LDO: Re-entry

In my last installment, I was kvetching about how difficult it is to get out of town and up there come Friday; this time, I’m complaining about how hard it is to leave. I stayed four full days, and driving into Santa Fe this morning was like landing on another planet. The traffic, the noise, the people–what do you call those odd non-female ones? Oh yeah–the men. The man sitting at the next table disrupted my enjoyment of my breakfast pastry by constantly muttering to himself. And people think I’m weird?

I had a really lovely weekend. It was so very quiet there; I did not miss one jot the celebrations of the consolidation of upper-class European male hegemony on this continent. I even forgot what day it was yesterday, until late in the evening we heard, very far in the distance, a few fireworks. It rained and rained; it rained every day a bit and most of last night, which is wonderful, because it is really needed here–though not needed in my bathroom here at home, which flooded via the skylight last Thursday evening before we left, occasioning much grumbling by K about “bad roof design!” as she climbed up a rickety ladder in the wet and the mud to bail a small lake of water off the flat roof and clean out the clogged roof drain.

Anyway, I digress. I spent some time with E as she and K worked on cleaning out the underground cistern at Turtle House. We got creative in designing tools for this purpose. I really enjoy the energy of our threesome. I always hope my single friends don’t feel strange and awkward around K and me, but I know that it can be difficult to be a single person socializing with a couple and easy to feel left out even if the members of the couple don’t mean to act “couple-y” and aren’t even aware that we’re doing it. Even if we’re hoping we’re not doing it, we still can. Anyway, we had dinner together Monday night and worked on a puzzle; we met at the sauna on Tuesday evening to sweat and clean up.

Project updates
Here’s a photo of the sauna steps, fantastically completed by S and K while I was in Ohio:


There will eventually be a ramp descending from the platform on the opposite side.

Here’s how the shower looks now, with its handsome new surround that we built a couple of weekends ago:


The solar shower (otherwise known as a “camp shower”) bag hangs on the rope from the gallows-type affair, and there’s a clever pulley system to raise it above one’s head. I was skeptical, but used it as a cold dunk during the sauna and was pleasantly surprised by the fairly good pressure you can get out of 2.5 gallons suspended 7 feet in the air. It was deliciously reminiscent of MWMF to take a shower outdoors and sit around naked with other women, chatting.

Here’s a close-up of the shower floor as it is right now:


You’ll just have to trust me that you don’t want to take a shower in here right now, because your dogs will get coated with so much red mud you won’t be able to move. So I designed and began constructing my first land project–a sort of floor for the shower. It’s made from teak scraps that S got from a cabinetmaker–the same material used for the decking on the top step in the photo above. Kya is helping with the construction and said that she plans to spend some time sanding it, as the teak is a bit weathered from sitting around in a scrap pile for a few years. But it is solid as a rock, and the floor is designed to be sturdy and fat-friendly and keep your feet clean and keep the snakes out from under it, all unlike the rickety punky old wood pallet that was there before. I’m quite proud of myself and will publish a photo when it’s finished and in place.

Our last pleasant surprise was an email last night from JB, who is planning to show up in a few days for a visit. She may stay as long as two months, until the LandDyke Gathering in early September. It’s always great to have new women visit and I’m looking forward to meeting her and the spark of renewed interest and energy visitors always bring to the community.


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