With apologies to the Beatles, the Federation of Egalitarian Communities, and the state of Vermont.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Chapter Seventy-Nine: Planning…

“I heard there was a new guy here,” Lois said.

“Yeah,” Sowbug said.  “I think his name is Birch.”

“That’s right,” Mo said.  “I’m pretty sure he’s one of the guys who showed up for our New Year celebration.”

“I think he used to live here last spring,” Dandelion said.  “I heard his mother dragged him off because she didn’t like the place.”

“Well, he got the last open room,” Lois said.  “Don’t you think it’s time we started working on a new place?”

“And where are we going to put it?” asked Mo.  “The farm is still covered in snow.  We can’t really work on any new construction until the snow’s gone.”

“Yeah,” said Sorrel, “but I don’t think the snow is here for much longer.  It’s almost April and it hasn’t snowed in at least three days.  I think at least a little of it is melting away.”

“I was talking with Sal,” Earthworm said.  “She thinks we should start planning some new construction now so that we’re ready to go when the snow’s gone.”

“And another thing we should do is to start stockpiling building materials,” said Sowbug.  “Then we’ll really be ready to roll.”

“Actually,” Dandelion said, “the first thing that we need to do is meet with Sal and Dan.  Let’s all get together and figure this whole thing out.”

“Okay,” Lois said.  “I can talk with them today.  Should we meet together tomorrow?”

“Absolutely,” Sowbug said.  “Let’s meet tomorrow.  Meanwhile, we still have all this repair work to do.  Apparently the flooring under the stove in the kitchen is giving way.  Who wants to work with me on that?”


Sal stood over a large map of the commune’s land.  “You’re absolutely right,” she said.  “If we’re going to grow as a community, we’re going to need more houses.  The question is where to put them.”

“The problem is,” Dan said, waving a long stick around the map, “there’s not a lot of places to put them.  We want a bunch of the land for farming, we want to leave some of it as woods, and a lot of our land is hillside that would be crazy hard to build on.”

Sal grabbed the stick from Dan and pointed it at a part of the property past the hills and near a brook.  “As far as I can see, this is the only place left that we can build on.”

“But that’s really far from the other buildings,” Sowbug said.

“Yeah,” said Sorrel.  “We might as well name it Siberia House.”

“Well,” said Dan, grabbing the stick back from Sal, “maybe we will name it Siberia House.  But do you see anywhere else we can do any real building?”

Mo grabbed the stick from Dan and pointed it at the far field.  “When a bunch of us had gotten together, we had been looking at trying to build in this area.”

Sal shrugged.  “I think that land has already been claimed.  I know that Luna and Viv want part of it for expanding the farming area and the rest of it is what we plan use for events.  We want to be able to have concerts and outdoor parties.  Do you want to have a place where we won’t be able to have concerts?”

“I want to have concerts,” said Earthworm, “but maybe we could have our concerts way over there and build a couple of houses in that field.  And then anyone who wanted to sleep wouldn’t even hear the noise from the concerts.”

While Mo was studying the two places on the map, Dan snatched the stick back again.  “The biggest problem with that is that the far area is very close to our neighbor’s property.  The last thing we want is for our neighbors to complain about our concerts.”

Sowbug sighed.  “I guess you’re right.  But I wouldn’t want to be one of the folks who had to live there.”

“Why not?” Sal asked.  “Think of the great exercise you’d get every day just to come over here and be part of the work and meals.”

Lois looked at her for a moment.  “I don’t think I’ve heard anyone here complain about not getting enough exercise,” she said.

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