We are a household of three – father and daughter, and a roommate friend-of- the-family, plus two cats, Mikolo and Athusa – living in a small suburban home on five acres of land outside of Middletown, Connecticut, halfway between NYC and Boston. We have a barn, a field tennis court, a performance deck in the woods, a frog pond, fruit trees, and a stream emptying out of a lake that is eight minutes away by foot. Directly in the backyard next to the house, a clubhouse, two tent decks, a screen tent, a tether-ball pole, and a small vegetable garden. It's ideal for people who like to be outdoors!
The father is an independent artist and musician who has taught sculpture, architecture, music, and art history in universities in the USA, Germany, and Japan. His primary focus over the past twenty-five years has been on bird sound, but he also speaks fluent German, some Japanese, and can understand a bit of Dutch, French, Italian and Spanish. Tennis and swimming are major pastime activities for father and daughter, who also spends time writing novels and playing music.
Our current friend-of-the-family roomate is an independent writer and playwright, a long-time student of Zen and Noh drama, an enthusiast gardener, student of permaculture, and a budding kombucha maker. When not here, she's at a Zen Monastery in the Catskills or a Zen temple in NYC. She is studying German and Japanese, and is a life-long friend of Japanese culture.
During the summer, there are a few musical events here, but in general, we try to use the time for renovating the barn, doing art, music and building projects, gardening, landscaping, foraging, and clearing brush. There's lots to do, but it's a beautiful place to work and play, hike, play tennis, swimming, paddle boarding and boating etc.
Middletown downtown, which has many shops, good restaurants, bookstore, and world-class Wesleyan University, can be reached by car in 5-10 minutes, or by bike in 15 minutes. We have bicycles of all sizes. We are 25 minutes by car from Hammonassett Beach on the Long Island Sound and a bit over an hour away from beaches on the Atlantic.
Our house guests have a choice of living inside or out on tent decks not far from the house, or further back along the stream and in the woods. One of the main projects underway here is to develop part of the barn as a living space, alongside performance spaces and workshop.
Help with Eco project
This is a globally-oriented household with an eclectic variety of skills that I've enumerated in the longer description: carpentry, gardening, sculpture, architecture, music, languages, writing, and so on. Anyone interested in any of these will also have great exposure to the interrelationship between them. Anyone interested in New Music or otherwise, will have ample opportunity to both learn and play.
I've checked the major needs above, but other things on the list are certainly useful, such as help with computers, gardening, cooking, and help in the house. Probably, the most important item is having basic carpentry
and building skills.
German (fluent speaking and writing); Japanese (rusty)
We have both an indoor bedroom and, in warm weather, two 10'x10' tents on platforms. Workawayers can take their choice depending on the weather. We are also largely a vegetarian household (occasional fish or chicken). We're happy to share our food but don't have consistent or formal mealtimes.
Middletown has plenty of good restaurants, a movie theater, shops, Wesleyan University with its own cultural opportunities, hiking trails, a major river for boating, and any number other activities. Middletown, CT is not far from beautiful beaches, NYC and Boston. Transportation is not the best, but buses are available to get to outlying areas and train service. Because we live in a kind of "resort" atmosphere here on the outskirts of town, we also don't always need to go anywhere for entertainment!
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week