Emma's Community Report

Happy spring from Emma’s! And it is starting to feel like spring here in Seattle. Yesterday the sun was out in full force, people were walking the streets in shirtsleeves, and the cherry trees and daffodils have bloomed. The warmer air (and rain ?) are a welcome change from what was a winter of abnormal snow. In December and January we had snow that shut down the city! At first the urban winter wonderland was a fun change that had us all inside crafting, cooking, eating, relaxing with our friends and fellow communards. But after a few weeks, that got old.

So now we’re busy planning our garden for the summer, cover-cropping, composting, starting seedlings. Along with a group of other urban farmers that calls itself Food Not Lawns, Marc built a greenhouse at a collective house a short walk away, so now we have a place to nurture our baby plants. In addition, our neighbor is letting us use part of his yard as garden space, so we’re looking forward to an even bigger garden this year. We’re also still participating in the collective farm Shoulder to Shoulder, growing some of our produce on Vashon Island.

This winter we also were able to host many great guests, including family and friends of our members, past Emmunards, friends in the wider communities movement in the region, and activists from the arts education collective The Beehive who were in town on their national tour. You can check out their work at www.beehivecollective.org.

The last couple of months have felt empty at Emma’s with Johanna, Sheldon, and their daughter Ruby on leave in Vermont. After the passing of Sheldon’s mother, they decided to spend a few months with their family on the East Coast, connecting with loved ones there and having a break from life-as-usual in Seattle. We’ll be happy to have them back home in May.

We continue to be in austerity budgeting, as we have not been able to bring in as much capitalist currency through outside work as we would like, and we are in a low membership period (8 of 12 membership spots filled). That has been a practical and emotional strain on the community in the past several months, although we hope that as we gain a few new members that will shift. Speaking of which, we were very excited last month to accept a new member Tamara, who comes to us with years of community living experience in another collective house in Seattle, and lots of great energy.

In the social life and relaxation category, this winter saw lots of movie watching at Emma’s, including a three day Lord of the Rings-a-thon, where the movies were projected onto the wall in our downstairs meeting room theatre-style, popcorn was popped, and fun was had. Also, many of us have been able to go on mini-vacations over the last month, three of us on separate trips to California (maybe there is something to sunlight!) and a couple to a cabin retreat. These breaks were a nice chance to relax away from the usual, to see old friends and family, and to regroup.

So now we’re looking forward to the newness of Spring. This weekend we’re having a wig-themed party to celebrate Monica and Addy’s transition out of school (for the time being, at least!), and our monthly open house potluck. We look forward to making new connections, relationships, and seeing what the coming summer will bring. And if you have any like-minded friends who are looking for urban community on the West Coast, send them our way! Peace to y’all!

Monica for the Emma Goldman Finishing School