After a long plane ride and a layover in Dallas where I got to visit with my family, I’m back in Seattle for a while before returning to Rabbit Land. I accumulated quite a list of things to do in the city before going home- taxes, hair cut, vaccine, cpr class, etc. I also had 500 emails to sort through in my inbox from the village!
Sounds like people are excited that I’m coming home, my arrival will be announced at the WIP, as is the custom and etiquate of Rabbit Land that you don’t just show up without people knowing, but I sorta feel like I don’t want everyone knowing exactly what day to look for me, I just want to appear like a surprise, or maybe after being on the other side of the world entertaining children 7 days a week, I’ll just want to fall into my yurt and sleep for three days. I’m already a bit confused about where I’m going to eat with the changes in what used to be the Sunflower Kitchen. There will be some new people and with some of my friends either moved away or in different social configurations, I wonder what it will be like for me this year coming back after the winter.
My train was late so I missed my connection in Chicago yesterday. I didn’t get to Quincy until 1:30am, but luckily there were some rabbits there to pick me up. I was so grateful.
It’s my first day back and already I helped buy produce and sort produce orders. Next I helped stuff media kits for Amanda’s film, Within Reach. Then I ate pizza at the Mercantile, which I had forgotten it was even pizza night or Thursday until someone mentioned they were going over to eat their pizza. In the evening there was a dance party in the Casa for one of the kid’s birthday. It’s been a full day adventure once again in Rabbit Land.
March is much different than the rest of the year that I’m used to. There aren’t as many people running around compared to the hustle and bustle of the warm season. The trees are bare and there is a lot more muck and mud around. It’s chilly but at least I have a good sleeping bag that is made for cold weather, although some of the rabbits look at me like I’m crazy when I tell them I just planned to sleep in my yurt at this time of year.
I also figured out what is going on in the kitchen, didn’t seem as complicated as it did when I was emailing people while I was in Seattle, trying to figure out where I’m going to eat. Apparently Sunflower kitchen co-op is very small now, only 5 adults and a newborn, and the group of people that used to be considered Non Sunflower Kitchen Users is so very large now, kind of an informal co-op of their own they are so big. Over the winter Sunflower kinda split up to be the “Suns” (Sunflower co-op members) and the”Flowers” (all the Sunflower Kitchen Users), but some of the “Flowers” are now calling themselves the “Wild Parsnips” and want to become their own separate co-op and we all use the Common House Kitchen to eat out of. So some of the “Flowers” are calling themselves the “Wild Parsnips” even though the people who are now “Suns” are calling everyone who is not in the Sunflower co-op a “Flower.” Sounds more confusing in writing than it really is, especially when you are trying to email people in different kitchens who all call themselves something else than you are used to.
I feel like a bit of an orphan at the moment when it comes to food though. Nathan and Tereza are visiting his family in Texas right now so they’re gone and Bri and Alex just had their baby last night. It was born here, but they’re at the hospital now making sure the baby is ok. They are the ones eating in my co-op with me and they’re all gone, but everyone is really nice here. They say Hi and Welcome Home, they ask where I’m eating and where I’m sleeping, they update me on the changes at DR, they offer me some of their dinner and warm places to sleep if I want them. It’s back to pooping in a bucket, 1 ply toilet paper, eating oatmeal, lots of friends to hang out with, and dirt everywhere. I feel well taken care of. There really is no place like home.
Now that I haven’t been here for a while, it is easy to forget regular village events like Community Dinner on Friday, which I forgot about until I saw a bunch of people eating dinner in the common house, and because there is no one eating with me right now, there is no one to get me to remember that it was community dinner last night, but cold pizza leftover from pizza night at the Mercantile was a fine dinner for me.
This morning there was a controlled burn on the prairie, something I’d only heard about it being done at DR but never got to see before today. We lit the whole field on fire and they had backpack pouches full of water to put out the edges and rakes to spread the fire further down the prairie. Thomas says not to worry because we notify the fire department and all our neighbors before we do it.
There was also a sharing later on about the new common house and people’s feelings surrounding the project. It takes a lot of work to make a new common house happen at DR- funding, designing, building, and how people feel in their lives in the village now that the building is coming. Sometimes things can feel pretty intense when it’s all coming together, especially when you’re building a building in a consensus community that tries to get everyone’s input into decisions. Some people are excited, some actually are not, and some people feel pretty stressed out over the whole huge undertaking that this project can be for our village, especially since we are trying to make it a prestigiously eco designed building that will probably cost a lot more money than all of our buildings combined. This is just one of hundreds of meetings and gatherings about the New Common House.
It’s a lot more cold and dirty here than in Concrete Land. I don’t mind so much because I’m a crazy hippy, but I do notice that I’m cold most of the time, some part of my body is cold, even when I’m inside. Yesterday afternoon I huddled near the crock pot in the kitchen that was making our dinner. And with concrete floors everywhere, they’re always dirty. It was nice to sweep and mop this morning for the baby naming ceremony, but by the afternoon the floor was dirty again.
Today we had a baby naming ceremony for the new baby. It was a traditional African style ceremony, not because any of the family is African, but because they thought it would be neat to do. We ate with our hands out of bowls that were on blankets on the floor. They shaved the baby’s head and presented him to the party full of people and told us a little about his name, Dmitri, and afterward there was drumming and dancing.
This evening there was a nice little concert in the Casa by a visiting musician.
It’s nice to get back into community life- going to the WIP and business meetings, going to potluck and song circle, hanging out with friends. Some friends have offered me a warm place to sleep in their house on their huge bed where they all sleep so thankfully I haven’t slept in the cold yet. For the most part during the day I hang out in the Common House and do things on the internet, watch a movie, read a book, play and take care of the kids, and help out in the kitchen.
It’s snowing!!! Really, my calendar says spring started a few days ago, I guess this is what the beginning of spring looks like this year at DR, it looks like winter. I had to go check on my YurtDome to see how it was holding up in the snow. It hadn’t caved in, but I bounced the snow off the roof from the inside. The person who was watching my dome over the winter says it got a little tangled and twisted in snow over the winter, but they brushed it off and it bounced right back into its dome shape. Someday I’ll have a house I don’t have to keep from getting weighed down when it snows. I was excited to see the snow because it’s been about two years since I’ve seen snow and I had never seen DR in all its snowy glory.
Yesterday evening was Seder potluck. There aren’t a whole lot of Jewish people that live at DR, but Seder is a DR tradition. It was fun and light this year. I spent most of the morning sweeping Matzos off the common house floor.
Today we had a host pool training. I’m not part of the pool of people that want to be hosts for visitors at DR (outside of the visitor program) because I’m going to be away so much this summer, but I went to the training anyway, just for some good information. There are a lot of logistical things that surround letting people come visit DR outside of our normal visitor program so I am glad there is a group of people who are getting trained on how to handle this.
I love dealing with visitors, and think my dream would be to someday be compensated for all the time and energy this takes. For now, there isn’t a solid system in place for me to acquire this “job,” but perhaps in the next few years this will be a reality.
In the past few days~ I went to the Matzo pancake breakfast at the Mercantile. Who knew that eggs fried with Matzo into a pancake would taste so good! I also did my rotational chore of emptying the hummanure buckets into the compost piles we have specially for such a thing. Last time I did this chore it was hot weather and I must say that emptying hummey buckets in cold weather is much better. I also discovered a YouTube video on how to make a 60 piece origami ball, which I spent several hours doing in the past few days. Last night there was a party in the machine shed to celebrate several anniversaries at DR. There was a plywood pallet muddy slippery dance floor, endeeringly named the Ankle Breaker. I only stayed a few minutes before going to bed as I didn’t want to break any ankles on the makeshift dance floor.
Today started off with a joyful Easter scavenger hunt at the Bushman’s house in Rutledge. We made two scavenger hunts for the children but they were too good at them so we challenged them to make one for the adults. They did a really good job, better than I thought a group of 5 to 9 year olds would do to make a scavenger hunt for adults to follow. After the WIP we were blessed with the yearly appearance of Ostrich-tron. Apparently there is a whole mythology on this creature who visits DR every Easter. He comes through a portal from the world of the tron peoples, if you give him a rock he will give you a gift in return, this year it was nuts and dried fruit, last year I remember he gave us tangerines. He likes rocks because they are in short supply of them in his world, and Ostrich-tron likes to come to our world to do a little exporting.