Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A Day at the Fair — Jeffrey Mabee

Judith and I went to the Common Ground Fair on Friday this year. It was a cold, cloudy damp day, an amazing contrast to the next day which was sunny and hot. I love the cool, wet days. It reminds me of fishing in Alaska. Anyway, I love the sheepdog trials and made a beeline there while Judith wandered over to the Energy and Shelter area. It is a marvel to watch these dogs and their handlers. I wondered if we should have one at cohousing to make sure the children don’t wander off! After the show I met up with Judith, and as we strolled through the energy displays, I was delighted to find that I felt free of the need to figure out what systems we would be using in our future home. I felt grateful that so many intelligent and thoughtful decisions had already been made on our behalf and that we can look forward to being cozy, warm and energy efficient without making another decision! We will not have to cut down another tree or burn another gallon of oil if we are judicious in our use of electricity. We don’t need to decide what kind of construction we want, what roof type, what kind of windows and doors, what type of insulation etc. What freedom!

From the vast array of lunch possibilities, we chose a veggie wrap and sat down at a picnic table. A couple from Rockport, MA came along and sat with us and we immediately started a conversation about cohousing (perhaps because of my tee-shirt). They were very interested in our project. We talked them into checking out Belfast before returning home. We love Belfast and it is easy for us to be enthusiastic about it. Then another couple sat down with us. They were from Martha’s Vineyard and had been receiving our newsletter for some time. We had many things in common and I could see how well they would fit into cohousing. It was a good example of how we never know where we might bump into a stranger who will become a future neighbor. And that’s a reason to wear your t-shirt and carry BC&E cards and brochures wherever you go!

It was a good day at the fair. I went there thinking this could be the last time we need to do our booth. I left the fair thinking we would always have a presence there and that there will always be people interested in our way of life. We might even need our own tent considering all the exciting projects we will want to share with these thousands of like-minded people at the fair!

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