I am finally home now. I missed my connecting train in Chicago again because the train was late from Seattle. Again, a bus drove us from Chicago to Quincy and I didn’t arrive until 1am. Luckily there were some Rabbit angels there to pick me up and they had gotten a hotel room because of the train kerfuffle. I don’t know why Amtrak thinks I am going to make a 2 hour layover after a 2 day train ride. Same thing happened last time which makes for a difficult ride home, but I am so grateful to the few people who have come to pick me up.
It’s nice to be back. The plants are tall and green. The new electric car is already caked with mud and dirt. There is a new chicken and duck coop on my way home. There is a new campground near the entry road, Circle Drive, and there is new construction going on in the village. There is also a new parabolic dish cooker near the communal solar oven in the courtyard, although some people have described it as being “scary” because it burns holes in things. I’ve already been swimming in the pond. The washing machine is broken so we have to figure out what else to do. I saw one person wringing out his clothes in the pond yesterday and it sounds like many people have had to take their clothes to do laundry in Memphis.
I also don’t have to eat all by myself. The few people left in the common house kitchen are now calling themselves the Rainbow co-op and some of the old Parsnip group have turned into the Wancs (We Are Not a Co-op), which was a name they had last year while they were eating in the outdoor kitchen. We have an ecovillage education course going on for several weeks where students from all over the world have come to take this course. The people cooking for the students are also cooking for the few of us Rainbows and Wancs. With the visitor program, new wexers, and the Ecovillage Education there are several new strangers to meet on my first day back, and it was a little strange to have so many people here that I don’t know, probably a taste of what it might feel like when we have 500 people in the village.
I’ve also been sorting through my things in my yurt dome. The mice have sure made a mess, and I am trying to clean things out and give some away. While I am gone everything just sits in my tent so some things might as well go to good homes. I feel like I don’t want to own much more than I can carry, but we’ll see if I can get things down that far.
It has been rainy and cloudy the past couple days which is a good change from the heat and nice for our plants. It amused me about what a hippy I must have become as I was walking around in a tank top, skirt, and bare feet in the rain.
I’ve been hanging out, cleaning out my things, and picking up a bit of extra work. My friends are very nice and want me to stay around so we try to think up things I can do for pay. The mice have gotten into everything, even plastic tubs I thought were sealed from mice have mouse nests in them. It feels good to get rid of things and give some things away to good homes. I’ve gotten most of my things down to 4 pieces of luggage, which is a bit more than I could carry around, but it is satisfactory to the amount of stuff I feel like I should own in this world.
I’ve been hanging out a lot, and it is nice to have a clean yurt dome even though I still hear confused mice running around in the tarps that line the floor. I read somewhere that pepermint oil is a mouse repellent and works for flies too. I’ll have to spray down my dome floor again like I did last year and spray some on myself when I am sitting in the common house. There are lots of flies in the common house because we don’t have a screen door on the front door and with so many people coming in and out, the door gets left open a lot by careless new people or rabbits. The most annoying thing is that flies like to land on you when you are busy or try to mate in your hair when you are trying to write email. Blah. We have fly tape up, but it doesn’t help much. My friend Nathan wants to order some door closers so the doors close themselves when someone comes in. It will be interesting to see how well it works to keep the flies down.
Some of the children and I and one of the rabbit families went to the county fair today. There was so much going on this evening, a contra dance in the dance hall and a good bye party for the two remaining visitors, but I took the offer to go to the fair. I ate cotton candy and fried Oreos and crappy fair food. We went on the junky little fair rides and watched the demolition derby where lots of beat up old cars crashed into each other until they couldn’t drive anymore. It was a fun experience.
I went on a little trip to the Peace and Permaculture Center at the Possibility Alliance. I went to take care of the Brown girls while thier mom took a workshop there. There was no electricity or cell phone service there. We camped out in the forest near the outdoor kitchen and shelter. There was also a nice pond to swim in, although, I didn’t want to swim because my broken toe is still healing and it hurts the healing toenail when I swim. We walked over to the Possibility Alliance homestead and saw lots of animals- ducks, chickens, and goats. The goats were very friendly and we got to pet a shy little baby goat. It was hot and there was no place to get cool except for the pond so I definately came home like a sticky hippy. There are also mean biting bugs around here, ticks, mosquitos, and chiggers. And there was something over there that I was allergic to so I was sneezing quite a bit at times. Despite the uncomfortabilities, it was a really nice fun trip.
Today was a Day Out of Time. It was Amanda’s birthday today but it also corrisponds with this day so she encouraged us to put away our watches and participate in fun activities all day. There was mud body painting at the pond, a human nest building down by the Starlight fire cirlce, model drawing, and a potluck, but there was just one thing, no one knew what time to expect these things to start. It was so fun and interesting to have an impromptu day. I did cheat and kept my watch on because I had appointments to make, but some people during the day didn’t even want to know what time it was ever and even covered the time on their computer screens so they couldn’t see the clock. It was strange to imagine what life would be like without time.
I got a new seasonal job. This time in Missouri at a camp teaching nature classes to kids. I’ll be leaving in mid August, but this year I plan to return for Thanksgiving. It will be nice to have a job only a few hours away. Some of the Rabbits said that Thanksgiving is better to celebrate here than Christmas because it is a big affair, and most people are either gone for the Christmas holiday visiting family or they are Scrooges because of the consumerism (and maybe religion) attached to it.