Memphis Democrat Column Week of 3/8/10
Hi friends! This is Alline writing this week for Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage.
As the snow melts the mud appears, we try to maintain good attitudes as we glop about in the International Mud Headquarters. UPS and FedEx will no longer come down our road because it is so very muddy, rutted and not for the faint of heart. Fortunately Charlie, our USPS mail carrier, is made of sterner stuff – a little mud doesn’t faze him, and we find mail in our mailboxes each day. Thanks Charlie!
Not to worry about us though – we have our trusty 4WD truck, and we know how to use it. There is something very empowering about plowing through seemingly impassable mire. Perhaps we are once again proving that since we don’t have television we are very easy to entertain.
Nani, Elle and Jen have gone traipsing off to North Carolina ostensibly to bring Jeff home; however, I suspect that the lure of a warmer clime was also a motivator. We expect them back any day. Friends of the Carletons, Bonnie Marciante and her son Ben, arrived for a 10-day stay, and we are delighted to see them again. The result of Ben’s arrival has been a roving herd of boys running around the village (Duncan, Ben, Morgan, Enzio, and sometimes Morgan and Ewan) playing with obnoxious (to me) but beloved (to them) toys called Bionicals. Bionacals are apparently plastic Lego robotish things with names like Takanuva and Lesovikk. They have claws, wings, and (re)moveable parts. Wild stories and plots, alliances, attacks and triumphs seem to be part of the imaginative play. Clearly 52 year-old women are not the target audience; the boys, though, are captivated, and spend hours creating (and destroying) civilizations.
In less dramatic events, Diana Leafe Christian, author of “Finding Community: How to Join an Ecovillage or Intentional Community” and “Creating a Life Together: Practical Tools to Grow Ecovillages and Intentional Communities” brought a group of students from the Maharishi School of Management in Fairfield, Iowa. We were all impressed with their enthusiasm, thoughtful questions and interest in sustainability – we hope that they will come back soon!
As the Milkweed Mercantile gets closer to opening, everyone and their brother is pitching in to help. Bonnie is sewing roman shades for the windows, Mary Beth is refinishing furniture, Amy is cleaning rooms, Meadow is scrubbing windows, Kurt is constructing the kitchen’s hand-washing sink, Tom Cowen is installing deadbolts and doorknobs, Sparky is staining door and door trim, and Juan makes emergency ice runs into Rutledge. We’ve even had help from St. Louis - Tom and Linda Carron, Anthony’s parents, arrived on Friday night. This is the second weekend in a row they’ve come up to help. I’m not sure what we would have done without them – not only do they work like fiends; they’re also a lot of fun. Last weekend Tom and Anthony tiled and then grouted the downstairs shower while Linda helped rearrange the store/café so that we have more sunlight and more useable floor space. This weekend Linda washed dishes all day long on Saturday, and even did a last-minute trip to Kirksville for more construction supplies. In addition to grouting the shower, Tom helped out in the kitchen and did whatever was necessary to keep things running smoothly.
Which leads me to Saturday. The Milkweed Mercantile opened for our first (unofficial) lunch for friends. Our goals were to experiment with a menu, practice not dropping things on patrons, and to generally see where the cracks in our systems were. We are grateful that Mary Beth agreed to work as a waitress instead of dining as a customer – her calm and efficient demeanor helped balance my jumping up and down every few minutes. There is something about a long-awaited dream coming true that still makes the day seem a bit unreal. However, the genuine smiles on the faces of friends and neighbors, the wondrous aromas wafting from the kitchen, and the sighs of contentment at the end of the meal made me need to pinch myself a bit less.
We had so much fun, and now that we have passed our official health inspection (yay!) we expect to open to the general public in a few weeks. We will, of course, let you know! Photos of Saturday’s event may be viewed here: http://tinyurl.com/puvm2l Laird of Sandhill Farm was a guest for lunch, and he writes about his experience here: http://tinyurl.com/y8shd8o
Closing out the week on Sunday was our weekly business meeting. Our topic this week was to approve the rotating slate of the our Oversight Team, which is a group of four Dancing Rabbit members who are responsible for (essentially) nagging the rest of us to do the tasks we’ve signed up to do. It is a time-consuming, sometimes stressful, two-year position – as Thomas and Sara cycle off, their slots will be filled by Lily and Sharon, who between them have enough insight, intelligence and thoughtful experience to run a small country. We are grateful that they have agreed to serve with Ted and Bear, and to spend so much time in service to Dancing Rabbit and its members. We are also appreciative to Sara and Thomas for their two years of service!
Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage is an intentional community in Rutledge, Missouri practicing ecological sustainability. Tours will begin again in April. For more information, please see our website at http://www.dancingrabbit.org