Working on Community

When we first moved to the ranch, I was worried that it would be isolating living so far out here. That’s what Lee, the hermit, wanted. I wanted to have a community to enjoy life with, as well as some peace and quiet. I’m happy to report we are well on our way to a real community out here.

We missed the storms that hit Austin last night, but got cool clouds.

We were relieved to find a place near our friends Sara and Ralph, who warmly welcomed us when we first got here and really helped us set things up. And what would I do without my horse riding companion? Life would not be the same without these folks. We’ve also been lucky to make friends with Cathy, who lived at the cabin when we first arrived, and Tyler, who lives there now and does my snake handling.

When we added Mandi and her family over at Rattlesnake, wow, we could have been happier. They are so helpful in so many ways. One son cares for the horses and hens when I’m in Austin, and another has been helping Ralph with his mowing. Grateful for them.

Martha telling Alfred he is a good boy.

Now my sister (Canova) is living in Cameron, too, so we started a weekly Sunday dinner together, taking turns cooking. When Martha and Mike moved in next door to my sister, it was just natural to invite them along, so for the past couple of months, the five of us have been having Sunday meals together. It’s nice to cook for more than two, and even nicer to only need to cook every couple of weeks.

We have enough sturdy lawn porch furniture for a big gathering.

Sara has even been coming on weeks when Ralph’s out of town (Ralph is having back issues and has trouble sitting at our house, plus we don’t cook the kind of food he likes; we don’t take it personally).

Lee explains to Chris what we plan to do with the Gillis house, once it’s all free and clear to work on.

Yesterday we had even more people with us, as Kathleen, who’s going to be here part-time for a while as her home health care business gets up and running, brought her husband up to see all our buildings and talk about plans. It was great to have all seven of us talking, eating, and learning about each other.

Mike and I think about chicken coop location and size. (photo by Martha Nethers)

Canova made a great dinner and wasn’t phased at all by additional folks. She even brought a strawberry cake. While the food cooked, we all sat on the porch, watched the sunset and later lightning storm, and talked about chicken coops.

Wine helps with chicken yard planning. (photo by Martha Nethers)

With Chris and Kathleen chiming in, I’m just SURE we will get the whole chicken thing figured out. We have hope. Hold on, hennies!

Is that Heaven behind the trees?

It just felt so great having a full house, not stressing about whether it was perfectly clean or not, not stressing about the food (it was in good hands), and laughing with friends and family. It’s a community! Now to invite more of our Cameron friends out for relaxation and fun. I will admit it works better when people invite themselves, though. Hint.

Author: Sue Ann (Suna) Kendall

The person behind The Hermits' Rest blog and many others. I'm a certified Texas Master Naturalist and love the nature of Milam County. I manage technical writers in Austin, help with Hearts Homes and Hands, a personal assistance service, in Cameron, and serve on three nonprofit boards. You may know me from La Leche League, knitting, iNaturalist, or Facebook. I'm interested in ALL of you!

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