Twas the day before Thanksgiving and all the misgivings about the holiday had already been hashed out.
Sal and Dan had made up (yet again), Zelda and Angel had made up, and Mo had made up with three different people.
In the kitchen, the cooking was going full steam. Nancy, Candy, and Zelda were doing double duty, making all the desserts they could to keep the baked goods stand running and trying to sneak in occasional breads and pastries for the commune’s feast on the morrow. Darren was busy turning out trays of rolls, rolls, and more rolls.
“Oops,” said Candy. “I dropped that.”
“No problem,” said Zelda. “We can have it with dinner tonight.”
“But it was on the floor,” Candy said.
“We’ll let people know,” Zelda said. “There will be people who will eat it anyway. I will, for sure.”
“Excuse me,” said Darren, maneuvering a tray through the chaos of the kitchen.
“So, how many people are we expecting tomorrow?” Zelda asked.
“Last I heard it was something like thirty,” Nancy said.
“Where are we going to put them all?” asked Candy. “I don’t think we have a room that can accommodate that many people.”
“The construction crew is putting up a huge canopy and tent,” Nancy said. “Fortunately, the weather tomorrow is supposed to be very mild.”
“The benefits of global warming,” said Darren as he passed through with yet another tray of rolls.
The crowd was well over thirty people, including Luna’s family, some of Dan’s family (down from Canada), Ed and Ralph and their friend Bruce, Peter and George and Fred and their friend Wendy, Amanda and Steve and Edgar and Ken's mother and Cat's mother and Paul G’s mother and Candy’s whole family, and almost all of the old Trollwork team, including Roly-poly and Thistle and The Troll. Purslane sent well wishes but was off on a secret rendezvous. Zelda’s husband, Theo, came and with him came her grandson, Alvin. Even Dazzle made it.
“I got it all straightened out,” he said. “Finally! I think I’m back here for good.” Dazzle got big hugs from his co-workers, Sal and Sally.
And, yes, Stan showed up.
“I’m just here for dinner!” he said. “I’m leaving tonight! Really!”
The tables were overflowing with food. Zucchini seemed to be the theme of the day: roasted zucchini, fried zucchini, stuffed zucchini, zucchini bread, zucchini pie, zucchini cake, and zucchini rolls. There had been an overabundance of zucchini on the farm this year and the commune was making the most of it. There was even a giant mock pheasant centerpiece made entirely out of zucchini.
Once everyone had been eating for a while, commune members (and occasional guests) took turns saying what they were grateful for. It took quite a while. Finally, when everyone else who wanted to speak had gotten a chance, Luna stood up.
“Wow,” she said. “Wow, wow, wow. I’m so grateful. I’m grateful for all of you and this commune and this wonderful life we have built together. I’m grateful for my family, for raising me right and for being here tonight. I’m grateful to Ralph and Ed, who helped me buy this place, and to Dan and Sal and Nancy and Cat and even Stan who helped me start this place and start us farming.
“And now look at us. We’ve got lots of folks and we’re going strong and you can see for yourself all the friends we have. I’m so grateful for all of you.”
She held back the tears and threw up her hands and said, “I love you all!”
And the whole group burst into applause. And at the very back of the tent, clapping and cheering with everyone, was Alec and Hillary Reagon.
Yes. I’m ending it there.
Like Luna, I want to give my thanks.
First of all, to all my readers. Even if you’ve only read a few of the chapters, but especially if you made it all the way through the story.
I want to especially thank Matt S and Keith W who have encouraged me through this process.
If you want to read more of my (nonfiction) writings, I also blog at MoonRaven’s Social Alchemy Blog. I haven’t posted anything there for a while but, now that I won’t be working on this blog, I should have time for putting more posts there.
And, if you are interested in learning about real life communes, I recommend checking out Commune Life. (Full disclosure: I manage this blog and occasionally write on it.)
And once again, thank you.