Sunday, March 28, 2010

A Cooperative Effort

Much to the surprise of the residents of Silver City who insisted finding a job in this town was mere impossible, I have managed to get a job at the Silver City Food Cooperative. This is the perfect job for me, as I can get back to my cashiering roots and with my employee discount Josh and I can eat well on our small budget. But working here has made me start to ponder the word cooperative. Surely the food co-op is a prime example of cooperation; employees must cooperate to keep the store running and members are owners of the store making every decision a cooperative effort amongst all. But when I think of the word cooperative, what truly comes to mind is living in a 14 foot cone with another human being.

When it finally hit me that I would be living with Josh in such a small space, I was more than a little concerned about how things would work out. To my delightful surprise, it has not only been 100 times easier than I imagined, but it is usually a lot of fun. That is of course if you are willing to cooperate. When it comes to getting things done in the tipi, a little bit of cooperation goes a long way. It makes life easier and makes getting tasks done faster and more efficient. Cooking dinner for starters is always a cooperative effort. Josh starts a fire and maintains it, while I chop vegetables and prepare the meal. In the mornings Josh often chops wood and I will clean up around the tipi or do the dishes from the night before. Now maybe this sounds like we have taken on some outdated gender roles, but in truth this situation suits us best. Josh is faster and more efficient at starting fires and chopping wood, and I like to think I am a little better at cooking and after seeing Josh’s version of a clean dish I will gladly do them any day!

There are other tasks that require both of us to work together to get them done. For instance, emptying the ozan after a heavy rain requires that I hold up the bucket, while Josh dumps the water into it (hopefully without getting too much of it on my head…). Showering also takes some cooperation. Josh has recently built a free standing shower, but before that we would either have to hose each others heads or hold up the shower to get the job done. We also recently learned that using a dutch oven can be quite the cooperative effort and after only 23 hours we finally got our beans cooked!

All in all being in the tipi has been better than I could have ever imagined, and being in it with Josh has been spectacular. Every day brings new challenges and it is always exciting to see how we can work together to solve them. Only time will tell what new obstacles lay before us, but I am confident that with a little cooperation, we will get through them all and still have smiles on our faces in the end :)