Meadow house memories

Innisfree’s first house “Meadow” came down with a crash this week. With its newer, shinier version looking on next door, the contrast was striking as roofing caved in and once sturdy walls became mere rubble in the dumpster. Yes, the house was old and it was time to say goodbye. Yes, Meadow V. 2 is amazing and we are so thankful for those who made the move happen whether through hauling boxes or providing funding. However, many people throughout the years have passed through Meadow’s doorways and stairwells. Many people have called Meadow home and will continue to do so, though memories will be made in different doorways and different stairwells. Here are some memories we’ve collected from previous and current community members- Meadow has been such a special place and we’re looking forward to the years and memories yet to come!

The mother of a coworker…

“When Elizabeth first came to Meadow, 8 years ago, her first bedroom was the “tiny” room across from the laundry room. Already knowing her collecting instincts, the community put in shelves so that she could have some of her collection displayed in her new room. Such is the consideration of this remarkable community. When she moved into “Ivy” room when Kimmie vacated it for Robert’s room in the corner when he moved to Amity, again, Elizabeth’s display space for her growing collection increased with the help of the community to provide shelves. Worn, yes, “Old Meadow” was worn but like comfy slippers that you can’t quite part with. And, every time I looked out the kitchen window I could not believe how stunningly beautiful the view is/was. Not sad but wistful…”

A former volunteer….

I lived in Meadow from the fall of 1976 to sometime in ’79 when I moved to Dogwood. The place held many memories for me. Some of my favorites were listening to Jim play his piano before going to bed and the time he recited parts of ‘Peter and the Wolf’ after eating dinner. Then there was the day that Terri Derricks made homemade manicotti (she even made the noodles!) for the entire village!
In 1977 I borrowed a slide from Steve Pifer, a fellow volunteer who captured a lovely image of the village from the little meadow on the east slope of Pasture Fence Mountain. I loved that view and transferred it to the large wall in the living room. One thing is certain. Innisfree is a beautiful and amazing place and I am so glad I got to live there for three years.”

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Bruce's mural

A former volunteer and staff member…

“Original Meadow was my home from February 2010 until September 2012. I lived there with Jim, Kim, Elizabeth, Katie B, James, Kevin, Corinne, Melanie, Kahlil, Jana, Gracie, Raphael, Hye Jin, Arvin, and Annie (my apologies if there is anyone I am forgetting!). Many hours in that kitchen: where Kim and I baked “upcakes” for the whole community, Gracie and I made Hannukah latkes that made the whole house like cooking oil, Jim would sit at the table waiting for “tea snack raisins and pretzels” to “come pretty soon,” veggie buckets were emptied and transformed into soups or stir-fries, Bobbo N. would join us from Amity after a very slow journey up the drive holding volunteers’ hands, Vinh and I made Vietnamese pho, tapas and sangria were served at a summer celebration party, and countless stems of basil were transformed into pesto.”

A former volunteer…

“Oh my, so many memories. All of the above alongside Rhonda and others before she arrived. The bucket hanging from the ceiling for the Settler games. Having to get the ladder to get someone out of the elevator when it stuck between floors. I’m frequently reminded of Jim due to a bird a bird call that sounds a little like “Mouth Guard! Mouth Guard!”

A former volunteer…

“John D who felt so responsible for everyone in the house that he had to be the last person to go downstairs to go to bed. I lived in Meadow for two years (’91 – ’93) with John D, Kenny, Debra, Judith and Jill.”

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A current associate director…

I had the bottom bedroom (where Kim most recently lived) and Galen/Alex was next door. That was 1996: with Kenny, Judith, Monty, John D, Jane Emma, Patrick Mooney, Shojiro and how could I forget Jill Luria”

A former volunteer and mother of a current volunteer…

“…how John D disliked fish so much that when we would set it out in the pantry to thaw for dinner he would find it and hide it somewhere around the house, sometimes with odoriferous results! John spent so much time in the dining room watching over the cars in the Meadow lot that it was hard to get that fish safely tucked somewhere without his noticing”

…”I lived in Meadow from late fall of “79 to fall of “81 when Pete and I married and moved to Dogwood. Four volunteers, 6-7 coworkers, plus Heinz in the basement room by the garage at one point. I had the upstairs bedroom next to the living room. My first spring there my parents called to say my childhood cat had died (19 yrs old). That next morning I woke to find Joe’s cat, Pinky, sitting on the ledge outside my window, looking in at me. Both cats were black and white. It felt like a visitation.”

A former volunteer…

“Back in the ’70’s the laundry room was also the milk room where we would filter the milk after milking our three cows and then put the milk in gallon cans which were stored in a frig in the basement for folks to pick up when they needed it. I used to love the walk back to the house from the barn (which was located where the offices are now) in the early morning after milking and seeing the early rays of sun on the summit of Cedar Mountain. It was particularly beautiful in the winter when there was snow up there.”

A former volunteer…

“All the hours of community meetings in the evenings, sitting in a circle, sometimes hard or sad, sometimes hilarious, and everything in between…All the meals, around the big table on cool fall days, or out on the porch on beautiful summer days…John D’s corner room in the basement…For me, so much of what Innisfree was all about.”

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A former volunteer…

“I lived across from Meadow in what is now Harmony. Id walk Bob and Sally over for dinner on some weeknights. And had lots of Tea and chit chat with HyeJin Rachel Kim in Meadows kitchen! Good times, also remember enjoying the summer nights sich a fire in its front yard. Those were the days when the big tree was still out there,too.”

A former volunteer and staff member…

“Happy memories. Ellen prepping some dish in the pantry while Jessi made dinner in the kitchen. Gatherings on the back porch, Jessi catching a snake before Hank Luria came in the house…….”

It’s incredible the amount of memories we’ve acquired over the years- Innisfree is so different and yet so very much the same. Thank you to everyone who has been a part of the Meadow life-cycle…from the days of milking cows to the days of watching endless Abba music videos, Meadow continues to be a vibrant spot on the Innisfree landscape.