MIMIC THIS! When you get invited to events 3000 miles away (or 20 of them just across town), use COPY & PASTE with the really interesting events to seed your own community's plans for similar events. Why start from scratch.... Beg, borrow and mimic! More....
I am a bit of a Yankees fan deep in Red Sox territory, so I didn't let out too many whoops of joy last week. I have trouble enough. I thought of something that might help, and that's to form a neighborhood crime watch group. That way we get to know our neighbors before it gets too crazy.
We were up in the woods today adding taps. There was sun coming down out of a perfect blue sky, grey trunks of the maple trees, a little snow on the ground and nothing wrong with the world. That's why we do the maple sugaring.
There are a lot of things we can't control. I guess we just have to get used to that.
We have done all we can now.
God willing we will make it to spring when the sap runs again.
I'm going one step at a time as I immerse myself in our systems here again. I've been working way to hard and long at this computer over the past year and have lost touch a bit. Spent the entire day out in the woods to reconnect, assess what's happening along the property boundaries and unburying the pins from all the leaves. It was a most lovely day; sitting in the sunshine in the cave letting my brain wind down, letting my being remerge.
I checked the specific gravities in the big battery bank yesterday and found is/was out of kilter. I'm thankful to have a few days of sun before the clouds roll in again. I was almost able to reach the equilization stage but had to start the generator to get it over the hump. I'm getting ready to go check the gravities again before the sun's rays start dancing in the modules again. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that things have leveled out.
I broke my old garden rake working on my garlic bed yesterday; a repair is second on my list this morning. Then there's the bees. I checked in on them yesterday and things aren't looking so goo there either...lots of burr wax and I couldn't find the queen. I really don't want to lose the hive again this winter so it may be time to call in an old timer for guidance.
I heard a sad story the other day. Jay and Annie live about 2 hours from here in Muskingum County. They.ve created a place called Blue Rock Station. Jay ran for school board, was elected and the next morning they found one of their beloved goats shot with her ear cut off. My heart goes out to them, to you for having to take such measures to protect your sugar house. What's next, when here, what can be done?
The sheriff in our county started a few nieghborhood crime watch programs in some of our villages in the county. I think it has the potential to serve as a stepping stone toward transition initiatives. The program as it is is very problem oriented and seems to turn on triggers for paranoia and militia mentalities. I'm thinking to meet with the sherriff or the designated guy to find out more, thank them, introduce them to the transition approach and the security sector group idea. Please keep me in the loop regarding your efforts up there.
Good luck this winter and may the sap rise in the spring like never before.
Thanks Kathy. I was talking to some neighbors who live near the sugarhouse and they seemed to be amenable to the idea of a neighborhood watch kind of thing as well. It's only about 3 miles from town, so maybe a neighborhood watch could include our neighborhood and the sugarhouse area as well. More eyes and ears is better. I'll talk to the police next week and then float the idea to more of my neighbors. I think if we get a few people interested maybe we can form a group.
Sorry to hear about your friend on the school board. That's really creepy.
I have a friend who is a former teacher. She woke up in the middle of the night to find kids splashing gasoline on her house to burn it down. Scary!
It's wonderful to have glimpses of places different from my setting near Boston. Fortunately, I've lived in NH (.25 mile unpaved driveway) and VT (town with 1500 pop.) and can picture situations similar to yours.
I applaud the crime watch development step you've both mentioned. It's mainstream, yet aligned with Transition. Iver, I pray that the sugarhouse fortifications won't inspire more elaborate/intense efforts to discourage you from being a producer. An arms race dynamic is, sadly, a possibility.
I think you are right. I'm done playing defense now though. We have turned the other cheek a couple of times and now it's time to find who is messing with us and give them a little of what they gave us, legally.
They may be messing with other places in the area as well.
I was up there hunting yesterday and a neighbor from the area said that there is a group that's stealing car parts from a junkyard up near there also. They could be the same bunch.
If we get a group together it's going to be a good thing for the transition as well.
I think it's time to take our town back.
We may have worse troubles, but it's time to make a stand.
We'll win or we'll lose, but we'll see if it's possible to hold this place.
I was talking to Alistair Lough and he thinks we can form a transition movement combining some of the things we are talking about such as neighborhood watch, transformative justice and community building.
We'll see what happens, but I think it's a good way to go. We may be able to bring people on board through this and strengthen the community. It could be perfect timing.
I just went to a transition training in Boston. It was very inspiring. Now I'm back in Skowhegan. It is not far from the Boston area, but it's a different world. I think that places like ours, on the margins have a very different feel to them.
We are beginning to get started on a Transition group here in Skowhegan. It is around 8000 people, which is the same size as Totnes and other towns that have had groups.
Though of course i assume these are "valid, important and honest observations" they just don't correspond to mine at all.
It may have to do with my own "class" background, being of the "working" class, but i certainly don't feel any moral, ethical, etc divide between the classes. I have seen in our area certain types of "resistance" by the (working class) locals to all the newly arrived city folk, and I know city folks that view the locals as "predatory". In my personal experiences though, i find that everyone is certainly just as likely or not to engage in behavior that benefits the larger community, as opposed to their own narrow self interest. Selfishness certainly crosses all class lines. Also, in general, i find local people more likely to engage in informal cooperative relationships; bartering, lending, helping out etc than the newcomers.
And in the sad story about the sugar house that is being turned into a bunker; I wonder if the right strategy is not to hunker down, but to do the opposite and engage and invite the local community as much as possible? people are less likely to attack something they have or feel a stake in. just a thought.