Monthly Archives: June 2010

An Old-Fashioned Barn Raising

It's not always sunny. Some weekends are like this.

This place we go to on the weekends, the beach, the island, the cabin, it goes by all of these names. It’s a small self-governed community. That’s right; it’s run by a homeowners association. (Gasp! Hand covers chest). I know. Generally we have our fair share of politics and hoo-ha. Maybe some hullabaloo also. Just a little.

A few years ago, in all our wisdom, we decided to take over the management and operations of the island marina which sells everything from boat fuel and moorage to lattes, homemade donuts and hotdogs. Some of us weren’t so fond of this idea. We can’t even agree on how to use our water or when to repair the roads. Every 4th of July when we have the annual argument (Oops, I meant meeting, annual meeting!) It gets very Lord of the Flies around here. How on earth did we decide we could run and manage a business? Have we lost our minds? Yes, apparently that’s exactly what happened.

We’ve done this for a few years in a row now. This last weekend was the work party to clean up the marina. It was rainy and cold but the turnout was great. At 10:00 am we all converged with rakes and clippers to clear out the weeds, prune the dead growth, rake, plant flowers, clean, pressure wash, paint, and eat bratwurst for lunch.

In spite of the weather and the manualness of the labor, we kind of had a good time. Josie was in heaven with all that dirt and all those people to talk to. It was really… Kind of Amish. It was like a barn raising of sorts. All that work seemed to bring out a sense of community that we don’t always feel and for those few hours it felt like we were all in agreement, that this was a good idea and that we could do it. Really, it was no big deal.