Friday, December 21, 2018

The Shortest Day, the Longest Year

Happy Solstice! Though we've had a good helping of snow already, today was warm here: 64 degrees, sunny and rainy by turns. The Handsome Communard and I signed out a car to go to the nearest public library for a couple of hours, so I could get some work done and he could do some health-related research (the internet's been unreliable at home lately). We stopped by the doctor's to get some paperwork straightened out, and by the grocery store for some snacks. We returned in plenty of time for dinner: soup and rolls, cauliflower and rice, chocolate chip cookies, homemade tempeh, and salad greens freshly harvested from our high tunnel. The near-full moon that lit our way home from the dining hall is hiding behind rainclouds now, but the night is so mild, there's no need to light the furnace. It's been a pretty good day, all things considered.

I'm coming up on my three-year anniversary at Twin Oaks. Life here has been full, challenging, rewarding, draining. It has never been even a little bit boring. I have loved life here, and at the same time, have wondered how I can make it more sustainable for myself. Maybe it's that I do too many different jobs; maybe it's that I get too emotionally involved with the community; maybe it's that I always want to do more things than I have time and energy for... regardless, I've found it increasingly difficult to maintain space for writing and other creative efforts in my head and schedule, especially this year. (As I review the past year's photos to find one or two to add to this post, I realize I haven't even used my camera much. Here, have one from March.)

Our garden under a blanket of snow.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Interdependence Day

So much has happened.

In November 2015, the Handsome Communard and I loaded up my trusty 1990 Volvo (overloaded, the H.C. would say, but my favorite Volvo mechanics scoffed: "No, it's fine!"). We left the Grünewald Guild and the tiny town of Plain, Washington and headed south, beginning a road trip that took us through a brutal storm in the Columbia River Gorge, a delicious Thanksgiving with my family, and joyous, all-too-brief meetings with loved ones from Portland to LA, from Silver City to Nashville, and finally to northern Virginia, home of most of the Handsome Communard's immediate family. We spent a beautiful Christmas with his mother, a profoundly gracious host. All was merry and bright.

For me, our two weeks in her home felt, in quieter moments, like an intermission, a held breath. My time in one community had drawn to a close; my life in another community was about to begin. What would that feel like? What would it bring?

Wednesday, September 23, 2015


Another autumn is settling in at the Grünewald Guild. The forecast promises a few more balmy days, but the nights tell the truth: another summer is history. Days and nights poise in balance for an all-too-brief moment.

And, checking in here for the first time in a while, I realize I have an unblogged year to account for.

Friday, October 31, 2014

October Blues

I always thought I liked fall, aside from that whole back-to-school nonsense. The heat of summer is no longer a threat, and western Oregon can be singularly lovely at this time of year. It's fun to get out your sweaters again. Rainy days can be an excuse to curl up and be cozy. But I've been thinking a lot about October lately, and I've started to wonder if maybe it just isn't my month.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Half a Year's Accounting

What has become of the past six months?

In April, the Handsome Communard flew to Seattle, where I met him at the airport. We headed south to visit friends and family in Oregon and Northern California, and drove all the way down to Santa Cruz for Easter.

Revisiting the Little Farm, where it all began.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Considering the Birds

I've been considering the birds
Now that the snow is finally melting, oh
They shed their winter coats
And shape and shine their yellow notes
For sun's returning
Lean forward, spread their wings
To meet the change the season brings
Oh, Spring
Welcome, please come in.

Late March view from the River House

Saturday, March 22, 2014


Yesterday was the Vernal Equinox, when days and nights are of equal length. Soon, summer days will stretch out wide and bright here in central Washington... but for now, the paths between buildings are all slushy ice and mud puddles. A little more snow fell yesterday, which made us laugh and roll our eyes: Springtime. What a card.

Does this qualify as mud-luscious?