BHFH weekend edition: On the benefits of a Saturday in community

(Latest post from the blog by housies Carol & Bill Mitchell about life in the house). I have no idea what I was thinking when I decided to update our eight year-old iMac to the Yosemite operating system. Midway through the install, the screen went blank and there appeared to be nobody at all home — and no apparent way to ring the door bell.

imac 2Googling the problem showed many others had suffered the same fate, without any clear path to recovery. I really needed that machine in prepping for the teaching I’m doing this week in Vienna, but didn’t have the time to haul it down Boylston to the Apple store.

And then I spotted Sumner, a former housie, sitting in the kitchen. Sumner is a programmer who continues helping his former housemates in

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all sorts of ways — honchoing our workdays, tweaking our new high speed wireless and more. So much so that I was reluctant to impose on him for volunteer tech support on a Saturday morning. (Read the rest of this post

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In the parlor on a Wednesday evening: A BHFH chat with our state rep

Jay livingstone3Thanks to our State Rep, Jay Livingstone, for the good conversation at BHFH with neighbors and housies about upcoming legislation.

Of special interest in the room: a bill Jay is working on to make treatment more available to defendants charged with drug offenses as an alternative to incarceration.

We’ll try to keep you posed on the progress of the legislation. More photos on the house Facebook page.

Jan. 7 program at BHFH: Preview of 2015 legislative agenda

Statehouse old imageJoin us at BHFH for a discussion of upcoming legislation, including conversation with State Rep. Jay Livingstone, whose district includes Beacon Hill. Visit our events page for a report from The Beacon Hill Times about one of Livingstone’s initiatives for the term. It’s an informal event, so feel free to drop in/out as your schedule permits. Questions? Call 617-227-9118 or email

Kick off the new year with a gift to BHFH!

Screenshot 2014-12-23 15.04.50We’re hoping you’ll consider the Friends House as a recipient of your tax-deductible donation.

You’ll find a description of the house’s Annual Fund here, a page powered by our new online giving vendor, Flipcause.

In addition to direct contributions, you’ll find a way of using your online shopping to help BHFH via the Support BHFH buttons on every page of our website. Accessing Amazon and many other online merchants via that button will send a small but important percentage of your purchase to the house’s Annual Fund.

We hope to see you on Chestnut Street at some point in the new year, and we thank you for your ongoing interest and support.


New posts to, the blog about life at BHFH

Resident Pan Aobo presents the lunch he prepared to celebrate Carol's birthday and his end-of-semester at Northeastern University.
Resident Pan Aobo presents the lunch he prepared to celebrate Carol’s birthday and his end-of-semester at Northeastern University.

Residents Carol and Bill Mitchell have new posts to the blog they’re writing about living at the house. In today’s post, Carol reflects on an important birthday, celebrated with a lunch prepared by fellow housie Pan Aobo and underscored by a line from The Lion King. Earlier this week, Bill described an unexpectedly emotional experience during the recent house retreat.

You can read all of their postings at Bill and Carol welcome questions and comments, which can be entered at the bottom of each post.


Inside BHFH: The food, two new residents and alumni weddings

The latest issue of the BHFH newsletter is packed with news and views of interest to anyone with links to (or interest in) the Beacon Hill Friends House.

Some highlights:

— Resident Ben Lawent describes his journey from life as a hearty carnivore to a happy plant eater who has cut down considerably on his consumption of animal products.

— Hugh Gelch, clerk of the Development Committee, profiles two new residents, Pan Aobo from Changsha, China and Ali White from northern Vermont.

— Director Holly Baldwin explores what makes BHFH a Quaker house, including some candid discussion of the minor irritants that can lead to more troublesome huffing and puffing.

Read all this and more in the Fall Newsletter, already mailed to subscribers and posted online here. You’ll find an archive of previous newsletters back to 2004 here.
— Bill Mitchell, resident


BHFH 2014 Holiday Exuberant GroupCheck out the BHFH Facebook page for several photos from the Dec. 14 holiday party. Here’s a group shot:





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