This morning, our friend Jenna arrives bright and early with the intention of helping us peel bark for our timber frame. Thanks to everyone's help yesterday, however, we're done! Instead, we focus our attention on the outdoor shower that Tyler and I have been making for the attendees. The leafy walls we erected a few weeks ago aren't quite tall enough yet, so Jenna and I head into the woods, looking for a few saplings to fill in the gaps.
Meanwhile, Tyler heads to town, off to pick up the last of our to-do list items. High on the shopping list is something Jenna recommended just moments ago: a first aid kit. How did we not think of that?!
When Tyler returns from his shopping trip, and Jenna takes her leave (thank you for your help, Jenna!), it's just the two of us running around like chickens with our heads cut off, finishing zillions of last-minute things that need to happen. By the time afternoon rolls around, we've finally completed our tasks. Collapsing into our hammocks, we both feel like we could sleep for a hundred years. Honestly, we're completely exhausted and very sore, and our class hasn't even begun yet!
Though my body is practically comatose, my mind is racing: What will it be like to have a bunch of strangers on our land for five days?! Will the people be nice? Will they like the class? Will they burn our forest down with wayward campfires? Will everyone get along? Fewer than twenty minutes after we stopped to rest, the first of our participants start arriving.
Miraculously, my energy level increases thanks to the excitement of it all. We get to meet folks from all over the country, and we're finally going to build our workshop! We meet Bruce, a quiet guy from Colorado, and welcome our boat-builder friend Kit from Maine. We meet Trent, a kindred spirit from the Boston area, and a family from Illinois that includes two young girls: one baby, and one three-year-old.
Over the course of the next few hours, we greet everyone, give them a little orientation (how to use the hand pumped well and the shower, etc), and let them settle into their chosen camping spots. When night falls, we light a bonfire and sit around it, enjoying camaraderie (and marshmallows), getting to know one another, and sharing in the anticipation of beginning the class tomorrow.
Our woods are buzzing with excitement, and the phone rings often, delivering travel updates on the folks who haven't arrived yet. Our friend Deanne is on her way—she'll be picking up Arturo (who flew in from Mexico to be here!) from the airport. Rachel and Adnan, a couple from Texas, are having trouble with their rental car situation, but they'll be in around midnight. Roger, a man from New Hampshire, is still at large.
It's late when Deanne and Arturo, Rachel and Adnan roll up. We assist them in getting unloaded and situated, helping set up campsites by headlamp light. And then, when we're all here (except for Roger?) I head to bed, completely and utterly spent. Phew. Breathe in, breathe out. We can do this. We are doing this.