Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The First Week

We've somewhat settled in the "woofer's quarters" as Tom calls it. A huge open room sectioned off by book shelves. We sleep on a waterbed(!) and have our own living room area including a fireplace. It does get cold at night. And today has been particularly frosty.

We eat so well, it doesn't feel like it's unpaid work. Vegetable curry last night, pot roast the night before. All kinds of snacks. A well stocked beer fridge, liquor cabinet and wine shelf. Hot, strong coffee in the morning and whatever we want for breakfast. Then leftovers for lunch.

It's been a week of mostly pruning for me. Rose bushes, pear trees, almond trees, a pomegranate bush and wine grapes. Jay's been doing different stuff. Chopping firewood, landscaping, hauling rocks and pruning with me. Four hours or so a day and then we are free to do whatever. I've been reading a lot. Two books currently: In Defense of Food by Micheal Pollan and Desert Solitaire by Edward Abbey. Jay read an Agatha Christie book in a day. I've also been experimenting with knitting (I keep pulling the stitches off to start over) and teaching myself to crochet. It's not as easy as I'd hoped... I've been trying to play guitar a little bit everyday to build up some calouses. I surprised myself by remembering most of what I'd learned before we left. I also want to do some still life watercolour painting. There is a lot of gorgeous landscape all around.

Oh, Nicky's barking. (The sweethearted, dumb-as-all-hell Golden Retriever.) That must mean Jay's back from his bike ride. Or she overheard the highway.

All in all, I feel incredibly lucky. Tom is a gracious and totally cool host with tonnes of stories to tell and really up to date ideas about the world. We listen to Democracy Now every morning and watch John Stewart at night. The work is easy and there are new things to learn everyday. More or less. Even though this wonderful place is more of a retirement scheme than a functioning farm there are still opportunities everywhere. To learn from a unique community. To see and experience life off-the-grid (almost totally). To relax and hang out with a cool, old dude.

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