It's 4:00AM when our alarm sounds, and we miraculously manage to rouse ourselves to stumble out of bed. Trent is up, packing, making coffee for the last time in the kitchen tent. Soon after, Peter and Amy join him for their morning brew. Together we all watch the skies lighten, like a milk in a cup of coffee. Then, cars are packed and goodbyes are shared.
We leave everyone with hugs, and our deep gratitude for the immense amount of work they've tirelessly put into this project. The enthusiasm this endeavor has brought to our corner of the world was a joy to behold. I'm really going to miss everyone.
I watch the cars crunch down our gravel drive, and we wave until they're out of sight. And then, suddenly, Tyler and I are alone again on our land. It's quiet, almost too quiet. Standing in the aftermath of our workshop, I feel incredibly out of sorts. Sort of numb, sort of in a funk, sort of like a tornado just whirled through town and left as quickly as it arrived. The dust has hardly settled.
Like a pair of zombies, we stand and survey the scene before us. A heavy mood permeates the air, our minds are spinning out of control, having recognized the huge to-do list that stretches out before us.
The kitchen tent needs to be dismantled and returned to Mitch. The high-powered generator should get returned to Clear Brook, and the shower curtain to Greer. The folding tables are needed at the Shaftsbury Community Club, and the hand tools should go back to Rick and Rob. Recyclables need to be taken out, compost bucket washed, garbage hauled down to Jeremy and Hercilia's. Our camper looks like a bomb went off, dishes need to be done, the whole place cleaned.
Then there's the workshop stuff. We have a thirty-three foot wall plate to roll into place, just the two of us. Then, we'll somehow roll it out of place so we can mark it and cut notches in it as we saw Peter do. Then, we'll roll it back into place, where it will miraculously fit on the posts. Eight knee-braces need to be pegged in, and then it's on to the rafters. Twenty six timbers need to be debarked, then marked, then cut. Then tenons and mortises cut, then the lap joint. And then, somehow, the two of us will have to haul the things up onto the roof.
For now, it's time to sleep, and sleep we shall. Back to the camper we go, collapsing into bed, dead to the world before our heads hit the pillow. By the time we wake up, it's 5PM.
There are thousands of photos to weed through and edit. There are journals to be written, though there's no way on earth we'll be able to capture the enormity of this week, of what we've built, of our new friendships, of the happy times and our extreme lows. The task seems so monumental and we have so much more impending work to do (winter is coming!), we wonder if we should even bother.