Saturday, November 10, 2018

Life in a 112 Foot Radius

6:30 - 8:30am        Reverie & Weird Dreams
8:30 - 9:30            Coffee at Mercantile
9:30 - 10:00          Breakfast
                             Brainstormed firewood business
                             Brainstormed twig furniture business
10:00 - 10:30         Recycling
10:30 - 11:15         Bike ride
11:15 - 12:30         Read twig furniture book
                             Watered Morel
12:30 - 1:15          WIP
1:15 -2:15            Lunch
2:15 - 4:00          Email
4:00 - 6:30         Eating Co-op Meeting
6:30 - 7:30         Dinner
7:30 - 10:00       Men’s Group

This is a typical Sunday schedule around here at DR.  WIP stands for Week In Preview where we cover a remarkable amount of village business in a short period of time; who’s coming, who’s going, vehicle co-op schedule, announcements, hearts for things folks are grateful for, and announcements forgotten on the first round.  Men’s Group is my usual Sunday night activity.

I tried sleeping in and skipping coffee one morning which was a mistake.  I like the world and everyone in it better after a cup or two of coffee.  Just last night at dinner, a co proclaimed, “Studies have shown coffee helps humans live longer.”  I have a general rule to not be friends with anyone that ever says, “Studies have shown....,” but I’ll make an exception in this case because I agree with what this study has shown.  Good thing I’ll be living in the Milkweed Mercantile this winter right above the coffee maker!  I am the luckiest boy in the world I’m telling you.

Since not being able to swim in the pond, more not willing to rather than not able to actually, since late September, I’ve been riding my bike almost every day.  Yesterday was cold, windy, and drizzly, but many of the days have been terrific.  My hip feels just fine riding my bike which is not the case when I walk a lot in a day.  I’m grateful to be able to ride my bike without pain.  I’m working up to the 11 mile ride into Memphis, Missouri just north of us this spring.

I started reading a new book on making twig furniture.  Already dog-earing the pages with projects I want to make.  I need a shelf, and I want to make little twiggy signs for the houses here at DR with the names of the houses.  Each house has a fun name like The Flouch and Moon Lodge.  Twigs are pretty easy to come by out here in the sticks.

Morel is another fun house name, and I’m watering the spinach in the greenhouse at Morel while the resident is away in Australia visiting her sister.  Over lunch today I enjoyed finding out more about another Rabbit’s summer home in Newfoundland.  Another Rabbit at the lunch table spent six years of her childhood in Nairobi, Kenya.  I’ve got some Googling to do.  I don't know much about Kenya or Newfoundland, but I'm inspired to learn.

The exact spelling is still up in the air, but a name we’re considering for our new kitchen co-op is Poedahtoe, like a Cajun potato sort of.  Starting a new eating co-op is no small feat.  We covered a dozen rows from our spreadsheet of questions at a meeting that took over an hour.  Hopefully nobody starves while we are ironing out all the details.  “So if we get vegan cheese, should it be sourced locally if possible or should local be the default and non-local be considered an exception as long as it is twice the price or less than the other option?”  This is making me hungry.

And about my recent move into the Milkweed Mercantile for the winter.

I moved into the Milkweed Mercantile for the next five months.  I have a well-placed second floor room on the southeast corner for plenty of natural light.  The room is named after the famous environmentalist Aldo Leopold.  I’m going to look up what Aldo is famous for.  I know why Rachel Carson is famous - her room is next door.  I’m reading a book by David Brower to find out why the other room is named after him.

I’ll be making coffee several mornings downstairs for any villager inclined to come in for a cup.  In addition to keeping the coffee warm, I’ll be keeping the whole building warm by feeding the boiler firewood twice a day as well as stoking a roaring fire in the fireplace right in the center of the dining room.  What a life.  My co-op friend noted, “You smell like smoke.”  I noted, “Get used to it.”

Over coffee with Bob one morning, and I’m embarrassed to admit this, I told him it feels really nice to have moved right into the center of the village.  Before in Moon Lodge, I was so far away from everything.  Seriously.  I counted one day, and it took me 174 steps which is about 2.5 minutes to get from the Common House or the Mercantile to Moon Lodge.  I’d walk it several times a day.  I couldn’t leave the house without forgetting something so I would have to go back frequently adding even more steps.  Or if I just wasn’t in the mood for all that walking, I’d do without.  You know what it’s like not to have your cell phone or sunflower seeds for an hour?  What a hassle.  Oh sure, I’ll miss some of the neighbors from out in the suburbs, but I hope to see them when they come into town for potlucks and such.

If I took a string and tacked it to the front door of the Mercantile where I’m now living and walked to all the places I go daily or even several times daily; Common House to check my mail, Grocery Store, SkyHouse for meals, OK for my bike, maybe the machine shed for recycling, my longest trip would be about 112 feet.  That’s the radius of the circle that encompasses my life these days.  No more of those long commutes out to the suburbs 350 feet away.  Who has time for that?  My world has certainly gotten smaller, but I’m okay with that.  Bees have a wider circle than I do I bet.  There’s just so much going on in Town Center.

The bustle of the city what with happy hour and poker night and a car every other day or so driving down Main Street.  It’s been said that all one has to do is sit on the porch of the Milkweed Mercantile and watch the whole world go by just like the Champs Elysees in Paris or McDonald’s in Kirksville.  Just this week I have to decide how to manage my social calendar with so many happenings; potluck and co-group on Tuesday night, song circle Wednesday night, open on Thursday night, Friday night movie in Casa and community dinner, Contra dancing in Fairfield, Iowa on Saturday and looking forward to resting up on Sunday to prepare for Men’s Group Sunday evening.  I’m not sure the folks out in the suburbs know what they are missing.  Living in the middle of it all is where it’s at for me.  Me in my circle with a 112 foot radius.


  1. Ahh, Troy, such an absolute delight reading your posts. Keep up the writing as you certainly have a talent for making this reader smile! What a wonderful winter home you will have in the Milkweed Mercantile.
    BTW - Aldo Leopold Wilderness is part of New Mexico's Gila National Forest. It is quite literally my neck of the woods!

    1. I'm enjoying the Aldo Leopold book Diane. Your encouragement makes me feel good about my writing which I appreciate!

  2. Thank you for writing T! It's a pleasure to be transported back there to DR. I'm glad to learn how you're settling in.

    1. Great to hear from you Shane. Getting adjusted is most definitely a process. I trust your process is progressing progressively too!

  3. This line is absolute genius: "Twigs are pretty easy to come by out here in the sticks." As far as google knows, it has never been uttered in human history--or at least written on the internet. Not even here, actually. :(

    I agree with Dianne and Shane (in this, the May Visitor Group's Comment Section), your writing is terrific and a delight to read.

    Honey bees typically forage up to a 2-mile radius, using their unfair advantage of flight. If they had to walk everywhere, on their painful hip, you would put them to shame.