Thursday, January 3, 2013


Fischer Hall, host to all manner of community celebrations for more than a century.
I'm not certain why, but ever since I was a little tyke, I've had a terrible time asking for help or favors of any kind, or even simply telling people what I really need. For most of my life, being the strong, independent stoic has been my primary goal -- my ideal. I didn't want to rely on anybody, or owe them any favors. Now, well, I'm just not so sure anymore.

The Arnosky's big blue barn -- modeled after Fischer Hall, and raised via a community barn raising.
Having lived in Wimberley for several years now, I'm beginning to see the advantages of being part of a community where neighbor helps neighbor. I've also seen what happens when a neighborhood association gets out of control, focusing more on the me than the we, and nearly causes a neighborhood to fall apart.  I'm heartened and fascinated by folks like those out at Montesino Ranch, who came up with a new model for a new generation -- one where older people with land and money can give a leg up to young farmer wannabes who have neither, all for the greater good of the community.

Montesino Ranch -- a new model for a new generation.

I'm beginning to understand how trading favors and paying things forward can be a really good thing, and that maybe those agricultural enclaves in days gone by, what with their community-wide barn-raisings, hay-baling, quilting bees and grape-harvesting, might just have a thing or two to teach us.

The most important thing I've learned, during my hubby's touch-and-go health crisis this fall -- when I had to juggle being with him in the ICU over in Austin, with a flooding house in Wimberley and an urgent need for legal assistance -- is that one person just can't do it all alone. It's physically impossible. Which is why I'm ever so grateful for friends I can rely on in a crunch -- even if it means being "beholden" to them.

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