Monday, March 31, 2014

Our time in the Ozarks

 Our family decided to spend a few months living in the south eastern part of the Missouri Ozarks, outside of Doniphan.  My husband had met a father and two boys years earlier at a homeschool group in St. Louis.  Their family eventually invited us to come visit them at their new woodland home... five years later we made it!

Their family of four lives in this one room cabin (with a loft for sleeping), next to a pond.

We built a sweat lodge out of River Cane.  We had a sweat every full and new moon... sending love up and out to our tipi family back in Oregon.
Watched the pond change with the weather

Our family lodge was pitched, but the ground froze before we could finish our mound...the inevitable flooding moved us into our bus for the remainder of our stay.

Michael and I had fun showing the family how we live, taking them out wooding to find dead trees for fuel and using bow saws instead of chainsaws.  So many people do not realize the benefit of removing dead trees, walking through the woods everyday and the exercise from this daily act.  Going out wooding has become my form of meditation.
The Flowering Dogwood was the choice wood for our open fire.  

We welcomed the snow and the kids played on the frozen pond daily.

Our closest neighbor was Mr. Dickson. We walk the path over to his house almost everyday.  Both his family and his wife's had been in the area for four generations and he shared a lot of his knowledge about plants and Ozark living.

We shared as much as we could with Mr. Dickson and his wife Vera. Michael helped his grandson build his first bow, out of Eastern Red Cedar, I gave him one of my St. John's Wort Healing Salves and for his birthday we gave him one of Michael's bow drill sets.  We will miss our time with him the most.  Elders like him have so much to share and sadly many of their children are not willing to continue the traditional ways.

This is Toph, one of the coolest dogs we have met... sadly a few days before we left we found her lifeless on the side of the road, not far from the driveway.  This was the first time our kids had experience an unforeseen death of an animal close to them.  It was hard, but we buried her and said our goodbyes. 
It was both sad and exciting  to leave the Ozarks and start on our journey back home to Oregon.  The librarians at the Doniphan library were great.  Fair joined a teen writing class, facilitated by Katie Jane, and it sparked her to write a book.  So far it is AMAZING and I will post the first chapter.  I will keep posting more on our Ozark time, including:  Sassafras harvesting and tree identifications. 

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