Monday, August 14, 2006

Does everyone remember the very first time they were conscious of being part of a community?


Blogger Mikey Danger said...

When I was around 8 years old we got a new principal at my elementary school. The name escapes me but I was, as little kids usually are, intimidated by her. One afternoon she stopped me in the hallway, bent down so we were face to face, and asked me if my mother was the one with the brown VW Rabbit. I was taken aback and after my moment of nervous silence I responded with a firm “Yea.” She smiled, introduced herself, and told me that she lives in our neighborhood and has seen us around. From that moment on I stopped thinking of her just as my principal, but as my neighbor. The line between home and school suddenly blurred, and this was the first time I ever thought about community whether I was conscious of the word or not.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006 2:38:00 PM  
Blogger neoteric girl said...

I grew up in a Mennonite community so my earliest memories go very far back because community is so important to secluded, religious groups.
What I most remember from a very early age are the entire family reunions/bbqs. My dad had 12 brothers and sisters so I had a lot of cousins. Some of my cousins seemed like aunts and uncles to me because of the age spread between my dad and his siblings.
Every summer all of us would get together at one of the farmhouses and the men would start wood fires very early so that they could get the coals they wanted for grilling. They made bbq pits out of 50 gallon drums and roasted everything that they caught hunting or raised in the barn - beef, chicken, goat, deer, bear - you name it and I've eaten it.
Meanwhile in the large kitchens the women would finish their preparations of the salads, rolls and desserts. Mostly the work was done before they got to the farmhouse but there were always little things you had to do at the end. These women were wonderful cooks and I still love to cook in this tradition. My Mennonite cookbook has a recipe for a barn raising - now this is community!
Most of my uncles and cousins all knew how to play musical instruments - guitars, mandolins, fiddles, banjos, harmonicas - all coming out in hymns and bluegrass.
We kids had our adventures to work through while the folks prepared all of that wonderful food. Running around playing tag or hide n' go seek, my cousins felt like siblings and I had so many of them!
The best part of course was sitting down to eat. That's when I really felt community. Long tables covered in white butcher paper, paper plates, cups and all of those bowls of food and meat being passed around.
After the meal, the music would start again and the men played into the dark of night. Always we built a fire and made s'moors.
The end almost always meant falling asleep and somehow waking up the next day in my own bed.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007 1:42:00 PM  

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