Monday, November 2, 2009

Halloween Revels

The following originally appeared in the Memphis (Missouri) Democrat.

Revelers in the Milkweed Mercantile. Photo: Jennifer Martin

Hi all. This is Alline with the latest news from Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage.

As this column appears in the local Northeastern newspapers and is sent to readers via email, we column writers do double-duty. The locals already know about the weather, but folks reading this in, say, Sarasota, Florida might not remember what a chilly, windy autumn day is like!


So with that caveat, we begin with the weather: The constant, driving, Noah-esque rain has finally abated and we’ve been receiving the wild winds for which the Midwest prairies are famous. Sometimes we wonder if we’re going to wake up in Illinois instead of here in Missouri. The leaves on the trees are all turning scrumptious shades of red, gold and brown, and are providing a gorgeous contrast to the bright green grass that still lingers. Fall crops are being harvested and eaten with gusto – chard and kale are still quite happy in the chilly fall air.

Halloween (or, as we call it around here: “Holler-ween”) is a big annual event here at Dancing Rabbit, rich in traditions which are being added upon each year. Preparation for the big day began early in the week with not one but two pumpkin carving parties. In addition, Bear crafted a jack-o-lantern with a skid-steer loader for Zane, a fan of all heavy equipment.

Bear & Zane with the Skid Steer Jack-o-lantern.


Saturday itself was filled with lots of planning and plotting for costumes and our annual Progressive Fiasco. Much like a progressive dinner, we dress up and go from home to home, where we are fed and entertained. In preparation for the stop his family was hosting, Cob came into the Milkweed Mercantile in the afternoon and asked for “a quarter pound of maggots.” In the spirit of the holiday, I filled his order with some delicious, organic jelly beans. Viewed in the right light, I guess they do look a bit larval…


When the kids could stand it no longer, it was finally time for the festivities to begin. The full moon rose over a cloudless sky – for once it was NOT a “dark and stormy night,” and we all gathered in the Community Building to ooh and aah over each other’s costumes. The first stop was Skyhouse, where we were delighted to find Tamar on a computer via a Skype connection. It was sometimes difficult to hear her, what with little zombies yelling for brains every few seconds, but it was lovely all the same. Lily (dressed as a school girl) and Brian (a creepy science teacher) read fortunes. Next stop: the tent kitchen of Boone (leader of the zombies) and Danielle (an iguana), where we were treated to video snippets of some of their hilarious shows. After this we all trooped over to the Milkweed Mercantile, where a fire roared in the fireplace and there were homemade donuts hanging from strings. After finding a donut at the appropriate height, Rabbits bobbed for donuts, no hands allowed. Jennifer took photos. Costumes included an eggplant (Mary Beth), the winds of change (Dennis and Sharon), a pony (Liat), an elephant (Ali), A Sleep (Thomas), a flower (Jan), a belly dancer (April), an uppity British couple (Ted and Sara), two witches (Aurelia and Elle), a baby bear (Zane), a voodoo princess (Jen) and the aforementioned zombies (the elegant Cynder and Duncan, Enzio and Ewan). Kim (a mummy) and Nina (a lamp) of Red Earth Farms came over to celebrate with us, as did Emily, Jacob, Apple, Owen, Renay and Gigi from Sandhill. What a great crowd!


After this we rambled over to the Timberframe addition, where we collaborated and told the scariest ghost story ever told. Then it was off to the home of the Carletons (dressed as a church lady, a schoolgirl, two zombies and a robot, who’s head was not only wired for sound with an I-pod but also had a clock, a camera and a straw for easy imbibing) for more activities and snacks (including “dried blood” popcorn). Last stop of the evening was Maikwe’s (an elegant vampire) house, were revelers danced into the evening.


Ali in front of Mirth Lodge, her home with Thomas.


In other news, the building season is slowing wrapping up, one work site at a time. Rev and Kit, who have been working feverishly on Maikwe’s home, departed on Thursday.


Maikwe's house. What you can't see: the clerestory windows, the plaster, and the fabulous posts inside.


Jennifer held an end-of-season BBQ celebration for her crew (Bear, Horacio, Dave and Randy) on Saturday afternoon, although I still hear hammering from the site where they are installing the observation tower on the Timberframe addition.

Dave waving from the observation tower. For more photos of the Timberframe addition, see Jennifer's Flickr site.


Travis (a work exchanger) has been helping Ted and Sara on the Ironweed Kitchen, home of the eagerly awaited “chicken TV.”

Travis working on a cob bench. On the right: the battery box. Top right (the round window): future Chicken TV.


Strange phenomenon on the cob exterior of the Ironweed Kitchen. Carpenter bees?


Dan and Mary Beth continue to work on their building, and are now applying lime plaster to the straw bales.


Dan plastering the East side of the house.


View of the window-filled south side of Dan & Mary Beth's house. It faces the pond (shown in the photo below). To the left with the blue roof: Larkspur, home of Bear, Alyssa and Zane.


Dan & Mary Beth's chickens, in their chicken tractor.


Last but certainly not least, Jeff finally moved into his house.


Jeff's House.


A group of Rabbits (Matt, Liat, April, Tom, Tereza, Bob) arrived home after ten days of hard work doing deconstruction for a Quaker group. While the work was hard, they had a wonderful time – the organizers thoughtfully prepared ten days worth of vegan food, and labeled and froze them all so that the Rabbits could dine divinely.


To close out the week with a bang, we met and finally chose the dates for our 2010 Visitor Program. We hope to have details posted on the Dancing Rabbit website soon!


1 comment:

Three Sisters said...

Wow! Growth! Change!
I definitely have to visit again.