I never did get any guesses on the small pink things that we've been kicking off of our property. One of my best friends, Elena, who lived here until recently and has been pregnant at the same time as me twice, called and said that at first she thought of baby mice. But then she thought, why so many? And why would they have to load them in the gigantic blue van? 

True. Not baby mice. Not any kind of baby animals, thank God. Her husband, Curtis, had the right answer, although he didn't post it. He guessed tiles.

When our community first moved to this Land, nine years ago, the large house that we call the Big House and that serves as our gathering place and office and all that, was decorated entirely in pink. Over the years the pink has been replaced, and the last surviving pink things (wait- maybe there is still the carpet in the office?) were the bathroom tiles that the previous owner had used to tile the entire kitchen; floors, counter tops, windowsill, everything. As of this past weekend, they are there no more. We're renovating what used to be a kitchen in the Big House and making it into a working kitchen.

No one is sad to see those pink tiles go. No one is even the least bit nostalgic. I tend to be a pretty nostalgic girl, certain smells can make me collapse into bits of memory- unlikely things, too, like the smell of sewage when you are walking by a sewer opening in the city and it wafts out at you, because of how it reminds me of Bangkok, Thailand, or the smell of smoking fires because of how it reminds me of the burning poo in India- but even I do not feel as though I will ever miss those pink tiles.

We are fighting a battle here, at the Land. Sometimes it feels as though it is a gigantic burden: What will break next? we wonder, with trepidition. For instance, in one of the cabins the electricity just went out. Just disappeared. We don't know why. And the wiring around here was all done, maybe, before I was born. And electricians often refuse to come somewhere that is so remote. So it is a quandary. And this is just an example. Don't even get me started on the plumbing. Or our largest building which appears to be leaning to one side, which has a leaking roof, in which one of the walls is folding in. This is the reason we are moving our kitchen. We are forced to evacuate. We'll probably end up tearing the largest building down, making something new.

But still I feel that we will do this. One step at a time we will fix this Land up, we will have our garden going, we will make our buildings warm. We will get rid of the broken pink tiles and this will symbolize a new way of doing things. It's just slow, that's all. We've inherited a bit of a beast in the form of a gorgeous, tree-filled, river-bordering, green fairyland.

We're here to be a family to those who need a family. One guy who is living with us right now told me that this feels like the first home he's ever had. Surely it's worth the work to be that. Every family has maintenance, everybody has their stuff, everybody chooses to put effort into something. For us right now it's this sprawling piece of paradise, this broken down resort that is an unlikely place to find a family. Yet people still do. I do.

We had our wonderful housewarming party a few weeks ago, and there are still a few things left on our registry.  Like sleep-deprived new mommy portuguesa nova suggested, I'm going to post my registry as a wish list in the sidebar for awhile, for any interested souls on the internets.