Notes from Windward:

Snow, ice and cold outside;
snug and warm inside.

Year 8Number 3February 1996

CINDY: A lot has happened over the last month or so. For one, we're finally having winter. As I sit here there's about two feet of snow on the ground, and we're supposed to get more. Some of the snow has actually been melting on days when the sun comes out and warms things up. The only bad thing is that when it freezes again at night the path gets very slippery. We all have to be very cautious walking up and down the hill.

This is actually our third snow this winter. Our first snow (only an inch or so) came in the middle of December, well before the big ice storm. The snow wasn't a problem, but the rain and freezing rain that followed it was.

The freezing rain turned the layer of snow on top of the barn into a heavy solid sheet of ice which became so heavy it collapsed the arched roof. We had thought the ice would have ripped the plastic, but in most places the plastic was strong, and it didn't break through. We had just stretched a tarp over the middle section where there were a few holes, so even that section held. We were planning on replacing the plastic this year anyway; now that's no longer optional.

The barn roof collapses under the
weight of snow, rain and ice.

The barn roof collapses under the weight of snow, rain and ice.
Bob2 spent days jacking up and putting supports under the arches. During that time, it continued to rain and we spent days catching rain and melting ice in barrels under the rips that had developed in the plastic. Bob kept at it, knowing that the next storm which could come any day. We finally got all the snow, ice, and water completely off the plastic, and Bob got the arches mostly raised and supported. The result was a bit bent and shaken, but we were all impressed by the job Bob did in repairing the damage.

The Windward Foundation is a non-profit corporation of the State of Washington. Windward is an equal opportunity organization which does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, age, religion, or national origin. Opinions expressed herein are solely those of the authors.

The Windward SIG is a special interest group of American Mensa Ltd. comprised of members and friends of The Windward Foundation. Opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and not of Mensa, which holds no opinions.

Reader's questions and comments are invited.

Permission to publish is assumed unless expressly withheld.

Copyright 1996 by The Windward Foundation Press. Other publications may reprint any portion provided credit is given, and a copy of the reprint is sent to the Editor.

55 Windward Lane
Klickitat, WA 98628-9710
(509) 369-2000
JOYCE: Our facilities are so much better this winter than a few years ago, that it's good to remember all we've accomplished. Three years ago, installation of the water lines hadn't been completed and we managed pretty well without running water. Walt and Bob2 hauled water every week, from several miles away, for the animals; we hauled water from the small, original well for the kitchen and personal use. Since then, not only do we have a full compliment of underground water lines, but our second well in on line and we have two storage tanks; one 5,000 gallons and the other 800. We've also purchased a 1,300 gallon tank that will become an underground tank for winter use.

We were still using a large army tent as a barn, and have since built a 18x40 greenhouse which is being used as a barn. We were also using one of the smaller trailers as a kitchen. In fact, in the four years I've been here, we've moved the kitchen three times, each time to a bigger and better facility. At this writing, we even have two side-by- side stainless-steel ovens on line (for lots of baking!). By this summer, we plan to have the deck on Charlie finished which will allow us to seat twelve at a time comfortably. Last year, we decided to delay work on the large dining hall in favor of other projects, but we're still acquiring needed equipment such as the commercial dish washing machine. Making the step to a fully commercial kitchen is a big one, but it will also mark a real point of progress.

The last two years we've been working on the garage, with its three 10x20 bays and two full stories. The roof is on and two of the bays now have cement floors. 1996 should see it walled in and online.

We've refurbished three trailers, purchased four storage units, two of which have extensive shelving, and added lots of tools, equipment, and several vehicles. The garden has been extended, and there's talk of adding a second garden area this spring. We were lucky to have a large trailer donated to us last year that will become Cindy and Tamara's new home, in addition to having a "pop-out" room large enough (20x18) to be used for classes or as a craft center.

There are always projects that don't get finished when we'd like, and although we have a long way to go, we've accomplished a lot. The winter is a good time to reflect and plan for the work ahead.

WALT: Some things are different at Windward, and some things are no different here than anywhere else. You could look at Windward as an experiment in cultural anthropology, which is fair enough since life out there looks that way to us. The important difference is that in this experiment, the "mice" are busily remodeling the maze to suit them better. The tricky part with doing that is that the way we think things work may or may not have a functional correlation with how things really work. Remodeling a house is a risky business if you don't know the difference between load-bearing and non-loadbearing walls; knock out the wrong wall, and the roof can come down on your head with the first heavy snowfall.

We all live in a social structure of one sort or another, and it's hard to say which "walls" bear the load and which don't. Some of the cultural "walls" surrounding us aren't needed any more, while others are as critical as ever, and it's very hard to know which is which. That's one reason why we put a good deal of effort into examining the history and theory of personal and social interaction. It isn't a matter of whether or not we want to participate in this process of social reformation; we live in a time of change, in an age when the nature of change itself has changed. Our choice is only whether or not we want to be a conscious part of the transformational process. All of us everywhere are being swept along at an ever quickening pace, like a group of people rafting a wild river. We can choose to cower in the bottom of the boat, or we can grab an oar and help guide our craft around the rocks, but either way we're all caught in white water for sure.

One reason people come to Windward involves a vague sense that something is missing in their lives, and a part of that has to do with the lack of relevant rites-of-passage. These rituals once served to convey an individual through the psychological and cultural barrier which separates the adolescent from adulthood. One of the profound changes that our society has undergone involves the almost total loss of these rites. While it's easy enough to say that these rites serve no real purpose, that they don't really change anything, that isn't how it works on either the emotional or the social level.

"Oh, you need that rite of passage
before you can continue on,
that brace of understanding
you can lean your dreams upon.

You may want for children,
you may crave for man and wife,
but you need that rite of passage
to the summer of your life."

- Doogie McLure

One of the currently popular "rites of passage" for adolescents is the Ropes Course, a program which utilizes "a series of ropes, cables, trees and poles structured into elements which require a combination of balance, agility, coordination and cooperation" [Dr. James Banning]. Ropes Courses rely on seven elements known as the Blocher Model: involvement, challenge, support, structure, feedback, application and integration. Ropes Courses work because they create a context within which substantial personal growth can occur.

This is relevant to us because Windward also has to address the degree to which we establish those conditions. People come to Windward for a variety of reasons, but mostly because they were unsatisfied with where they were. If we are going to be able to offer them an effective and authentic passage from where they are to where they want to go, then we have to establish those seven conditions. While the successful creation of a viable context for change isn't enough in and of itself, it's as far as we're willing to go.

My goal is to see that Windward is effective at enabling people to achieve their fullest potential, and that this process comes about in a way that is uplifting and empowering. That's a large order to deliver on, and we spend a good deal of organizational effort figuring out how to best go about doing this. People come here because they want change, and it's our challenge as an organization to find ways that we can assist them in their personal quest for some- thing better; a challenge which requires us to continue to evolve as well.

IAN: Tat and I have been busy in the kitchen lately, cooking and baking lots of stuff. Tat will tell you about the baking part of it. As for the cooking part, here's our menu for the first week of January, '96. Jan 1: London Broil, Green Beans Almandine, Baked Potatoes, Sauteed Mushrooms & Mushroom Gravy, Deviled Eggs, Lettuce & Tomatoes, Garlic Bread, and my Home-brewed Sodas. Desserts were leftover goodies from New-Year's Eve - Brownies, Fudge, and assorted kinds of Cookies.

Jan 2: Steak Sandwiches (from the leftover London Broil), Jo-Jo's (aka Steak Fries), and Baked Beans.

Jan 3: Reuben Sandwiches with chips & pickles.

Jan 4: Turkey Tetrazini (chunks of turkey in a mix with spaghetti, mushroom soup, cheese and broccoli), Garlic Bread and Peanut Butter Cookies.

Jan 5: Hamburger Casserole, Fruit Cocktail.

Jan 6: Quiche, Waldorf Salad, Buttermilk Biscuits.

Jan 7: Leftovers!

Tamard and Joyce come out to enjoy the first heavy snowfall of the season.

Tamara and Joyce come out to enjoy the first heavy snowfall of the season.

WALT: Winter is Windward's quiet time. With the rain, mud, sleet and snow, we don't get many visitors, and after the relatively hectic pace of spring, summer and fall, by Thanksgiving everyone is looking forward to the tranquility of the winter season. Many tell us that our rolling hills are beautiful when the leaves are green and wildflowers carpet the ground, and while that's true enough, there's also a special beauty only seen during those months when Windward is lost in the clouds.

That beauty really struck me this morning as I started to head down the grade toward the river. Windward is 1,200 feet above the Klickitat River and there's a point where the view is breathtaking. The prevailing westerlies bring warm rain in from the Pacific, but during the winter it alternates with the cold, arctic eastern wind. This cyclical pattern creates many unusual weather effects, one of which is a thick fog that can settle in here for much of December. Then, once that weather system breaks up, the Chinook winds return with their combination of warm rains and dazzlingly blue skies. While the hills warm up quick enough, the deep river canyon remains cold and frozen, and lost in a thick cloud of fog.

This morning, as I started down the grade, lying some six hundred feet below was a thick cloud completely obscuring the course of the river. Those driving along the river would have thought of it as fog, but from my vantage point high above it, it looked more like a long, serpentine cloud. The contrast between the deep blue of the sky and that dark, foreboding cloud was striking, and so I pulled over to take a few minutes to savor the beauty of it.

Down there, skimming right above the clouds, a lone eagle made its way along the canyon edge; I was very touched by the quiet beauty of the scene. After a few minutes, I got back in the truck to resume my journey. As I wound my way down the grade and into that cloud, I could still see, in my mind's eye, that majestic bird slowly circling above me. I really like living in a place where eagles go about their business while I go about mine.

IAN: I'm currently reading a book on baking home-made bread, and I plan on making some in the near future - more on that in the next issue. Since it's been cold lately, I haven't been doing any brewing, but as soon as the weather warms up, I'll resume production of mead and sodas. I sent several bottles of mead, wine and soda to my Dad and Sister for Christmas. While the mead and wine traveled to the East Coast intact, 5 of the sodas exploded in transit! (EYUCHHH, such a mess!) SO... I've got to come up with a way to STOP sodas from fermenting in the bottle indefinitely. I'm going to try pasteurizing a batch and see what that does.

Pasteurizing involves letting the sodas ferment in the bottle for a week or two, then placing the bottles in a pot of water, heating it gradually to 140 degrees, holding it for at least 15 minutes, and allowing them to cool slowly. Hopefully, this will kill the yeast, without affecting the flavor or fizz of the sodas. We'll see!

A large boom truck swings another septic tank into place. This one's for

A large boom truck swings another septic tank into place. This one's for "Finney" trailer which will serve as our classroom and teaching kitchen.

CINDY: A few days after Christmas, the snow started falling again. It came down all afternoon and on into the night. We worked on and off during the day pushing the snow off the plastic to keep it from building up and collapsing the barn roof again. David, one of our holiday guests, helped Bob work through the night to continue pushing the snow off the plastic. When I came down to feed the goats Friday morning, there was a note from Bob letting me know he had worked until about 4:30 a.m. to get the structure reinforced and push the snow away. I was thankful to have Heather J's help feeding and getting water to the goats as well as her help bottle feeding the kids.

So here we are with our third snow of the winter that started off with about six inches a week ago Thursday. By Friday morning we had at least a foot, but this time, the snow triggered a completely different set of problems.

Thursday evening we had our first winter power outage. Normally, this would be no big deal. With a propane heater and lots of blankets on the bed, staying warm is no problem and we had flashlights so we could see to get around. The real "problem" was that we were watching the movie Outbreak on video, and the power went out just about five minutes before the movie ended. Just at the most suspenseful part, off goes the power. Drat!

When we woke up at 6:00 a.m. Friday morning, we still had no electricity and no phone, i.e. no way to find out if school had been canceled. I opened the door, saw a foot of snow on the ground, and told Tamara not to worry about getting up because she wasn't going to school that day. The power came back on between 10:30 and 11:00 a.m., and shortly afterwards, the phones were working too.

I was still curious whether or not school had actually been canceled so I called the school. There was a message on the answering machine that the homecoming game was canceled because chains were required between Klickitat and Yakima. If there was a question about anything else, the answer was to call back on Monday. At least they had the priorities straight.

JOYCE: I learned to sew when I was a child and have fond memories of both my grandmother and mother teaching me to knit, crochet, embroider and sew clothing. My first stab at design was in seventh grade when I made two skirt-and-blouse outfits, choosing both the patterns and fabric. I continued making clothing and household items for years, but eventually I turned my attention to other endeavors.

Windward has provided new avenues for my interest in needlework and fiber arts, mainly because of our involvement in the Society for Creative Anachronism. We needed costumes, so I started sewing. I didn't have patterns, so I designed my own. At first, that was a simple matter because twelfth century peasant folk wore variations of the T-tunic. Embellishment caught my interest and I started embroidering hems and cuffs. Then I researched period designs and generated my own design based on what was actually produced during the 12th and 13th centuries. I generally embroider strips of fabric, much like the trim you would buy in a store, so it's a simple matter to carry my work around with me. In the days when women hand spun wool, they carried a drop spindle and bits of scoured fleece with them all the time--so I'm simply adopting a very old concept.

I'm designing more than just clothing these day and quite enjoying the process. We'll be having our annual Wool Fest event April 6-7, when we invite people up to watch the sheep being shorn and take the fleece through scouring, picking, carding, dying, and making felt or spinning, both by drop spindle or wheel.

Washington State University's Extension Office in Goldendale is offering Master Knitting and Crocheting classes, much like their series on Food Preservation and Life Skills. I'm looking forward to learning advanced knitting techniques such as designing my own patterns. If time allows, I may try my hand at the advanced crocheting classes, too. Al- though it's easy to point out the shortcomings to living in a rural area, there's also lots of good things about the country, too. Time is one of them--the options on how to spend it are endless.

CINDY: December 21, 1995: This the 11th day in a row of kidding. About two-thirds of the herd have already had their babies in less than two weeks. At this point we've had 39 kids born, some of which were stillborn or died shortly after birth. It isn't really unusual to have a percentage of kids die, especially since this isn't really the season for birthing.

Today we also had 3 lambs born. The sheep are usually earlier than the goats but not this year. Although the sheep are still ahead of schedule. We usually don't get births until January. This year both sheep and goats held an early breeding season.

The Klickitat River washes out the road into town.

The Klickitat River washes out the road into town
WALT: Windward is about community, and while that's especially true of life within Windward, it's also important to remember that Windward is part of a larger community. Klickitat is a small county, and as such, it affords us a number of remarkable opportunities for civic participation. Any intentional community is at risk of what we call "closing the circle" or becoming so internally focused that you lose track of your role in the larger world. One way we strive to avoid that is by seeking out ways that we can be of service. One sign that Windward is achieving its goal of becoming part of the larger community is that we've reached the point where more opportunities seek us out than we have resources to support.

Last fall, I was pleased when I was asked to become part of the new, revitalized Klickitat County Search and Rescue. Although every county is required to have a SAR under the authority of the county Sheriff, in most counties the relationship between the Sheriff's department and the SAR is less than optimal (I'm being diplomatic here.) Our new Sheriff has revitalized our SAR and is well on the way toward making some very positive changes.

Recently, I was asked if I'd accept an appointment to Washington State SAR Incident Command School, and I've decided to accept. This will start in the spring with a week of intensive training on managing the operations center of a search-and-rescue incident. Given the range of possible incident conditions in Klickitat County, between the rain forest to the west, the alpine terrain to the north, the drylands to the east and the Columbia River to the south, I expect that a week's training will only scratch the surface.

There are lots of good altruistic and communitarian reasons for volunteering to be of service to your community. There is also one very important, direct benefit that shouldn't be overlooked. The people who volunteer within a community are the people who really understand the concept of neighbor. They are the real community, and they're the ones who can be counted on to make a difference. How do you get to meet and know the people who really count in your community? By volunteering and becoming a part of the process of making things work, you'll gain the opportunity to work with and know these people.

This is a view looking back in the opposite direction. All in all, more than four miles of road were flooded, undermined and washed out by the flood. To get a bit of perspective, if you look closely you can see a stalled and flooded pickup truck.

The Klickitat River washes out more of the road into town
CINDY: Dec. 22: Today is the first day in awhile that I've been able to get a good nap. The goats are giving us a break today. Maybe the rest of them will wait 'till next month so we can catch up with ourselves.

WALT: This winter has been rough on our physical plant. First a small tree came down and put a six inch hole through the roof of one of our trailers. Then a tremendous ice storm put an inch of ice on the top of our greenhouse/barn and did substantial damage. Then last week, another heavy snowfall broke the ridge support in our woodworking tent, so as winter progresses, the toll it's taking continues to climb. The old-timers talk about really heavy snowfalls, and in comparison to what they reminisce about, we haven't seen anything to speak of. Still, until we can get more of our permanent buildings constructed, winter will continue to be a stressful time.

Along the Columbia River, the run-off was so severe that this stretch of train track was completely undermined leaving what looked like a suspension bridge.

Along the Columbia River, the run-off was so severe that this stretch of train track was completely undermined leaving what looked like a suspension bridge.

On the one hand, destructive engineering is a time-honored way to develop a new system. That's were you build something and run it hard until something breaks. Then you toughen up that part and go at it again and again. In time you'll evolve a rugged design that will stand up under stress. While this is an effective enough tool, you want to make sure that the learning curve isn't so steep that you fall off. That's one reason we have two basic growth styles at Windward. The first involves putting up whatever will cover the immediate need, and the second involves building something strong enough that no conceivable stress will damage it. In our early days on the land, we ran the race with winter in order to get enough space just to be able to function, a race which we always lost. Now, as Windward matures, we're able to spend time doing things in a more deliberate manner and on building things that will last longer than we will.

Part of the change has to do with the difference between growth and development. In our early days, we were struggling to barely cover the bases. Looking back, I shudder to think just how thin we were stretched at times. We're still not "out of the woods" and I don't think we'll ever truly want to be, but at least we're to that point in our journey where going forward is a shorter journey than going back.

WAYNE: Well, the holidays are over. The food was good and weather was nice, so it wasn't too bad in spite of being out here in no-man's land. Took the TV outside for two of the three days of Christmas weekend. Watched the box till eleven at night, and Mike even saw a few hours of it, a rare occasion for him.

Between Christmas and New Year's Eve, we got a little winter, but it didn't bother the wildlife as much as the people. One big owl is still around and the woodpeckers, crows, finches and two raven are seen often. If you walk far enough away from the buildings, the deer tracks are really easy to find in the snow. Then nice weather for a week. Near the middle of January, we got snow. At first only a few inches, then a foot, then a little every day. It settled some, but in undisturbed areas it's now near two feet, and me with no snowshoes. No wind at all so no drifts, but those we could walk on; this is deep powder and tough to walk in. Everything is buried that was outside, so the place doesn't appear near so cluttered.

On the way back from Goldendale on the 25th, saw a large eagle fly right over the hood of the pickup. Nearly a six foot wingspread, but probably young as the feathers on its head were still black, not the color of an adult bird. Have to envy a bird like that as it can just pick up its feet and fly away, while I'm stuck here on the ground.

This morning at 4:30 it was seven degrees on my thermometer, too cold for me. After living in Minnesota, I never wanted to be in a place this cold again and here I am! If I had any brains at all, I'd have been in Hawaii or Tahiti for the last twenty years instead of this idiot country. San Cristobal las Casas in southern Mexico would be pretty nice also. Dream on. Now it is six below and my feet are freezing.

Picture of Tat TAT: Being a Cook at Windward! I have been here at Windward for about a month now, and have been working in the kitchen. I take a hand at cooking the main meal, but the best thing I like about cooking is baking. Around Christmas time, we started with cookies--peanut butter with dates, peanut butter with raisins and just plain peanut butter. (Yes, we have a lot of peanut butter!). We also made some terrific chocolate chip cookies and rich, gooey fudge. Next, we went on to pies and cobblers, both cherry and apple.

But there is a bad part to all this baking--I've gained about ten pounds since Christmas and don't see an end in sight!

WALT: We get a steady stream of inquiries that usually ask the same sort of questions. One that frustrates me is "How can I make money at Windward?" That's frustrating because to give a comprehensive and enlightening answer to that question requires a long discussion. While a complete answer to that question is a long one, I'll try to keep it short.

There really are only three ways that an individual can acquire things: steal them, beg for them or trade for them. The first part is referenced in an old Jewish saying that observed that the man who does not teach his son a trade, teaches his son to steal. We all have to live, and if things become desperate enough, most people will do something rash.

Some will choose to beg in one form or another, and while that is a well established role in modern society, Windward isn't about teaching people how to become better beggars. Once people get caught up in the entitlement mentality, there really isn't much that Windward has to offer them. For a variety of reasons, a remarkable network of programs has evolved out there that the "enterprising" individual can take advantage of. Our society is so productive and so wasteful that for those willing to live that sort of life, the beggar's bowl is remarkably full.

It's the third path, trading for what you want, that is Windward's focus, but in order to play a role in that game you first have to have something of value to trade. If you can't ante up, you don't get to play, so the question then becomes, "what sort of value can you offer?" While it is possible to utilize one's inheritance as trading stock (for example, one can trade on one's youth, at least for a while), but that's a trap too since time will quickly diminish transient assets such as youthful beauty and strength.

So, the question derives down to one of how you can go about creating value. The specific answer to this question is different for each person, since the particular talents and interests that can be developed differ with each person, but the basic routine is similar. When you find out what you can do that will serve the needs and interests of others, the first and hardest part of the battle is won. The next step is "merely" one of perfecting that craft, skill or ability to a level of excellence. I say "merely"since it's a matter of persistence, patience and practice, qualities which all of us need to work on. A lot of status and regard is given to intelligence, but Edward R. Morrow had it dead right when he observed that "industry is a better horse to ride than genius."

Lots of people who ask that question seem to be looking for an easy way out, and that's not what Windward is. Part of the irony is that while this is a valid route to a more simplified life, there's nothing simple about a back-to-the-basics lifestyle. For the dependent person, nothing is simple because everything is contingent on external forces and resources. One way to simplify your life is to sever all entanglements, but while that's effective, it's a solution that will impoverish your existence in the same way that the guillotine was the French "cure" for migraines. Independence is a condition which occurs when you achieve substantial control over a life worth living; it's not a matter of whether or not you live alone.

Joyce stops to welcome a new lamb to the flock

Joyce stops to welcome a new lamb to the flock

JOYCE: We continually review our structure and focus, talk about what's working and what isn't, discuss possible changes, and try and anticipate the possible downside to any changes. As you might guess, it's easy to postulate the positive effects, but it's a lot tougher, and more important, to ferret out the possible negatives. Long term readers of the Notes know we've gone in new directions the last few years, and shelved some ideas along the way.

It's tough to know where you're going when both the players and the playing field is in flux, and that's one reason new people aren't involved in long-term planning. A fresh voice and eye can be invaluable in relaying how we're perceived by others, but is of lesser value in deciding whether or not to take action or change direction. New people have great ideas, too, but those with more time at Windward are better able to decide whether something will work or not. Problem solving is difficult for any group, but when you're dealing with volunteers, each coming from different perspectives and with varying degrees of ability, it's especially tough. Then there's the fact that we each seem to have a slightly different vision and version of where we are and where we want to go.

I think you can see just how difficult group dynamics can be, and it's something we're constantly working on. I've come to share Walt's vision that Windward will always be a "work in progress." I derive satisfaction from seeing things finished, others prefer to see a lot of activity. Different personalities, different visions. That's one reason it isn't a simple matter to describe just what Windward is all about, because it isn't always going in the same direction.

During the really cold weather, the ewes stayed close to the barn. With their thick wool coats and exothermic rumens, they weren't really bothered by the cold.

During the really cold weather, the ewes stayed close to the barn. With their thick wool coats and exothermic rumens, they weren't really bothered by the cold.

IAN: It's Winter - cold, snowy, very pretty to look at, but a pain to get around in! So far, we've had more than 3 feet of snow - not all at once, but one batch doesn't get to go away totally before the next batch falls. The current accumulation is around 2 feet. Getting around in this is a little difficult for me, for several reasons. As most of you know, I'm shy one leg, and have a prosthesis. While it works well enough on "dry" land, it gets bogged down in snow. The hydraulics in the knee are unable to overcome all of the drag induced by the snow, so I have to walk slowly and carefully to make sure that the leg is straight out when I put my weight on it, otherwise, I "fall down and go 'BOOM!'" My trailer is nowlocated behind Charlie (the kitchen) so I don't have to worry about navigating the hill anymore. In good weather, I can get from my place to the kitchen in about a minute, now it takes five minutes to make the same trip. I went down to the Landing recently (in the snow) and it took me twenty!

So far, though, I've been careful, and I've only fallen down a few. The cold and damp also affects my stump, sometimes so much that I can't wear my prosthesis. (Anyone with arthritis knows what kind of effect cold, damp weather has on joints and injuries). If getting around with the prosthesis is difficult, getting around on crutches is even more so! But, caution and perseverance pay off, so I'm able to get around as much as I need to, regardless of the means of locomotion.

Two lambs find a dry hide-away under the pickup truck.

Two lambs find a dry hide-away under the pickup truck
CINDY: A little over two months ago I found out about the Extended Degree Program for Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences offered by Washington State University. Joyce picked up a brochure for me, and I called for more information. WSU sent me a packet of information along with an application for admission and an application for financial aid.

I was already a little late getting started since classes for the spring semester were to start on Jan. 14, '96 and the application for admission should be in "no less than 60 days prior to the first day of the semester you intend to begin." I rushed to get my application sent in then sent to Dalton Jr. College for my transcript. I had completed the courses at Dalton Jr. College to earn my AA degree so I have the required credits to transfer to WSU. Next I filled out the application for student financial aid and sent that off. The next month was a series of filling out paperwork and waiting.

As the time got closer to the 1st of January, I finally received the award letter from WSU letting me know that I was eligible for a Pell Grant. I sent all that paperwork back in then called to register for classes. At the time I called, my admission application was still being reviewed, and it was going to take a few more days before they could tell me whether I had been admitted. Less than a week before classes were to begin, I got the call that I was admitted. I called my academic adviser to help me set up my classes and got registered for two classes. I called the book store to order my books and study guides, then waited.

I discovered that the videos for the classes were available from the library in Goldendale. I got two tapes from the library, and watched the first two lectures from the Anthropology, Gender & Culture class. could tell that this was going to be an exciting class. By the time I finished watching the second Social Psychology lecture, I knew that this class was going to be an interesting one too.

I didn't get my books until last week, so I'm already a week behind in reading. I think with a little extra effort, I should be back on track by next week. Wish me luck.

From Cindy's sociology journal. "I breast-fed my daughter Tamara for 18 month. I had a lot of supportive people around me, so I wasn't made to feel that breast-feeding was a strange thing, especially for 18 months. However, not everyone thinks that breast-feeding is a "natural" thing to do. It is still difficult for women in this country to breast-feed in public situations. If you are feeding on demand, and I was, sometime you find yourself facing a public situation. I always tried to be very discreet but not let the situation prevent me from giving my baby nourishment. I remember one time we were in a restaurant in a corner booth (I was with 4 or 5 other people), and I thought we were pretty much out of view, so I discreetly started nursing Tamara. Soon there was a complaint from one of the other tables that I should not be nursing in public. This took me a bit by surprise, first because I didn't think anyone could see us that distinctly, and secondly because they had to be watching. I respect other people's privacy and think it's rude to watch other people's tables in restaurants. I try to have more of the Japanese concept of privacy, not watching or overhearing others' conversations even though being in close proximity.

Bottle feeding replaced the breast-feeding our grandmothers thought of as not only a natural way but the only way. In just a few generations, we've moved away from the natural way and only some of us have gone back to it. Natural childbirth is also a thing of the past that only some of us have gone back to. I had a midwife to guide me through my pregnancy and help me give birth to Tamara. I had her at home with my "family" of friends to give me support.

[Walt: Tamara's birth remains one of the true highlights of this ongoing adventure we call"Windward." The whole "family" gathered close when Cindy went into labor and it was a coming together that I'll never forget. Happily, we video taped the birth and it's a remarkable snap-shot of Windward in it's early days.]

 Winter weather settles in. JOYCE: It's the end of January and a frigid arctic weather front hit the Pacific Northwest yesterday. This morning, it was seven degrees below zero, the coldest I can remember in the last four years. But beauty came along with the cold sunrise. Gold and rose colored streaks decorated the pale blue sky, and three-foot drifts of virgin snow covered everything. The trees are edged with white, the sheep's wool crusted with snow, and icicles cling to the sides of trailers and buildings.

Although there were ice crystals on the inside windows of my trailer this morning, my propane heater soon warmed things up. The last few weeks have been a good time to write, work on costume designs, and sew for the SCA Estrella War in Arizona next month. Walt will be heading down to see Bob1 in Laughlin and I'll be in Phoenix visiting friends and family--then on to the War!

Winter is what we refer to as our "slow" season. Some Windward residents head south, and our stream of visitors dwindles to zero. Not wanting to deal with the elements is understandable from the standpoint of creature comfort, but those of us who've made a commitment to each other, and to our vision of community, have learned that the tough times are what bond us together. It's an easy task to make it through a spring sweetened with wild flowers, a bright, sunny summer and the crisp days of autumn. It's quite another to stay through the winter, and I'm somewhat proud to be one of those stalwart diehards.

This is the second time I've experienced what I call the "winter wall." It's when I feel desperate to go somewhere . . . anywhere . . . even with the road a sheet of ice. I get the blues and feel out of sorts about nothing in particular, or everything. Fortunately, talking it through works pretty well, and Walt is patient enough to listen to me talk about wanting to "get out of Dodge," then remind me that the sheet of ice on the road means it's not a good time to head to town. In the past, we've had people give in to that emotional pull and end up stranded with their headlights pushed up against a tree.

Cindy and Bob are managing with the animals, and that's a tough job right now. The sheep and lambs seem to prefer being outside to the shelters, and most of the kids spend a lot of time in the barn. The kitchen is humming along with hot meals and conversation, and we're all tucked in for the storm. It'll pass soon enough, and we'll be looking forward to spring.

Sometimes the snow's just too deep for a little kid to come out and play.

 Sometimes the snow's just too deep for a little kid to come out and play.

CINDY: January 6, 1996: By the end of the 1st week in January, suddenly we had lambs all over the place. While I was walking down the hill to the mailbox one morning, I noticed two lambs, one black and one white, calling desperately to their mama down the hill. They were trying to follow her, but she had gotten way ahead of them. Then I heard her calling back to them from across the road. They went running after her as fast as their little legs could carry them. They looked like they could hardly be a day old.

We did have two more kids born in December, then one the 2nd day of January. So far there haven't been any more. I think it's pretty safe to say that we'll have another cycle in about three weeks.

Heather J., Bob2 and Cindy out enjoying the snowfall with Penny

Heather J., Bob2 and Cindy out enjoying the snowfall with Penny
HEATHER J from Portland: Hello, I'm Heather J (using my middle initial instead of a number!). I visit Windward whenever I can escape the big city and just had my first opportunity to experience winter there. When I left Portland, it was 45 degrees, blue skies and mild wind gusts. I arrived the day after Christmas to small specks of snow as I settled in. Everyone tells me that Windward usually has its first snow around Thanksgiving, but this year was different. Some thoughtful person specially ordered a shipment of snow after I had safely reached Klickitat.

With snow covering everything in sight by the next day, I switched to boots and enjoyed the flowing white carpet over the earth, and snow hanging on to the green lichen in the oak trees. Another treat for this city kid was an early arrival of baby lambs and a whole swarm of goats! (I doubt if swarm is the correct term, but after getting mobbed by the kids at feeding time, it seemed to fit!). Since the kids don't normally arrive until February or later, again I figured someone decided it would make a fun Christmas present for me!

The snow continued to fall, and after checking out the white mound that used to be my Toyota, I decided to extend my stay. I spent my time bottle feeding kids, helping in the barn and kitchen, learning to play "Set" (an unusual card game with Tamara being the Windward champion), creating snow creatures and throwing snowballs (sorry Ian--you just made too good of a target!).

By the week-end, things were melting and with Joyce and Walt's help, I made it safely down the hill. How nice for someone to arrange a thaw as I was getting ready to return to the city. It's always with regret that I head back to Portland, but at least the drive was a lovely mixture of snow, fog and waterfalls. And that's how I spent my Christmas vacation!

CINDY: January 27, 1996: About three days ago as I was walking down to the barn for the a.m. routine, I spotted two tiny white lambs. I could tell as soon as I saw them that they were newborns because they were so white. The older lambs are now a little more off-white. Some of them are also a little over a month old now, and they are really getting big. We'll sure have early lambs for market this year!

JOYCE: The last few years have seen people come and go for various reasons, but our number continues to average around a dozen. Windward is always changing, but the major shift I see is in our culture. We've been steadily moving away from the original concept of an intentional community to one of a transitional center. Life transitions come in all shapes and sizes, some good and some bad, but Windward seems to be a good place to come to terms with the process. That keeps some people here, but seems to move most people on to other places.

Although that wasn't the original concept, we've decided it's a worthwhile purpose. We've been kicking around the idea of a mission statement, and will probably use the concept of a transitional center as a focal point. In looking back over the last few years, I think that's what we've probably been all along. It just took a while before the picture came together, and we became comfortable with how it all looked. We've often talked about change, and we seemed to be waiting to find out what the final product would look like. I think Windward will always be an evolving concept and that's just what transitions are all about.

Walt working on the belt sander preparing baraks for hot forging.

 Walt working on the belt sander preparing baraks for hot forging.

WALT: Part of the process of evolving from being growth-focused to development-focused involves reassessing certain perspectives that, while important, have had to remain in the background. The old Greeks had a saying that you should first acquire an independent income, and then pursue virtue. That may sound a bit cynical, but it holds a lot of truth.

As we develop, what standards should guide us? What standards are going to be relevant tomorrow? Certainly one of the great changes already underway involves the shift between the wholesale utilization of natural resources towards a society that strives to preserve as much of our natural heritage as we can. More and more, I become convinced that mankind will have to shift from being earth's conqueror to its steward.

What principles will guide that shift? Last summer I came across one man's declaration of those principles. "I pledge alliegance to the earth, this unique blue water planet. Graced by life, our only home. I promise to respect all living things, to protect to the best of my abilities all parts of our planet's environment, and to promote peace among the human family, with liberty and justice for all." A.W. Bauer, 1986.

There's a lot in that which draws me. On the other hand, it's not that simple since some parts are in contradiction with other parts. The future, like the past, is sure to be constructed from the resolutions of those contradictions. Rand observed that there really are no contradictions. When faced with an apparent contradiction, she advised, check your premises, since at least one is wrong. In order to make a future that works, we're going to have to check a lot of premises.

Douglas Chadwick wrote that the Endangered Species Act of 1973 "was nothing less than a rudimentary bill of rights for non-humans, an attempt to guarantee a future for as many as possible, even if doing so required real sacrifice on our part." What sacrifices are we, as individuals and as a species, really willing to make? Here in the Pacific Northwest, great changes are underway in the relationship between man and the environment, but perhaps the greatest shift involves the growing awareness that this question itself is invalid, that the conceptual dichotomy which semanticly implies that man and the environment are separate entities is wrong at its very root. We've spent the last millennia mastering the earth; we'll probably need to spend at least the next one mastering ourselves.

"In the relations of man with the animals, with the flowers, with the objects of creation, there is a great ethic, scarcely perceived as yet, which will at length break forth into the light." - Hugo

CINDY: 10 February - This flood has us really isolated, but fortunately we are on a hill 3 miles back from and about 1,200 ft. higher than the Klickitat River. For the past two days we've had no electricity or phone service except for a short time Friday afternoon. There has been no mail and no school since Tuesday.

I rode down to Klickitat with Walt in our 4-wheel drive pickup truck using the logging road parallel to what was Highway 142 but higher. Looking down at the River along 142 was quite a sight. Water still covered 142 in places and mud and debris in other places showed how high the water had been. I was fascinated as I looked down on the houses surrounded by the rushing water that covered what used to be the highway. It looks like the damage is going to be severe since the river seems to have cut a new channel clean through the old road.

Another remarkable sight was where the road used to enter the town. Looking down from the logging road I could see that a section of 142 next to the mill had been completely washed away. A big chunk of the road was gone!

At this point, there's still water covering the bridge we use to get to Goldendale and we're hoping it doesn't get washed away, or so damaged it has to be replaced. If that happens, we'll be isolated from the county seat for quite a while. There are also several places where Hwy 142 south from Klickitat is washed out too. That's going to make getting to The Dalles (where we do most of our shopping) and Portland much harder. The only way to get anywhere is to take the back roads, and some of those roads are passable only with 4-wheel drive vehicles.

[Walt: we're having to take a detour across the high prairie. Where it normally takes 45 minutes to get to The Dalles, it's now taking an additional hour, BUT at least we can get in and out.] With both of the roads through the Gorge closed due to mudslides, not even the mail is getting through.

JOYCE: When dealing with new people, we ask them to focus on their own needs and wants, and to get in tune with their hopes and dreams. And, of course, we ask them to pitch in and help, either in the kitchen or with the animals. After a few months, things seem to coalesce--at least for us. We get a feel for their abilities, strengths and weaknesses, and how they fit in with the team. And sometimes, how theydon't. After a few months, people settle into a routine and their initial, best behavior slides into what we can reasonably expect to be normal behavior. That's when we start to take someone seriously. "Beginnings" are easy, but it's the long haul we're interested in.

I found that attitude hard to accept when I first came to Windward. After all, I'm a serious, Type-A personality and I like to get things done. Why couldn't I just do something that I saw needed to be done? Because although we don't talk about it much, Windward does have a hierarchy and those who've been here longer, and who have a commitment to stay, have a bigger say in what should be done. Now, that hierarchy shouldn't, and doesn't, stop somebody from deciding to take on a one-person project such as general purpose clean-up in community areas (that's just one example). Except for during the really cold weather, I take daily walks, carrying a bag with me to pick up "stuff" that seems to accumulate without any effort at all. Sometimes it's on Windward property, sometimes the county or logging roads.

Tat's only been here about a month, but he's running a recycling program and has taken over the 3/4 mile stretch of road I usually keep picked-up. Not only are cans an eyesore, they're worth five cents apiece. Then there's scrap aluminum, tin, copper, etc. Tat discussed his recycling ideas with Walt, who gave the initial okay for the project, provided barrels and a commitment to take the "stuff" in to town. There are still some details to be worked out, but this is a modest example of how a new person can take on a project that benefits everyone.

Other new people are very good at pointing out all the things that need to be done around the place, and wonder loudly why "we" aren't doing them. New people quickly learn that isn't a good way to get things done. The really smart ones, we call "volunteers."


Scott of Richmond, Va writes: Thanks for the letter and the newsletter about the Windward Foundation. Although I am not currently able to move to a situation like Windward, it is something that I am interested in.

I have a number of questions about Windward. The main one being - How is Windward governed? What systems of belief are at work there?

I guess my main exposure to a community like Windward is Twin Oaks, a community in rural Virginia that was founded with B.F. Skinner's Walden 2 in mind. I visited it in high school and have met several of its members. They produce hammocks and tofu for "export" outside of their community. One thing I did not like about Twin Oaks was censorship. Although they are pretty easy going, no movies are allowed that contain violence or anything that might effect kids.

Personally, I am more interested in alternative communities that have urban settings, at least at the moment. I like living in the city and I feel like if the human race is ever going to come to grips with the overpopulation it will have to utilize urban living of some sort.

[Walt: Windward is governed by a Board of Directors chosen by the membership through a process that balances a person's voice with the amount of time and resources they've invested. For a more detailed understanding of how the process works, I'd recommend taking the time to study our Bylaws.

Our personal belief systems are fairly eclectic, but the points we hold in common have to do with a strong work ethic, a commitment to diversity and self-reliance.]

Spider of Vancouver, BC wrote in part, "I agree with you that the challenge is to make the deal seem relevant and interesting to the young'uns - and I'm damned if I know what the hell Gen-Xers want. I don't really understand why we stopped having the Sixties, if it come to that. Didn't everybody else enjoy it as much as I did?

"One thing I know: Back-To-The-Land lost a lot of its currency when the Evil Empire went tits-up. Seems much less likely now that living off the country will ever be a necessary skill again in our lifetimes. Good old nuclear apocalypse: who ever thought we'd be nostalgic for it one day?

[Walt: the loss of the Evil Empire may very well be lulling people into complacency, but there's more than one road leading to social collapse. Perhaps its my Southern heritage, but I've always feared civil war more than foreign aggression, and I'd argue that the social fabric is stretched almost to the ripping point. If push ever does come to shove, we've settled ourselves into a location which is highly likely to weather the storm.

Still, I don't spend much time thinking about the downside when this lifestyle has so many positive dimensions. I guess the difference between my perspective and that of the archetypical survivalist is that while I do want to be as prepared as I can reasonably be for whatever the future has in store, still I really do hope that society somehow finds a way to keep squeaking by. While it's nice to have a jack and a spare tire handy if needed, it's nicer still to keep on making progress towards one's goals.

Preparation and contingency planning aren't sexy, and nobody really wants to hear about the dark side of the future anyway, so we try to concentrate on all the positive things we can do to make Windward a better place; the fact that we're also taking pains to prepare for the future, be it good or ill, is just part of how we do things.

Brewster of Portland, OR passed along this quote:
"What is intellectually interesting about visions are their assumptions and their reasoning, but what is socially crucial is the extent to which they are resistant to evidence. All social theories being imperfect, the harm done by their imperfections depends not only on how far they differ from reality, but also on how readily they adjust to evidence, to come back into line with the facts. " Thomas Sowell, The Vision of the Anointed, 1995

WALT: This capacity to react to reality is intended to be a key element of Windward's culture. Even our name, which references the way a sailboat tacks back and forth as it beats into the wind, is intended to remind us that we have to work with the wind, that we can't bend it to our will. And while it's true that all social theories are imperfect, still you have to have guidelines and plans, or else you can't hope to make any progress at all.

General Lee observed that no plan of battle survived contact with the enemy, and that the purpose of a battle plan was to provide a context from which each of his generals could improvise in a coordinated manner. This recognition of the combined need to plan beyond the plan was one of the reasons Lee accomplished as much as he did.

Windward spends a lot of time hammering out its vision of what it's doing, and polishing the operational theories that we rely on, but we always try to remember that it's our theory that has to fit the world, and not the other way around.

David of San Mateo, CA wrote: "The current issue (8/2) also reflects nicely the maturing of Windward, both in the sense of being physically solid and in the sense of emotional (not the right word, but I'm in a hurry) stability -- you're actually able to do some real planning (and execution), rather than being at effect of the environment. It's refreshing and reassuring to see the change."

[Walt: one of the key reasons why we create this newsletter is to facilitate the process of planning our future. What you plan is one thing, and what you wind up actually doing is often something quite different. That's as true for an organization as it is for individuals. Since humans are more rationalizing than rational, it's important to put things down in writing, not so much in an attempt to bind the future to the vision of the present, but rather to establish a linkage between where we've been and where we're going.]

Fern, currently wintering on Lake Meade outside of Las Vegas, Nv. writes: "As to what I've been doing... I have been ladysitting for the past weeks. My friend, Mary, who lives down the street from me at the lake, has a sister who is housebound. Her caregiver had a lot of family problems and a bad back, so she took a hiatus for the holidays. I owe Mary a big favor and she asked me to take over til the gal could come back after the first of the year.

I can't believe it is only 4 yrs. til 2000. I can hardly wait. What will we see!!! How will this old world wag in the second millennium?? Things are progressing so fast and I don't want to be left behind. Why couldn't I have waited a couple of decades to be born?? What are the wonders Tamara will see when I am dust?? Maybe I'll make it to a hundred and see a few myself.

I have lost about ten pounds and will lose more when I get back home... I gained back a few over the Holidays, of course, did you?... I am trying to talk Tiny into coming back with me in the Spring. We are saving our money to take a trip to Costa Rica sometime. Don't know the time table, but you will know when I do.

Hope you are all well. Sounds as if things are being done and things being accomplished. I'll look forward to seeing it in the spring.

[Walt: Fern turned 80 this summer, and her energy and enthusiasm are a challenge to us all. Back when we first made the move onto the land, Fern operated our kitchen out of her 30 RV, so she was an important part of Windward back when things were really challenging. Now that things are much better and we have more people wintering, Fern has taken to "snow-birding" and spending the winters near Las Vegas. That's where Windward came into being, and we still have lots of friends there, so winter's a good time to catch up.]

Walt: We get a fairly steady stream of inquiries that ask the usual sorts of questions. I keep meaning to put together a FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) flier, but it hasn't happened yet. Here's a typical set of questions and answers. "How long have you been living together?"

Windward is in it's 18th year, and has had it's own land for 8 years. Some of us have been here from the start, others only come and stay for a month or so. We're officially recognized as a transitional center, and we see the provision of support for people working to make positive changes in their lives as a worthwhile service. A life worth living has to have a component of service in it, and that's as true for organizations as it is for individuals.

"What type of jobs do you have?"

Our people work a range of jobs, or none at all, as suits their situation and interests. One option is for people to go away and work intensely for a few months and then spend the rest of the year perusing their personal interests. Since our lifestyle is a self-reliant one, our financial needs are modest anyway. One point I would make is that Windward exists to serve it's members; it has no employees. We feel it's important to keep from investing too much power and authority into the organization and strive to insure that it works for us instead of the other way around. That gives rise to a number of subtle differences between Windward and other groups, but all in all, it works. There is a monetary dimension to what we do, but it's always secondary. If someone wants to be here, there are many ways to make the money side of the equation work out.

How are decisions made?"
Group decisions are made by a council of four full members (two years or longer) who've been chosen by the full members and one apprentice (someone chosen by those with less than two years of membership). Individual decisions are made by the individual. We try to maintain a clear and functional difference between needs and wants, with the understanding that the cooperative exists to help us met our needs in a collaborative manner, thereby freeing each of us as individuals to pursue our wants.

"What are relationships like with your local community?"
We have good relations with our county, and have worked long and hard to make that so. I serve as the VP of the Board of our County's mental health services provider and have recently been selected as Incident Commander for Klickitat County Sheriff's Search and Rescue. Joyce serves as the Chair of the Family Services Network, a state-appointed board which oversees prevention funding and activities in a two county area, and both Joyce and Cindy are Washington State University certified lifeskills instructors who regularly give classes at the County's request. Cindy is also a WSU certified Master Food Preserver and Cheese maker.

Being a supportive part of our community is important to us, and I'm impressed that you realize just how important it is. Many city people seem to think that if they move to the county, they'll no longer have to concern themselves with social relationships. In fact, the opposite is true; in the country, people depend on each other and it's important that they know Windward as an asset to Klickitat County. We work hard to make that so.

"How's the weather usually?"
This year has been a rough one for weather, but usually our weather is temperate. We generally have a month in the winter when it's too cold for ready comfort, and another in the summer when it's hotter than we'd like, but the rest of the year is quite pleasant. We get 16" of rain a year pretty much confined to a rainy season which runs from October to May.

"Would it be possible for me to visit, and are you accepting more people to live with you?"
We generally restrict visiting to those who've already become subscribing members. We figure that if someone isn't willing to spend $15 for a subscription to our newsletter, and do some homework, there isn't much point in investing much more time in them.There's no end to places where people can go to mess up; we'd rather that they didn't do it here.

Windward is a volunteer project, and each of us is here to pursue our own goals and dreams. Each time someone "drops" by to visit, they take up hours of time. If they're seriously interested in whether or not they might find a homebase here, then that's time that needs to be spent, but if they're just "tourists" looking for a few hours of amusement and diversion, then we've got better things to do.

Lots of people fail to realize that intentional communities need to have the blessing of their counties in order to even exist. Sure, you and some friends can rent a house or buy a piece of land and get something started, but sooner or later you're going to run smack up against land-use regulations that determine what you really can do with land you "own."

Our conditional use permit authorizes Windward to have up to 21 full time residents. Our numbers rise and fall with the seasons (for example, some people prefer to spend the winter months on a house boat on Lake Meade in Southern Nevada) or with seasonal employment but within the last year our low was 9 and our high was 15, so yes, we do have the potential of adding more permanent residents. Numbers growth isn't our goal, but we're always open to new and interesting people. Over the years people have felt drawn to Windward, and relying on that has worked out well enough for us.

Now that you've gotten a copy of the Notes to read through, you'll have more of an idea of what we're about. If you're still interested then I would invite you to pursue that interest, and if you're not then please take a few minutes and tell us about that too. It's always hard to perceive how others perceive what you're doing, and we appreciate any feedback.

But before I go, I want to talk about two problems that are implied by what you've passed on about yourselves. The first is that you're already a community of 4; the challenge of integrating two existing communities (i.e. your family and Windward) is't trivial since there's going to be some inevitable conflict between the two.

On one hand, Windward wouldn't reject you because you're a couple, but on the other, the dynamics of coupling often implies the reverse. If the premise is that your relationship to each other comes first and that your relationship with the community would inevitably come second, then we have a problem. While we understand why and how you'd feel that way, it's a losing proposition for us. Your decision to join Windward would require that we work to form an authentic and valid relationship with you, but if your interpersonal commitment requires that you can't reciprocate, then even with the best of intentions, you're setting us up to fail.

Community can mean a lot of different things to different people. It's a powerful technology which like fire can either warm your home (if used wisely) or burn it down (if not). Finding a working balance between your interpersonal and our intrapersonal forms of community is a real challenge. I'm not saying it can't be done, or that it can't be done at Windward; I am saying that it's tough to do well.

The second problem has to do with vegetarianism. We're deeply committed to sustainability and to stewardship. To that end, we raise goats, sheep, chickens, etc. These animals form a vital dimension of sustainable life, and Windward wouldn't be Windward without them. Each of these animal systems exist because they convert things we don't want to eat into things that are good for us to eat. Sometimes the connection isn't obvious; the sheep produce wool that retains body warmth, thereby allowing us to get by on less food. Other systems have subtle benefits such as the way range chickens keep fly larve down without the use of pesticides.

These animals are integral parts of the sustainable life, and inherent in these technologies is the production of meat as a by-product. We take our involvement in stewardship and husbandry very seriously, and consequently the consumption of meat is and will probably always remain part of what we are and what we do. We certainly agree that people eat entirely too much meat these days, and that meat with hormones and preservatives isn't good to eat. While we don't raise meat for its own sake, still it is part of the natural order. These domestic animals have served mankind for millennia and we feel a bond and a kinship with them; Windward will continue to work to see that the future has a place for them as well.

Book Report: Reading and books form a key part of life at Windward, and one of the joys of cooperative life involves sharing good books with each other, and being able to talk about the interesting things learned. David Lowell wrote a while back and suggested Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors: a search for who we are by Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan. I found it fascinating.

It's a study of life and our relationship to it, as well as our relationship to the other primates. Sometimes that can be defined by asserting what they are and sometimes by what they are not. What is a human, and what qualities are uniquely human? This book makes it hard to cling to the ancient believe that humans are substantially and definitely set apart from other forms of life.

Two points that the book brought up stand out in reflection. The first has to do with morality and humanity, and our believe that we as a species have some sort of patent on these concepts. Sagan relates an experiment with Rhesus monkeys in which two monkeys were caged side by side. In order for monkey A to get fed, he had to push a lever. When he did that, he got food but at the same time monkey B was given a painful electric shock. 88% of the monkey chose to go without food rather than hurt their neighbor. Indeed, one of them went two weeks without food rather than see his neighbor be hurt. When the monkeys were exchanged so that monkey B now had access to the lever and food, none of them would administer the shock to the other monkey.

The second experiment Sagan related had to do with cooperation. The experiment was set up so that two rats had to each press a lever at the same time in order to get food. The experiment was tried using females, castrated males, castrated males with testosterone implants and intact males. The test subjects were further divided into rats that had lived with others and rats who had lived alone.

Females and castrates learned to cooperate in short order, but implanted males and intact males had a much more difficult time learning how to work together in order to get fed. And males who had lived alone never did figure it out. We're still debating the significance of that experiment. For people in the "cooperating biz" that's pretty daunting.

Is testosterone incompatible with cooperative association? I don't want to think so, but I'll relate an observation that I've made. I go to a number of conferences each year, and I noticed that at one involving the provision of housing for the mentally ill that out of a hundred men in the room, none were bald. Statisticly, that's way out of line, and while it may have been a fluke, it also may have something to say about the role of testosterone in cooperative behaviour.

Editorial Note: If you've noticed that the appearance of this issue of the Notes is subtly different than previous issues, it is. There's a saying that one year in the life of a computer is equal to seven dog years, and the passage of time finally caught up with the trusty, old 286 that we've been using to put the Notes together. Over the holidays, we made the change over to a Windows-based 486, and that involved an upgrade in our word-processing software.

The changes from Wordperfect 5.1 to 6.1 are substantial, and many of the settings that madeup the form and look of our newsletter are no longer functional. We've had to recreate the "look" using new software, and while we've gotten it pretty close, there are some subtle differences. Over the next few issues, we'll be exploring the nifty options that 6.1 offers, as well as learning to cope with the changes involved in working within a Windows environment. Given the "excitement" of the past two months, we're just glad to get the Notes out before the end of the month. We're going to try to make up some time before the next issue is due out in mid-April, but we'll have to see how that goes. It's going to be a very busy spring.

The Winter of 96

First it was the wind. Even though we're fairly protected by the ridge that shelters Windward from the prevailing northwesterly winds, there are times when the wind can shift around to the southeast and come directly at us. Because of the dry conditions that have been plaguing the Pacific Northwest for the last decade, a greater-than-average number of trees have fallen susceptible to the pine beetle. When the weather reports started predicting record winds, Bob2 and I decided to get to work and bring down any of the dead trees that looked like they could fall on any of our buildings.

An afternoon spent with chainsaws and cables brought down a dozen trees just in time, and so while the wind did blow and shake the remaining trees, we were able to escape any further damage from falling trees. Come spring, we're well started on putting up next winter's wood supply. Wind velocities of more than 150 mph were recorded on the coast, but our mountains shielded us yet again. It did blow, but while the show was impressive, no damage was done.

Act Two was freezing rain. Once winter sets in, we're snug and alright, but it's the transition times that cause the most stress and damage. What will do the most damage is a foot deep snowfall that then turns to rain, or worse yet, freezing rain. The snow soaks up the rain, and gets progressively heavier, but at least with the rain, there's some run off. With the freezing rain, there's no run off, just a steady accumulation of more and more weight. That's what we got this year, and by the time the ice cap was an inch thick, it was too much for the greenhouse/barn. The weight buckled the supporting ribs, bent the walls out and a roof that once was a beautiful arc turned into a strange undulating shape.

In engineering, this sort of event is called "destructive design." The idea is that you build something, stress it until it breaks and then strengthen that part. Now that we know where the barn will fail under heavy load, we've added structural support in the form of heavy, aircraft cable that prevents the walls from bending outward and the roof from buckling down. Bob2 worked on slowly drawing the walls back into place using chains, come-alongs and cables, and soon after the snow melted, he had the roof remarkably back into shape. Looking at how bent the support pipes were, I never thought that he'd be able to get it back into shape as well as he did.

For Act Three, nature turned cold, very cold. For almost a week, the nightly lows were below zero, and at the worst the temperature dropped tofifteen below. That was really cold, and since the lambing and kidding had come early, we were really worried about the toll the weather was likely to take on our newborn. Sheep and goats are ruminants, and the digestive process is highly exothermic, so they're little heat engines in their own right. In Switzerland, the animals live on the bottom floor while the people live above them in the second story. That way the considerable heat that the animals give off can rise and keep the people warm. People can talk about a "three dog night" all they want; it's goats and sheep that can get you through the really cold spells.

What we were afraid of was that the little ones, since they lack both body mass and a working rumen, would fall subject to the cold. In fact, we did lose a kid during the cold spell, but it appears that it wasn't really the cold that killed it. The goats, and especially the kids, tend to pile up in a heap to keep warm, and we think that the kid just got suffocated on the bottom of the pile.

This is our eighth winter on the land, and each year we are better prepared for winter. Although I wouldn't try to say that we were "prepared" for 15 below, still I'm proud to report that the water system kept online right through the coldest part. Our systems are constructed as a series of concentric systems. During the summer we enjoy such amenities as our spacious, solar-heated summer showers. As the weather becomes more inclement, we fall back and rely on more standard indoor showers.

As things get colder still, we shut down more systems as we keep fewer and fewer spaces heated. Even at the coldest point, we still had running water available at the freeze proof faucets. That may not sound like much of an achievement, but in previous winters we've gone for months without running water, so it's a major accomplishment to us. While the supply lines to the kitchen did freeze during the coldest part, we were able to get that problem analyzed and solved, and in a couple of days we had the kitchen running again.

And then came Act Four, the rain. Normally, our weather comes west to east across the Pacific, but occasionally a weather formation called "the Pineapple Express" sets up and funnels rain clouds directly from Hawaii to the Pacific Northwest. Usually February is a wet month for this area. The record rainfall for Portland for the month of February had been 9.5 inches; this year the "Pineapple Express" brought that much in a single week. While the mountains shelter us from the constant rain that makes Oregon the butt of so many jokes ("How can you tell when it's summer in Oregon?" "The rain gets warm."), still the more rain they get, the more rain we get.

In just a couple of days, three feet of snow turned to mush, slush and then run-off. You didn't have to be a weather wizard to figure out what was going to happen next. While the first three acts of this winter's drama were exciting, the last part will remain unforgettable. In a few short days, the Klickitat carved and reshaped itself.

Over the past eight years, I've driven the highway along the Klickitat a few hundred times. Since the river and the life it shelters fascinates me, I've come to know a lot about its nooks and crannies; now, all that is just history, since the Klickitat has redesigned itself. At its peak, it spread from canyon wall to canyon wall, and where there once was a bend in the river, now the river splits into two strong channels that create an island where no island used to be. Pasture land along the river where deer used to graze is now nothing but a field of stones, and roadways that ran along the bend of the river are completely gone, swept and scoured away.

The paper says that the Federal damage estimates for Klickitat County are totaling up to $13.3 million, which comes to about $800 for every person living in Klickitat County. For a county that's lost most of its industrial base, it's hard to understand how they're going to make up that kind of loss. With the closing of the mill, the town of Klickitat lost it's only sizable employer, and now the river has dealt the town a crushing blow. Of the thirteen million in damages, they're saying that the town of Klickitat suffered $2.3 million in losses.

How did Windward fare in all this? Well, other than the damage to the greenhouse/barn, some erosion to our road, the stress of the cold and the inconvenience of having to use logging roads to get in and out, Windward came through just fine. I've seen floods before, and when we selected land to make our home, I knew better than to give all that beautiful bottom-land a second thought. If you build in a flood-plain, you get flooded out; with nature, it's that simple. At Windward, we're sheltered from just about everything except forest fire, and we're working steadily on reducing that danger.

We did lose about a half-dozen of the lambs and kids, but oddly enough it wasn't the bitterly cold weather that took that toll, but rather the rain that was the killer. So long as the little ones were dry, the cold didn't matter all that much, but two days of hard driving rain evidently chilled some of them to the point where their mothers couldn't keep them warm enough.

There are a few interesting conceptual legacies to come from this. One has to do with a better understanding of just how isolated we are here. While we don't feel isolated, it seems that most of the rest of the world doesn't know Klickitat County exists. It was most strange, and more than a bit galling, that the news reports kept talking about Oregon's Great Flood, without evidently realizing that the river has two banks. It's hard to have a flood on only the southern bank of a great river, but for all the news coverage we got, it might as well have been that way.

Another shift in our perceptions has to do with the question of whether or not we work to make the new trailer, the one we call Finney, energy independent. Extending grid power over the water hill to that trailer won't be cheap; if we instead go ahead and install a renewable energy system, then no matter what the power does, we'll have a system that will be fully functional. There's work and effort involved in using and maintaininng a renewable energy system, and I've been concerned as to whether or not the team would be willing to learn what needs to be learned and do what needs to be done in order to make it work.

After three days without power, I sense a heightened appreciation for the concept of energy independence. None of us at Windward are "survivalists" who look forward to cutting off ties with the larger society which surrounds us. On the other hand, none of us likes being dependent on the outside world to the degree that things "out there" can disrupt what we're doing here.

Now that it looks like the Winter of 96 is behind us, we're getting ready to embark on an aggressive and ambitious plan of construction and development for the summer season. Morale is high and everyone seems to be filled with plans for things to do as soon as spring arrives. Even though there's still snow on the ground, the heart knows that it's the end of February, that the snow won't last and that spring is waiting just over the hill. If you squint your eyes just a little, and look real carefully, you can see it too.