Ahh MARCH! Yipee. The month to move.
I left the apartment for the first time in a few days to walk to the bank today. I stepped out into the sunshine and thought about how crazy it was that in Concrete Jungle Land no one worries or cares if I don’t leave the house for days on end, but in Rabbit Land if I didn’t leave my house for several days and I wasn’t sick, people would probably start wondering about me and might be concerned for my well being. My walk to the bank inspired a story which I wrote under my Concrete Jungle section of my blog.
The last time I left the apartment was to go eat dinner at a restaurant with Robert. We had ordered an appetizer, the Outback’s Blooming Onion, of which we only ate half of. We pondered on the idiosyncrasys of our social world because we wanted to ask some other party if they cared to eat the other half of our large appetizer. For them it would be free food, but not socially acceptable to ask a stranger in the next booth of a restaurant if they want to eat the rest of your food even though it seems like a polite thing to do, offer them a free half an appetizer. In Rabbit Land we do that, ask someone if they want to eat the rest of our food. But in our world the strangers might say no and think we were crazy. Robert said if someone did that to him at the restaurant the first thing he would think about would be that it was gross and he would be concerned with the grubbiness of the stranger whose hands were near the appetizer. At the end of dinner Robert said, wow I just dropped $60 in one evening just to eat dinner. I said, ya you just paid the same amount for our dinner as you did for Skyrim. He said, wow that really puts things into perspective. Skyrim is a 200+ quest video game with hundreds of hours of gameplay of which Robert has probably spent 300 hours of his time on. I’ve easily spent at least 50 hours on this game in the past couple weeks. Something I’d probably never do in Rabbit Land. Last time I was visiting I told Sara that I feel like I am a gamer, but being at Dancing Rabbit makes me not want to play video games anymore. She said, can I quote you on that? I guess there are quite a few “gamers” at DR.
I tried to make stew today and was really annoyed that there was NO compost to put the vegetable scraps. It pains me to know that everyone in Washington DC has to put their food waste in the garbage 😦 I’ve been trying not to use appliances like the microwave, toaster, and blender. They are normal things to use in the Concrete Jungle but not in Rabbit Land so I try to resist. I also found out that the 15th anniversary of Dancing Rabbit is going to be in October so I pushed my next cruise ship contract to start at the end of October.
I’m leaving today for another cruise ship contract. Only for a week on the MS Westerdam. Then I’m coming back “home” and my closet is going to have a barf attack as I pull everything out, go through it again, and load it into the car unless Robert has a truck by then. He was thinking of buying a truck because he likes trucks but has not been so prosperous enough to obtain one for a couple years. My mom is ordering my Yurt Dome from Shelter Systems and hopefully it will arrive to DR before I do. I’m also back down to 100 lbs but will see if that changes with all the cruise ship food.
Well, I finished my one crazy week on the cruise ship. So many kids for spring break and they weren’t very nice either. I didn’t handle it so well because there were a lot of behavioral issues I didn’t really know how to deal with so it was a good learning experience. Hard to believe though that it is the last time I’m going to be on a ship for about 6 months. Up to 105 lbs now, I’m not a stickler about my weight, but it’s interesting to see what it does, I gained 5 pounds in a week eating cruise ship food, but will probably go back down to 100 or lower eating rabbit food and running around all day.
I’m now pulling everything out of my closet and going through it again, getting ready for the long drive “home.” This time next week I’ll be living at DR. AND I’m SOOO excited that there is a NEW WEBSITE. The website has been a bit out of date since I started visiting in 2010, and it’s kind of really bothered me because I want to tell people about DR and point them to the website, but I always had to say “some parts of the website are out of date,” and just this week there is a new one!!! Oh my goodness, I’m sooo happy 🙂
My last day in the Concrete Jungle! I left the apartment for the first time in a week, again, last night to pack the car full of my stuff. The spring air was fragrant and they cherry blossom trees were in bloom. I had almost forgotten what outside was like. Even my dragon table fit in the small car, which I was so happy about because I didn’t think it would fit and it would be sad to leave it behind. Everything fit, but we can’t take my geo dome because it is too heavy and weighs down the car so much that the wheels scrape on the car when we drive over bumps. I’ll probably have to pay to send it to myself, even though it might be a lot to ship because the metal rods weigh about 120 pounds. We’re going to start driving tonight. It feels strange to leave my old life and ways of living behind, also it feels exciting, and I’m feeling weird today as if I should be doing something more productive than writing in a blog and playing video games before a 16 hour road trip to move to an Ecovillage.
Today we drove to DR. Once in a while I would reminisce about the things I was no longer going to have- no more carpet, no more big screen TV (even though I rarely used it), no more cereal, no more days of playing Skyrim for hours on end, no more bed, probably no more ice cream for a while, no more controlled heating and cooling for my house. We arrived around 8:30p, too late to put up my yurt, and it was concluded I wouldn’t be able to set it up till I waited to ask someone if I could put it where I wanted. We slept in the car after unloading all my things into the outdoor kitchen.
My first day at DR, it’s a Sunday so I went to the WIP, the Week In Preview meeting. It is a weekly meeting that DR has with most all villagers to talk about the events that are happening that week and arrange who is going to take what car and when. I am the first resident to arrive this year. After the WIP I went to another meeting that was about DR forming a council, it is a process of a long series of meetings, but basically DR is getting too big to make decisions as a whole village so a council will be appointed to work with villagers to make important decisions in the future. Robert and I drove to Memphis, I had never been there and Robert likes exploring. After some Pizza Hut in Memphis I decided I was going to get this yurt thing taken care of so I asked someone on the Warren Siting Committee if I could set it up in the spot I had in mind. The Warren Siting Committee is responsible for knowing about and taking care of people’s issues of where they want their piece of “property,” called a warren, because that’s where rabbits make their home. Residents don’t lease warrens but I figured they would know where was available for me to put my “house.” We set my yurt dome tent in a spot that wasn’t very good, turned out the ground was too wonky, but it took till late at night. I was tired and Robert decided he would start the long drive home rather than waiting till the morning. It was a nice goodbye, slightly sad that we didn’t know if or when we’d ever see each other again, but mostly nice, thanking each other for being in our lives and wishing each other happiness for the future. My first day was a big day, I was tired and went to sleep in my new “house,” such that it is for now, as I asked Robert an unanswerable question quite a few times while putting up the yurt dome (really more of a tent than a yurt), Why did I think it was a good idea to go live like a hobo and be eco friendly, Robert, I am like a hobo now. Strange to make the change, but somehow it all feels worth it to me.
The village is definitely noticeably quieter with several people on trips and no visitors or wexers running around. Something I’ve liked about my first couple days: Seeing all the friendly faces as they say, “Welcome Back,” or “Welcome Home,” as the village realizes I’m here. Something I don’t like: Allergies and Ticks! There are quite a few ticks out where I live and I feel like I always have to be aware of creepy crawlies on me and check for ticks. Sometimes my eyes get red and swollen rom allergies and I have to take my contacts out. I’m hoping that with prolonged exposure these allergies will dissipate, it is just a bit unpleasant now. Today I also moved my yurt dome tent to a flatter spot, I moved everything down from the outdoor kitchen and into my yurt. One of the kids was a big help as he tagged along and helped me move things and reposition the yurt dome. I also had to take care that I would hopefully survive a storm, as they happen sometimes here. Besides moving around all my stuff and setting up my “house,” another thing I’ve had to consider is- What am I going to do about food? I’ve decided to eat in the Sunflower Kitchen Co-Op for now, although it’s just me and one other person eating in there because everyone is either “off the farm” or they are just using the kitchen to cook their own food. I toyed with the idea to go for as long as I could without eating Sunflower food and eating on my own, but I decided to give that up to be social and make food with other people, and so Tereza doesn’t have to cook and eat all by herself till other people get home. Eventually I want to get a different eating situation though because I don’t eat very much at all and I don’t like the fact that I have to pay the same price as someone else who might eat twice as much as I do, it’s not about the money but about the principle of things for me. Food is one of the biggest expenses here, for some it is worth it to eat in the Sunflower Co-Op to have organic food cooked for you, most of the time, by someone else for a mere $7 per day, but for a small 4’10” 100 lb tiny woman, it is not practical to pay $200+ in food per month when I eat less than everyone else who pays the same price. Even Robert said to me, “Ya I know you don’t eat $200 worth of food in one month because I’ve been buying your food for years, even if it is organic.”
Well between dance practice, land walk, love language discussion, birthday party, song circle, potluck, yoga/meditation, apples to apples, and so much more, there is plenty to do at Dancing Rabbit to socialize with everyone. I’m settling in nicely, but there is still a lot that I feel I don’t know or had to figure out myself like, how do I pay my bills, how do I pay for my food, how do I get on the email list for the village, I have to fill out an emergency form, etc, these are things I had to ask people how to do or even figure out that I had to ask people about. I did get a new resident handbook emailed to me, mostly about the workings of the Ecovillage that I already knew, but there are some things like who to go to for what that one has to figure out when they get here and are actually living here. I also know I’m the first resident to arrive this year and maybe all the logistics haven’t been worked out because the new resident liaison training hasn’t taken place yet. In general everyone’s been really helpful and even though I have a liaison, I feel like in a way, everyone is my liaison. There are also a lot of social differences between here and the Concrete Jungle since it is kind of like living in a huge 60 person family. I feel like there are some things that one has to change about their brain in order to come live here.
RAIN! Ug, it rained today for the first time since I’ve been here, not a huge downpour but a steady light rain for most of the day. I spent the morning making sure my house didn’t flood. I felt like a crazy person talking to myself all morning about how I shouldn’t freak out and everything was going to be ok because all my stuff was still dry even though it seemed like water was flooding in. My tarp-like tent floor is a really good water barrier but water got underneath and between the tarps because of the way they were positioned under the tent. Water between the tarps is probably going to be really gross and get mold when it gets hot again if I don’t do something about it. I wanted to put my YurtDome on the ground in hopes that it would stay cooler with contact with the ground, but I guess I’d rather be hot and have a platform than be cool and moldy. Trouble is that all the existing platforms are not big enough, I’d need between 12 and 20 pallets to make my own platform, I’d have to make the platform and move all my stuff out again on a non rainy day, besides finding/gathering/buying all these pallets. Not sure what I’m going to do yet, but I’ll figure it out I guess, I know I have to do something though so I don’t live in a pool of mold, gross. I went to the common house to get warm and dry after I was sure my stuff wasn’t going to get wet this morning, Nani said I looked miserable, but really I wasn’t, I was just cold and wet. I guess I’d be miserable if I was any other kind of person, but really I was up for the challenge and was happy to be playing in puddles in my flip flops, readjusting tarps under my tent, as if it was some kind of game- the object of the game was to make sure my house didn’t flood while the rain was pouring down upon the tarps that were spilling water every which way.