Friday, October 14, 2011

Around the Land, and thinking of a home

We built a nice communal dining table, it is a rustic replica of our 
dining room table in North Carolina, built cheaply out of a neighbors scrap wood.

Lots of composting going on, we are struggling a bit with the shade over the piles, but otherwise they are cooking nicely, ready to be turned beginning of next week. I think that we will build a more permanent composting structure in the near future, there are many pallets laying around everywhere in town, and I thought we might make a row of several separate spaces to keep the piles contained, with an empty space next to each to turn the pile over into. Also a more permanent shade structure is in the plans.

 28 sour orange tree saplings were also transplanted into bags so they can receive a bit more attention until they and the landscaping is ready to have them planted into their permanent spot.
In the back by the animals, the "mayan hotel"
(this name was given to the structure by the crew that currently lives here)
 is almost complete, this structure will house a workshop, storage and tool shed, as well as kitchen and sleeping area for the couple of helpers that will live on the land permanently.
The house where we will live is moving along also, the roof is almost complete, although when looking at a photo from a couple of weeks ago, you might not notice a difference because they have simply been adding layer after layer for the thickness. 
There has been a lot of unrest about the fact that the first house built 
on the land is to house our family, because as a fact we are not partners in this project.
With many people involved, many far away, working together on a project such 
as this it seems inevitable that some conflicts will arise in terms of interests.

I will be honest and say that it has been tough standing in the middle of this, feeling the emotions pulled first in this direction and then in that. I feel at moments very uncertain about our place in it all, will the work we do be enough to satisfy all the partners, will the value we bring be tangible enough for everyone to feel peaceful and right about this structure becoming our home while we work this land?
When we were asked to come, it was with the understanding that we would have a private place where we could settle in, a home, for the time that we are here.
Now however due to cost  and conflictive interests the upstairs is to be used as a separate studio, where the partners can come and stay until another structure is completed.
To be honest, I think that this is fair and right, they have all spent a lot of money and still have no place to stay when they come. What concerns us a bit is,
will this be a temporary situation or will we in effect be living in a hotel,
with people coming and going, while we feel much like guests.
As we see it, the solution would be to keep the upstairs as part of our home, with the understanding that until another structure is completed any partner is a welcome guest and will indeed have the upstairs for them when they visit. An outside entrance to the loft would be added,
60-70% of the space upstairs would be divided off as a guest room
with private bathroom to be available for the partners to use, yet still to remain part of the house.
With such a solution, the interest of the partners is accommodated,
(after all it is not often that they come down here) and our initial agreement honored.
We understand that no one owes us anything nor do we have the right to
ask for much, all we can do is pray that what turns out to be the best for everyone involved is for us to have a home, a place where our family can settle for the time being, and therefor do our very best work.



  1. I am really enjoying watching the progress on your land and home! I showed my boys the photos of your crocodile and they were very impressed. ;)

  2. A sense of home is so important when you have a family, isn't it? I know how unsettling it can be when you're not able to put down roots or really claim a space as your home. Here's hoping that everything works out with the partners and that you and your family can carve out the space and privacy you need to feel comfortable and productive. :)

  3. lots of progress! the kids look like they're growing up right along with it all. i hope everything works in your favor christina. money is important, but you guys are investing your family's lives together in the creation of this settlement. it sounds like you are communicating your needs and that is all you can do.

  4. Not knowing a thing really about how you have come to be there, I must track back through your blog a bit further then I have and discover more of your path to this spot. But, I really feel that what you are endeavoring to do is magical and and beautiful, but stressful to move your lives, your children, your home. I would only want a place to call home, to rest in at the end of the day, knowing my children are sleeping softly, a safe place, a space to be a family and handle all the natural ups and downs that come with that. Wishing you all you need to be settled and in a peaceful rhythm. xx E

  5. Ah, Christina - you have gotten so far ahead of me. I am busily trying to get a book ready for publishing, and having family events. I apologize for being so far behind. I am sorry for the subtle conflict going on. I feel your weariness. You can only do your best to take care of the family while you are fulfilling the things you were obligated to do - having other people in the mix of your work, even when they are the money source - complicates the logistics. But I feel that when people are not present when the work is being done, they need to understand that they have removed themselves from the immediacy of the situation - it's a choice we make when we invest from afar. We don't understand the needs of those who are on site. And to insist that those needs are secondary to our distant concepts -= not really either fair or practical.

    But what is and what should be are often two very different things. And in the end, money always speaks very loudly. I will say that I like the sound of your thinking - careful and thoughtful and not sliding into anger or free frustration. Hold on to that.


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