I’ve spent the afternoon responding to emails from people who want more information about the community. Lots of people ask specific questions — this person just asked generally, “what’s life like at Twin Oaks?”. I often respond briefly to questions like that, but today I felt like writing a bit more. And once I was done, it seemed like something to share here. Enjoy…

You wrote to me awhile ago asking what life here is like. Well, today it’s beautiful! We’ve had a few warm days in a row, and people are weaving hammocks outside in the sun, and playing with kids in the grass… I spent the morning hanging out with a friend up on one of our further out cow pastures. We made pancakes for breakfast and had a picnic all morning. Then we jumped in the pond — which is still FREEZING COLD, but refreshing nonetheless.

Life here is different for each person, obviously. I like to work in chunks — long days of 9 or 10 hours of work, and then short days where I only work a few hours. People here tend to do lots of different jobs throughout the course of the day, so someone might weave hammocks for an hour or two, then have a garden shift in the afternoon, than do childcare for a few hours before dinner. Today I’ve spent most of the afternoon on the computer, catching up with my email before I leave on a trip. I’ve accumulated a “vacation balance” of labor credits by working overquota a lot, so I’m taking a week off to go visit my family.

We eat food that we’ve grown in our garden, and we buy things like rice and sugar and pasta and chocolate. We have conventional washing machines, and most people dry their laundry on clotheslines (I can see them out the window right now). Each person has their own bedroom, and anywhere between 10 and 17 people share a residence (we have 8 residence buildings right now). There’s usually a hackey sack circle after lunch and dinner when the weather is nice, and there’s a group of folks who play Scrabble every week. There are 3 movies shown every weekend, and we don’t have network television at all. We have abundant fruit trees in the spring and early summer… plums, apples, mulberries, paupaws. The kids walk around with their faces smeared with purple mulberry juice. The father of one of our blonde toddlers dyed his hair purple with mulberries last year.

People here tend to be highly opinionated, and we have raging debates about seemingly small issues. Life here can be stressful, and exciting, and frustrating, and extraordinary. Winters are hard, summers are fun. There are times when there’s a lot of conflict, and times when things are running smoothly. It’s not Utopia, and I love the life I have here.

in revolution and joy,
tickled spirit

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