otic Poets are a Hamilton band that is out to prove one thing. They are, simply and sincerely, in it for the music. With a unique, eclectic mix of Alternative Rock and Acoustic Folk, this power-quartet fuses together singer songwriter soul with pure chunk ‘n groove rhythmic rock energy.

Feel free to bring a lawn chair to pull up a spot on the grass or the side walk..We will also be having a Snack and Dessert Potluck, so if you want to add to the sweetness, bring something to contribute to the feast.

Please Note:

  • Keep it Family Friendly: This is an All Ages Neighborhood event so please leave any Drama and Alcohol at home.
  • Bike or Bus: There isn’t a ton of parking in the area, so if you are coming from outside the Case Street area think about taking the bus or riding your bike we can lock them up in the back Garage.
  • Help Out the Musicians: This is a free event for the people living on Case Street. If you are coming to the show from outside the neighbourhood because your are a fan of of one of the musicians, or you are part of The Commons, think about kicking in a couple bucks (or buy a CD) to help support the music.

Front Porch generic banner copy

Today We Gave Up Our Car

P1020238As a family we have been talking for a while about giving up our car (well a mini van in our case) and switching to our bikes and public transit. Today is the momentous day where that has finally happened.

We are a family of 5 (with our kids’ ages ranging from 3-13) so this was no small decision for us. We have tried over the last couple years to use our bikes more and more and our car less and less. We know biking is good for our health, the environment, and it saves you money. Lots of times we have done well with leaving our car at home and lots of times we have found excuses why we needed to use the car.

The straw that broke the camel’s back (or the mini van’s axles) was that all our savings were going into keeping our car on the road. My wife had a temporary job for about a year where she was making quite a bit more then we were use to. We thought this was our chance to put some money into savings. It should have been, but it seemed like every time we put some money in the bank our car knew just how much was there and would then need a repair that would clean out the savings account. This happened over and over again. We decided the we just needed to get rid of the car and make a drastic change.

It is hard to imagine how to live in a car-centric society with out one (especially with 3 kids) but we have been lucky to know another family of 5 make the transition to being a cyclist family. Watching this other family has helped us to feel like we can do it as well. Not that this decision isn’t being done without fear. I had a minor panic attack yesterday as I was driving around my old mini van for the last time. So many frantic thoughts were rolling around in my brain:

  • What are we doing?
  • Are we crazy?
  • Are we ready?
  • Will my foot and back hold up? (I have had some medical issues with my back and my Achilles tendon over the last couple years, so although I have been building towards this change, it is a valid concern)
  • We don’t own rain gear! WE NEED TO BUY SOME FREAKING RAIN GEAR!!! Stupid me, for not going to MEC earlier to buy some rain gear while I had the car.
  • Will my kids get tired of this?
  • Can my family actually bike as far as I need them to?
  • When I need a car where do I rent one from?
  • Crap! Art Crawl is coming up, I need to make sure I can get my art to the Market next month to sell.

Today I still have random thoughts of panic but I also have some feelings of hopefulness. There is a number of things I hope biking will do for me and my family.

I hope:

  • That we will be healthier and stronger. Every time we go somewhere we will be sneaking in some exercise.
  • That we would be less consumeristic. We will now have to really consider what to buy and if we really need it because we can’t just toss it in the back of the van. Everything we buy (new or used) will now cost us something to bring it home. It might be the money to pay for delivery or it might be our own energy to drag that thing home on the bike.
  • Life will slow down a little. You can only cram in so many events when you are on your bike.
  • This will be the first step in making even more environmental changes that are good for our planet (I’m dreaming of solar panels).
  • We will be more efficient. The times we do need a car we will now save up our errands and do them all on the same day that we rent or borrow a car.
  • We will be more connected to our neighborhood and city. A bike has no walls and conversations can happen at any stop sign.
  • That we would be in solidarity with people who would like to have a car but can’t afford one. So many people in our neighbourhood are car-less not by choice but rather due to their economic realities. I am always impressed by their ability to get groceries run errands and live life with out a car.
  • That this will be an important step in following Jesus. I hope my kids can see that this is really about trying to make radical decisions and life choices that push us towards living more like Jesus. Being present in the moment, being good neighbours, taking care of the environment, and storing up treasure in heaven (not on earth).

Now I’m not saying we will never own a car again. We might decide to buy one again some day (just not a gas guzzling van). I’m also not saying everyone should ditch their cars (I may need to borrow one from a friend in the near future), but I do think we need to always be prepared to make drastic changes to the way we live our lives.

When something like: getting rid of your car (or moving into a smaller house, or giving up a well paying job that you hate for a job you will love even though it pays less) becomes a total fantasy, that is a sad and dangerous day indeed. That is the day a little bit of our soul dies on the inside. On the other hand God is a creative God and when the Holy Spirit whispers a plan to you over and over again, it might sound a little crazy and far fetched but that is when things just might get exciting. If you step out in faith, following the crazy path God has put in front of you will bring your soul back to life. The greatest and most freeing moments of my life have always been when I have been brave enough to do something drastic. Here is hoping this is another one of those moments. I’ll keep you posted.