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Writing

The Groundbreaking Girls Project: How One Woman Found Strength and Healing Through Creativity

(Published at San Clemente Lifestyle Magazine)

At the beginning of 2017, Allison Adams no longer recognized the world. She had lost her husband, Vernon, or Vernon Version .02 as she calls him, two and a half years after he had been in a terrible accident. In May 2014, Vernon Version .01 was driving home on his Vespa in south San Clemente when he was hit by a truck. He went into a coma, where he stayed for three months, and never ended up going home again. He awoke from the coma with severe brain injury, broken bones and short-term memory loss. Allison, along with her two children, friends and family, spent her life during those two and a half years by Vernon’s side in the hospital...

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It's All in the Crust: Blackbird Artisan Pie

(Published at San Clemente Lifestyle Magazine)

When she was a young girl, all Susie Hogue wanted to be when she grew up was a stay-at-home-mom and wife. Indeed, she married young and had three children by the time she was 24. There was only one hitch after she got hitched and became a mother. Susie jokes that she couldn’t even boil water at that point. She did not know how to cook, which to her was a key qualification for being a stay-at-home-mom and wife...

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Lindsay LinegarComment
Two Years Later: Reflections on my Transition from South Sudan to the United States

Today it’s been exactly two years since I landed at Los Angeles International Airport, after spending three years living and working in South Sudan. Throughout the day, I’ve been trying to find the perfect words to describe how I feel about the journey over the last two years. The three best words I could come up with were: 

Astonished

Hopeful

and

Thankful...

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More Than a Bookstore

(Published at San Clemente Lifestyle Magazine)

When you walk into Beach Town Books, you might think you’re back at the beach. Shades of blue fill the walls of the shop, as well as the ceiling. There’s a shade to match the San Clemente sky on a clear blue day, and shades to match blues of the ocean. There are even walls to match the San Clemente beach sand. In the room for children’s books, the walls depict an underwater world with various sea animals, including a grinning shark, a purple octopus and a whale with a tiny sailboat on its nose. The room was dreamed up and co-created by 11-year-olds, Olivia and Natalie. The twin girls are the daughters of Debbie and Scott Langston – owners of the bookstore...

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Lindsay LinegarComment
How the Phrase "I can always" is Indicative of Privilege

A few months after I had returned to the United States, while I was still trying to figure out what was next, my mother was gracious enough to open her home to me. We decided I would stay there for a few months while I was on the last leg of my self-proclaimed sabbatical. No matter what the struggles have been in our relationship, there’s always a warmth and comfort when I’m staying with my mom. For one thing, she has a washer and dryer in her house, for clothes I mean. Judge me if you must, but one of the greatest joys for me when I came home was being able to wash and dry my clothing in machines. For the majority of the three years while I lived in South Sudan, my clothes were washed by hand and line dried in the sun. On the occasions when I traveled to Nairobi, I would stay at a guesthouse with washing and drying machines. As time went on, it felt more and more luxurious each time I used them...

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A Year and a Half Later: Reflections On My Transition from South Sudan to the United States

It’s been a year since I moved back to Orange County, California. I relocated to a beach town called San Clemente at the southernmost tip of the OC. Sunshine, palm trees, pleasant weather, the Pacific Ocean: a sanctuary to return to after such an intense journey in South Sudan. And yet, it’s been really challenging. When I first got home, I visited a friend. The topic of moving back came up and I remember saying there was nothing for me in San Clemente. Life as I had grown to know it would be threatened if I moved back, I thought. Everything I had been working towards, career-wise, and lifestyle-wise would be wasted...

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The San Clemente Farmers Market Experience

(Published at San Clemente Lifestyle Magazine)

If you want to get a glimpse into the San Clemente community, all you need to do is stroll along Avenida Del Mar on a Sunday morning. From Calle Seville to Ola Vista, vendors of the San Clemente Farmers Market line the northern sidewalk to sell goods from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Sunday, rain or shine. Take your time, linger at each table and you’ll hear familiar exchanges between vendors and customers. The farmers market has been around for more than 20 years, and San Clemente locals have been customers for just as long. Perhaps the locals are privy to a secret: there is something wholesome about the products at this market... 

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The Language of Flowers: How to Communicate Your Passion

(Published at San Clemente Lifestyle Magazine)

The language of flowers, otherwise referred to as floriography, is the ancient practice of using flower colors and arrangements to communicate meaning. Use of floriography in the United States dates back to the early nineteenth century, but cultures in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East have been using flowers to communicate longer still. The language of flowers has been used in art, poetry, literature and the Bible. Constantine Samuel Rafinesque popularized the concept of the language of flowers in the United States through his work in weekly and monthly publications in the early 1800’s. In his feature called “The School of Flora,” he highlighted different flowers with their French, English, Latin, and botanic names as well as descriptions and symbolisms of said flowers...

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One Year Later: Reflections On My Transition from South Sudan to the United States

It’s been one year since I left South Sudan. It was easy to be grateful when I got home. I hadn’t been in California for over three years! I was elated by the sights and sounds and smells. I relished a well-organized system of any sort. I wondered at anything that was carefully and beautifully created. I swear I sang and danced my way through the Los Angeles International Airport. Who does that? And then, there was my sister. And then a little later, other family members, and friends I hadn’t seen in as long. And the Pacific Ocean, and the redwoods (oh! the redwoods!), and the Sierra Nevadas, and the wildflowers. And ahhhhhhhh, just to be home again. Just to eat delicious Mexican food again, you know what I mean? ...

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Three Months Later: Reflections On My Transition from South Sudan to the United States

As my train departed, I began to cry. I stared out the window, trying to see the night through the glare of the cabin lights hitting the glass. I remember asking myself why I was crying, searching and sorting through everything I could think of. The most obvious reason is that it had been a highly emotional day. I had given a presentation on South Sudan just hours before – a presentation I had spent dozens of hours creating in the hopes of conveying my experience with the utmost care. It was the easiest talk I had ever given, in terms of nerves but the most difficult, in terms of emotional poise...

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One Day Later: Reflections On My Transition from South Sudan to the United States

I ordered coffee and water with my breakfast. I was especially thirsty after having spent the morning paddle boarding in the ocean. My sister had taken me paddle boarding in Redondo Beach as a sort of welcome home gift. We paddled through King’s Harbor and came upon some sea lions on a stationary, wooden raft of sorts. We circled around them for a few moments and then paddled on. We paddled through ocean waves, out to a bell buoy where a few more sea lions congregated. We circled around them and then paddled back in toward the harbor...

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Lindsay LinegarComment
Adapted Text from a Presentation On South Sudan

(Presentation given at the MCC Thrift Store in Reedley, California)

Hello, People, I’ve heard it said that those returning home from a long stay overseas are likely to have lingering habits they picked up while they were gone. One of those habits for me is referring to a group of people, the collective “you” as “people”. I picked it up from some secondary school girls I worked with, and I think I will keep it, because I like it. It’s great to be here, and it’s an honor to be able to share with you today. My name is Lindsay Linegar, and I’m originally from Bakersfield, California. I recently returned home from a three-year Service Worker assignment with Mennonite Central Committee. In September 2012, with an education in psychology and international development, a passion for peace work and East Africa, and a desire to live a life of service to God’s people – I embarked on a journey to South Sudan. For those three years, I was based in the capital city, Juba...

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A Goodbye / Thank You Letter to South Sudan and Its People

I remember in the weeks before I left the States for South Sudan, every now and then I would wake from sleep thinking, “Three years? Are you sure about this, Lindsay?” Now, in the weeks before I leave South Sudan to return to the United States, every now and then I wake from sleep thinking, “Have three years gone by already? Are you sure you’re ready to leave?” This last three years has been many things for me. It has been wild and challenging and painful and beautiful. Oddly enough, the word that comes to mind to describe it best is, “awakening”. Cliché as it may be, this time has changed my life...

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You Need Africa More Than Africa Needs You

(Published at RELEVANT Magazine)

I am not an expert on Africa. I have only encountered up close about twenty percent of the massive and diverse continent, thus my perspective is limited. However, during the last six years, through living in, visiting and studying various places around the continent, my knowledge and understanding has grown significantly. Still, one of the few things I can say with confidence is this: I need Africa more than Africa needs me. If you are anything like me, it’s easy for you to imagine all the ways Africa needs you. Mass media has long painted a dire picture of what life is like on the continent, while the positive side mostly remains hidden. In a recent interview, Ange Kagame, daughter of Rwanda’s president Paul Kagame, shared her vision for Africa: “I hope in this generation’s lifetime we can … start to be defined more by our successes than the negative images that have become synonymous with Africa (poverty, war, disease et cetera).” ... 

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