Notes from Windward: #62

Joyce reflects ...

Summer lunch at the picnic table
Summer is always a busy time at Windward. There are people coming and going, visits from friends and relatives, and occasionally someone invited up for lunch, so we're never too sure how many people will be on site each day.

With the recent arrival of Sarah, we have 17 people living on site ranging in age from 10 to 84. That's the largest crew we've had at Windward for some time, and the dynamics involved create the need for change in several areas.

Organization is one. It's not too difficult to know who's working on which project, who's going to town and might be able to do some shopping, or who's not available due to a schedule, when you only have 10 or 12 people to consider. Everyone also feels like they have a general idea about everything that's going on in the community. When you're living with 17 people, it's a safe bet that you don't usually know everything that's going on.

There's also a change in how we maintain relationships, in that I'm feeling that I need to make a point of spending time with people because it doesn't just happen in the ordinary course of the day. I've found that taking a walk around the living area, dropping in and spending just 15 or 20 minutes with a few people is a great way to end the evening.

I think the kitchen is probably where the most change is felt with this increase in numbers. Shopping, cooking, lunch menus, scheduling cooks and helpers (while taking into account everyone's personal schedules), the number of dishes, utensils, etc., and even table space has to be considered.

The number of projects we're working on grows, too, but now we have more people to work on them, and that's a particularly good thing. We're getting closer to moving into the new dining hall, the gardens are coming on line more quickly, we have more people available to shepherd the sheep out to graze in the afternoons, and just about anything can be done more quickly.

We're seeing big changes and growth at Windward this year, both organizationally and on a personal level with just about everyone. Looking back on the ten years I've been at Windward, I'm especially looking forward to the changes that come with our increase in population.