Summer has arrived, gardens are producing, and summer activities are going strong (at a healthy distance of course). Parmejean here to tell you of the wonders of living in the community in rural Missouri that I call home.
I have recently become the manager of Skyhouse, our onsite boarding house, and I am quite pleased by the arrangement. Skyhouse has 6 bedrooms upstairs and a very spacious living room and kitchen downstairs. We also have a large fenced-in garden area where I can spend lots of time planting, and now weeding! So, as a retired person, I have a nice role to play here at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage.
Retirement is quite wonderful, not having to clock-in 5 days a week or work long hours 6 days a week like i did when I was farming. I actually worked on Sundays some but tried hard to keep that day sacred. But as I do consider myself retired it is good to be busy. I left a desk job in March of 2018 partly so I could be more physically active, though I have found there are limits to my abilities being a senior citizen. My sprinting ability has diminished and this was brought to my attention in an attempt to play Ultimate Frisbee! I was all in to play except my legs did not have the energy to repeatedly sprint; as I dashed for the frisbee, my legs just turned to rubber and I did a gentle, but embarrassing, roll in the grass. I thought I would practice sprinting, but that has yet to occur.
I did some heavy work at the Fox Hollar Farm my first summer here and that went well, until I tried dragging a couple of 8×8 logs just a few feet by myself as I cleaned up our work area. My back now needs a little extra care and planning to do any lifting. Yoga helps this, and I attempt a little yoga everyday.
I assisted our annual Tri-communities Triathlon by driving the sag wagon. I brought some folks and their bicycles to the starting line at Sandhill Farm where a lively cadre of athletes took their starting positions. This is a non-competitive event in which the participants rode their bicycles to Red Earth Farms, then ran to the Dancing Rabbit swimming pond, and swam across to the finish line. It was great sport, and we had the added bonus of celebrating Apple’s birthday!
In my younger days I competed in a Triathlon that included canoeing, which was my strongpoint. I have done a lot of running over the years – two marathons and numerous 10k races – but not much running this year!
Now I set my own pace out in the garden. I run a tiller instead of spading, but I get a lot of exercise hoeing and pulling weeds. It is a lovely garden with decorative weeds all around and a very nice raspberry patch. None of the raspberries made it to the pie stage though, because they are just too delicious when picked fresh in the morning dew. Other rewards are coming on as well: radishes, lettuce, kale, beets and beet greens, with tomatoes, potatoes, and green beans on the way.
I have quite a wonderful retirement, and things are going so well I almost feel like I am in heaven! (Though I am going for major surgery in St. Louis soon, and don’t want to jinx it! Heaven can wait!)
We had a quiet 4th of July here. There was music in our Town Center and a lovely evening watching the sunset to the rhythms of our truly talented musicians. As we reflect on the freedom and liberty that the founders of this country promised, we realize that many people have suffered at the hands of those who held power. From slavery to the trail of tears, and an age of Jim Crow laws, we, as a nation, have yet to live up to that promise. Should there be reparations for these injustices? Can we mend and heal the ongoing hatreds? The “us and them” must end and be replaced with an era of we, as United States citizens, who care for all our brothers and sisters.
Peace and Love to All
John Demaree, a.k.a. Parmejean