Occasional Update #12 — December 2013

We’ve made this place a home for 3 years now. Earlier this month was our annual Land Day, which we’ve never properly celebrated before. It feels substantial to do so now. We decorated, had a nice dinner together, built a fort around the wood stove, and cracked open some glow sticks. (Well actually that was Sunday for scheduling purposes — on Saturday most of us just went to High Street and had an impromptu dance party with friends and whoever joined in. Also great!)


Hello friends new and old! This is Mattie from The Midden. It’s been nearly 3 years since I wrote one of these quarterly-ish updates for us, which is a great sign to me that this intentional community has grown. Here are several glimpses into the last few months around here:

So many people! On top of regular visitors, we’ve had two new folks staying with us for a month each as prospective members (including Yello, who’s been here about a week so far). Cole and Molly plan are moving toward full membership, and Weslie has returned after nearly a year of elsewhere. In short, more food is made, and more food is eaten! We also have an unusual addition in the form of a mid-sized waste-veggie-oil school bus, currently fairly full with the belongings of a dear friend who’s recovering from an injury.

Molly toured the southeast and mid-Atlantic with the newly hatched Beehive graphic, Mesoamerica Resiste, connecting local and global social justice issues. Some of us variously performed with the Columbus Capit@l Crushers cheerleading squad in rallies for farmworker rights, helped with FRAC’s Huntington divestment campaign, developed relationships on the West side for the Community Land Trust group, and hosted the third annual Prisoner Art Show to benefit Redbird Books to Prisoners. Cole and Alex also continued to develop a class and gentrification workshop which they took on the road to Baltimore last month.


Back at home, we hosted a wonderful Leftovers potluck + dance party the day after Thanksgiving. We haven’t had many potlucks lately, because…

I’ve said for years that Columbus is the best place to live. This is quite a statement, and on top of that I’ve lived many different places. My rationale, as you may have heard me say, is that “Columbus is at least mediocre in every category, and I can’t say that about anywhere else.” Well, I’m changing my tune ever so slightly, because Columbus is almost the worst place to stay free of bed bugs. Ack, terrible! We had a bout with them this fall in two rooms, and diligently defended ourselves. We’re now happily freely inviting folks over again to potlucks and such!

We finally put a hat on the house! 102 years old and standing strong, this house had zero insulation, so this fall we used fiberglass, foam, and cellulose to insulate the 3rd floor. Friends from Acorn, the Baltimore Free Farm, and Twin Oaks helped us quite a bit, with support from the FEC‘s Labor Exchange fund. Here’s a shot of our helpers operating the blown-in insulation machine [one of them also wrote a blog entry about their visit]:


We also scraped, sanded, cleaned, and painted the house’s exterior wood trim. One by one, we worked on the porch, eaves, 8 doors, and 37 windows — quite an undertaking!  With approval from the city’s Historic Preservation office, the wood is now satin black and will be in good shape for the winter and years to come.

-best, mattie-

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