Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Gardens, Coops, and Co-ops

Good Morning to all!

It's the height of summer and the sky is low and gray in Seattle. Verdict: I love it. It's a good day for working! I've been in Seattle just long enough, perhaps, to have gotten used to the sun stopping by only for brief visits before moving on; come summer time, it easily begins to overstay its welcome. This is especially true as I've recently taken up the hobby of gardening and now spend a lot of time outside, working, rather than at the lake, swimming.

In addition to gardening, which I will ramble about plenty in upcoming posts, I am building a chicken coop, and that is the project of the day (and the last several weeks). The chicks are currently incubating at a friend's house in Snohomish and will be here soon, which puts me in a bit of a time crunch. I am building the coop out of cedar decking boards recycled from an old deck we tore off last spring, which is all very good and sustainable of us but certainly makes the project more time-consuming. I'm using the planks for siding, which is a lot of measuring and cutting and nailing and screwing--oh for broad sheets of seamless plywood!

It's been a long process, and I have concerns: Will it be too drafty? Will it sink because I didn't use sand under its cinder block supports? Was the greenhouse roof--clear, corrugated plastic--a really, really stupid idea? I have (since buiding it) read that chickens can take the cold, but they don't like the damp. Doh! I imagine the condensation from three chickens and a heat lamp gathering on the underside of that transparent roof and dripping all winter long. Drip, drip, drip... And in the summer: too hot.

Oh well. These days I'm all about learning by doing. I have a historical propensity to plot, plan, research, and day-dream (and, er, write) much more than actually DO. So, the mission: Do. Many mistakes will be made.

I may not be giving myself enough credit--I have, indeed, accomplished a good bit in my time, and my travels alone often leave others with the impression that somehow they haven't gotten around to accomplishing much in their lives. But they are wrong. For the traveler washed ashore, it is clear that living in one place, even doing one thing (e.g. having a vocation) is hard work.

This is the story of my landing in Seattle. Following a long phase of world-traveling and working adventurous jobs that have allowed me a fair degree of transience, I have decided that the next big adventure is settling down. If not for good, then for a while.

Why Seattle?

Reason #1: My brother lives here, with my wonderful sister-in-law and my new, spectacular niece.

Reason #2: We have convinced my father and stepmother to move up here. They now own 10 acres in Kingston, on the peninsula, which will, I'm sure, feature in this blog.

Reason #3: Seattle is a cool city (cool as in rad, though it is also cool as in cool), and if the intention is to put down roots, one needs to choose a place.

The things that occupy me here, and which I intend chronicle:

1) Gardening, edible and ornamental.
2) Chickens. I guess.
3) Community. This includes family and the community at large, but also includes my house. I live in a co-op.
4) Work. I am a social worker, and work with at-risk youth.
5) Spirituality. No, I don't know what this means, either, but I'm pretty sure it's important, and I think about it a lot.
6) Many random thoughts, including musings on art, the creative process, the inter-connectedness of things, where the world is headed, how it might be headed there, and a bit of critical analysis and societal deconstruction which may bare the imprint of my heady college days.

I am publishing this because I believe these are things that occupy other people, too. I do not pretend to be any sort of an expert. This is a peer-to-peer journal. A good excuse to sit around and write.


Hi ho,
hi ho,
it's off to work I go!


shalene said...

can i see a picture of these so-called chickens? I heard they like swings. and i heard one of them wants to change it's name to little black and whitey. also, nice use of "twining"

d.edlen said...

glad you've decided to journal your settling down! i'm finding it very rewarding even if nobody reads it, and even better if people respond.

i've kinda liked facebook getting people at least aware of the other's existence, but i think it'll take things like blogs to really reconnect. i hope so anyway.