Saturday, March 27, 2010

Another weekend to practice with a short to-do list. My husband is out of town, so I have the whole time to experiment. I'm reading "Superbia", a book about creating sustainable neighborhoods. I was led to this book by an initial interest in cohousing, which I'm still exploring. We love our house and our neighborhood, so the idea of moving away from it is a ways off. We hope to be able to age in place; we have eight grown children between us, and our hope is that one of them will decide to live in the main part of the house with their family and care for their elderly folks who live downstairs. Then, after we're gone, they can have the house. We haven't suggested it to any of them yet, though!

I slept until 8 this morning and was awakened by a knock at the door - our friend Leslie picking up a turkey for a dinner tonight that my husband Art would have cooked for the event if he'd been in town. We sat at my table chatting for a few minutes. She left, and ten minutes later there was another knock - my next door neighbor Jennie, to tell me she'd be feeding Bud, our pig, this weekend. That's a task I'd rather outsource when Art is gone, so I was glad to hear it. We talked at the same table for half an hour. When she left I got ready for my long walk, thinking how grateful I am for knocks at the door. And was reminded, again, about community and how we, as humans, tend to thrive when we have a supportive one.

I put "Superbia" in my backpack and walked to our local cafe for my usual Saturday breakfast. Chatted with the owner, Voula, and the server, Florence, and read a few pages of my book. Walked back toward home and stopped to talk with a morning gardener. Continued on to city hall to read the community bulletin board. They need volunteers for the Library Board - contact the mayor if interested. I love to read, but I'd rather serve on the city planning board, I think. This "Superbia" is reminding me of how nurturing a community can be - with community gardens, shared resources and neighborhood gatherings - and how the suburbs aren't like that, mostly, but can become so.

I sat at a picnic table in the city park and read two more pages before I saw a woman walking three brison frises. We discussed the dogs, how she acquired them (rescue/adoption), whether they're okay for people with allergies (they are, for her at least), their temperament (laid back), what they were originally bred for (lap dogs, and for picking fleas off royalty). I told her my last day of work is June 25; she said she has about five more years and envies me. After she left, I read three more pages and then walked through two neighborhoods, picked up a 16-ounce quad decaf iced mocha with whipped cream, and came home through our little town's forested park, City Light Woods. My pedometer says I walked 8478 steps - a little more than three miles. It's 1:30 p.m., I have the whole rest of the day by myself, and I'm loving it.

I'm practicing, remember, for when I'm not working.


Teresa Evangeline said...

What a wonderful day you had! I haven't read "Suburbia," but I've watched a documentary called "Escape From Suburbia," from the same folks and I liked what it discussed about community. I think creating communities wherever we are could become essential to our future. Co-housing is a great idea. More people are doing this, especially to help in retirement years or economic downturns. Nice post!

Linda Granholm Myers said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
CherylK said...

Hi there...I found you through Teresa Evangeline's blog. I think creating sustainable neighborhoods is a great idea. I know that more and more families are opting to live together...young and old alike. Will have to pick up that book. (And a pedometer, as well!)