While I was in the midst of purging old letters and documents I had retained while working at the USDA-ARS Sugarcane Research Unit, I stumbled across this letter, dated November 19, 2009, apparently written to myself.
“In the field, we had one of those years where the cane fell down badly just as we were starting selection in early September. When the cane goes down, it takes approximately three times as long to slog through it, compared to standing cane; in down cane, selection effectiveness drops dramatically. And on top of this, outdoor temperatures and humidity made selection a most miserable experience for nearly two months solid. On several occasions while I was doing selection, I quit earlier than scheduled because I was getting dangerously close to heat exhaustion. I saw more water moccasins this year during selection than in any year previous to this one. So I have been thinking long and hard about early retirement...”
|Campground near Nickajack Lake|
|Grant and Becky Miller with Judy|
We visited two more times before purchasing a 1.4-acre parcel of land, and a investing in a modular home. A modular home seemed most logical to us. The price was reasonable. The home would be sturdy. And the delays normally associated with building a home from scratch would not apply. The home was installed on site in a single day with the help of a million-doller crane. We still needed to have a large porch built in the front and a carport in the rear of the house, which took six months, about five months longer than was projected. The timing of selling our home in Louisiana, and taking possession of our Tennessee home, was less than a week difference...talk about cutting it close!
What makes our intentional community work? We meet often. We do projects together on the weekends, and Village Family Forum activities on Mondays, which includes attending a monthly bee meeting in Winchester TN. And, we are quite flexible, so that our group activities and projects don't become burdensome.
|Work project at the Tew's - the shed|
|July 4th relaxation|