I am a freelancer in the publishing industry, so words are very important to me. I'm a leftist living in a world gone mad, so politics are very important to me. I'm an environmentalist living in a degrading world, so pick up your damn trash, get rid of your gas guzzlers, and don't touch ANWR, you self-absorbed capitalists!

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21 March 2006

Dancing Rabbit Trip Recap, Updated with Photos

Note to self: When the blogger’s away, the commenters do play … in weird ways (I ask again, TOOD? And F.U.T.?).

Photos are at my new flickr site. I haven't quite figured it out. If you want to see the photos in the order I think is best, click on the Dancing Rabbit set. But if you do the slideshow, you miss all the comments I inserted to explain what you're seeing. Sigh.

The trip to Dancing Rabbit was great! Too short, as always. The community is really growing: There is a member family with three kids (ages 4, 7, and 9), one of the couples is expecting a child in the summer, and this year is going to be wedding-central (three weddings in the next nine months). It is expanding physically, too. While we were there we sat in on a meeting discussing the look for the upcoming town center, and a new neighborhood is opening up for construction of new warrens (that’s what they call plots of developed land).

We went just to visit with friends and take a bit of time off, but all four of us came back thinking seriously about Dancing Rabbit as a possibility for us. I admit, every time we return from a DR visit, we have a few days of yearning for it, but this time was different.

Yes, we are going through a frustrating time being yanked around on the tenure merry-go-round. But it isn’t like the Consort and I haven’t discussed this type of change before. There are real reasons that I wouldn’t want to move to a megalopolis like Boston, New York, or DC (we’re East-Coasters, so those are the three that come to mind). I feel alienated enough from nature here in a midwestern city. We’ve been drifting from the consumer culture for years (and those of us who know us, realize that). I’m just not cut out for chi-chi clothing, sparkly baubles and the latest makeup, fancy new cars, climbing the corporate ladder, training my kids to compete in the private school / country club league, and so on.

There are several issues that we would have to work out first: Education for the girls (our current city has a fantastic program for accelerated kids, but if we had to move, would we find something comparable somewhere else anyway?) Saving for college for the girls (one perk about academia is that there is typically a consortium deal with other institutions so that professors’ kids can go at a reduced rate [And let me tell you, profs need that because it isn’t like they make more than interns do in corporate jobs. I’m serious here.]). Saving for retirement for the Consort and I (Right now we are contributing to the Consort’s 401k, with matching funds from the University. Because of the low income levels I talked about above, we really haven’t been able to do anything else for me [other that Social Security, which will be all cleaned out by the time I am ready to retire, anyway], although it’s always on the to-do list.). Medical care for all of us (How I wish the U.S. was a civilized society where health care coverage wasn’t dependent on working for The Man a structured business!).

Those are the drawbacks (which I don’t see as insurmountable). The pros are: Living our beliefs (earth stewardship, sustainability), focusing on what’s important to us (family), and community, community, community. When was the last time you (the general “you”) were able to squeeze in a game night with friends? Or had a project to finish and had folks just show up to help? Visited with a neighbor? Cooked with people you like to hang out with? Harvested, canned, and dried (with help from friends) the food from your garden, which would take you through the winter? Participated in a sewing circle, a knitting round, a crochet square (I’m getting silly here)? Watched a movie with friends, had an evening of fiddle-playing and dancing, sang around a bonfire, cooled off in a pond? These things all happen on a regular basis at DR, and these are all things that appeal to us four.

I took some pictures (but because it is me, there aren’t tons of them). I will post an update later today when I get them up.

So, how was your weekend?