such as it seems to be turning out . . .
When my wife and I were finally looking to buy our first house, one of the important concerns for me was that we might fine a place which included a little bit of land. There was something I had never found over the decades, and it had become a deep-seated longing within me. I had never had a place where I could go outside and just be, or do Pagan things, without being challenged or questioned by the surrounding "mundanes." Thankfully, I have not been among those of us who have received threats over such, but I do understand these frustrations common to way too many of us Pagans.
I found myself wishing to not only have such a place for my own use, I wanted to be able to make it available to the greater Pagan community of whatever area we finally bought our house in. And we sincerely hoped for our household to be able to become involved as a part of that very community, since we have no plans to go jumping from house to house, now that we had this opportunity to get a home of our very own for the first time.
As for the name we finally came up with for our new home, weellllllll, that came in one of those unplannable strange moments during a conversation, when several things came together : including the strange pattern of paths and clearings I had started, our spiritual hopes and desires for growth and health of our Pagan communities, the play on words of the name of our town, and then a few wild comments from the peanut galleries, to jell into the phrase, "the Groves of the Greene Man's Denne."
As they are, and as we hope to improve them.
At just under three acres, the place isn't really all that big, but it is large enough. It's not all level, which gives the rear of the lot some privacy.
Town records state that the original house on these mortared-rubble foundations was built in 1850. The stone walls, of course, date back to somewhere around that time for their earliest parts. I suspect that the original house burned down in 1900 (and perhaps not for the first time, given the technology then), as that is when the current one is supposed to have been built. However, since there are no fireplaces in the house, I also suspect that 1900 was not the last time that a fire occurred.
Some Cautionary Notes: Smoking is not allowed inside the Residence, because of asthmatic problems.
ALSO: NO VEHICLES are permitted beyond the point where the small shed and wooden fencing/porta-potty area straddles the main pathway.
ALSO: Only one of the cats who lives here is allowed to go outdoors at will, she is the all-white cat, "Miss Snowball," our mighty hunter.
ALSO: Children are not allowed to drive the rider-mower at any time. NO RIDERS are allowed in the trailer EVER. It is meant for hauling your camping kit or other gear from the parking lot to the areas beyond the shed and port-a-potties.
A Warning Note: just beyond where the double-stone wall crosses the property line toward the northeast corner of the lot, there is a small building which has collapsed into its own foundations. That ruin is NOT ON THIS PROPERTY, and is a hazard which all attendees of events need to keep the little ones (curious and fearless explorers which they are) away from.
Fires Permitted in Fireplaces ONLY: Per Town of Greene ordinances, so the only places where a fire may be built is in the Fire Pit at the Fire Circle, and in the Sweat Lodge's stone-heating fire-pit. In both places, one or more persons must remain on watch, with the duty of tending the fire, until it has been entirely put out. Violating this rule is one of the things which can result in a group becoming banned from future bookings here at the Groves.
This plot plan is the full-size image file, reduced on-screen only.
Click to open in a new window to see it full-size,
or Right-Click to save for printing-out ('size to page').
The compass-bearings, property-lines, house,
and driveway locations are correct,
but the rest is only my best approximation of where
everything else is relatively situated.
Paths and Trails
It is requested that all visitors stay on the cleared and marked paths and trails on the property. Areas and thickets which have been left uncut are still visited regularly by the neighboring wildlife, including a flock of wild turkeys (23 counted during one visit) and numerous deer (which often bed down in the high grass), so we wish to leave those small areas free of direct human scent. There are also a huge number of thorns on both bushes, vines, and a couple of trees out there (OUCH!). And don't forget just how much the ticks love to wait in the tall grass for something or someone to grab on to!
Also, some of the entities which have been invited here in ritual have apparently decided that they "don't want to be strangers," and seem to have taken up an erratic (to observation so far) watch over these Groves. Go figure. But don't deliberately put temptations before them, either. Even the friendliest monster can accidentally step on you.
We realize that the wee kiddies don't often understand such things either mundane or mystical, but please keep trying with them.
There is, of course, a land-line phone inside the residence. There are also two nearby Cell Towers, one about a quarter-mile off (ENE), the other about a half-mile (SE). In addition, there is Wi-Fi (currently 802.11g) access originating from the residence, through DSL service.
EMERGENCY NUMBERS FOR GREENE:
Ambulance / Rescue • 911
Greene Fire Department • 911 • business at 946-5606
Androscoggin County Sheriff's Department • 911 • business aat 784-7361
Well, it doesn't have to be used for vendors to set up in, but it does provide a place closer to the parking area, reducing the distance to haul their merchandise back and forth. It also keeps the hawking of products for sale at some distance from rituals and workshops taking place. Alternatively, it could serve as an overflow tenting area. Perhaps we could cobble together some of those crude tables that are so common at all the flea markets.
This is actually the side-yard of our house, when there are no events taking place. We have estimated that approximately 20-25 cars can park here, but only the last-row-in to park will be able to depart at will. It is suggested that people who do not anticipate leaving until the event is entirely over be the ones to park in the rear-most row, and that one or two of the event organizers' vehicles be kept free for running errands as needed.
While there are some areas nearby to us along Route 202 which could hold a few dozen cars, we have as yet to manage contacting the owners of them to see if arrangements could be made to use them for overflow parking. At this time anybody who does park along Route 202 does so entirely at their own risk.
A slight hill separating the Ampitheater from the Fire Circle, this area is off-limits to children, whether there are people up there cutting or splitting firewood or not. If anybody IS UP THERE working, any pets should kept away as well, for the safety of everybody.
Wild-Ideas and Grandiose Plans
Gen-you-whine Finnish Sauna and I mean a Finnish Steam Bath -- not the dry-heat American "sonna" -- those things just aren't right, not by a long shot. My Grandfather built a real one out of logs in the 1920s when he moved to Temple Hill in Waterford, and it was still in use when I came along in the early '50s.
Kitchen-building (marked 'BBQ/Kitchen' on the site map) for use by caterers for preparation and serving from, or for those event organizers who wish to do the entire food-prep, cooking and serving on-site themselves. Intend to have sinks, shelving, counter-space, two barbecue grilles (one specifically for vegan/vegetarian cooking), and hopefully a refrigerator/freezer. Idle dreams of an ice-maker, too.
Toolshed at the top of Wood-Splitting Hill for the axes and wedges and saws and related gear, right next to the large chopping block we obtained in 2006.
A small stage, (marked as 'Pavilion' on the site-map), usable for presentations and performances. Hope to add a small Public Address setup for when one is needed. At some later date, perhaps a digital screen and projector.
Shuttle Service to Overflow Parking but then, to require that I would probably have to have already purchased that 11-acre lot behind and to the northeast of us (see: Utterly Wild? below), as well as make those arrangements with the folks along Route 202 (suspect it's Schott, but not certain).
Gear "Taxis" Obtain a "fleet" of about three or four of those pushcart-style wheelbarrows (you know, the ones with the bicycle wheels) for visitors and merchants to use to move their camping kit and materials from the parking lot down to the tenting area and vice versa. The yard tractor and trailer would still be available for moving the heavy stuff.
Catering -- While it's certainly NOT any area of interest of mine, but I can conceive of someone wishing to provide "In-House Catering for Hire" for those single-day events which do not have the desire to become involved with buying-preparing-serving a luncheon to their participants.
How about the thought of adding the 11-acre lot (pinkish color) partially surrounding and behind our property (the green one), in order to have room for all kinds of additional Pagan-Wish-List goodies? This would include a good bit of the boggy area where the creek flows through the center of this vale. Perhaps the State would allow digging out a swimming hole, a.k.a. Fire Department Water Supply Pond along the creek and hopefully refrain from frowning at us too severely if we trucked in bit of sand to make a "beach."