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In which our heroine wins an argument with her mother

Mom, me, and JoeyIt all started before I was born, when my mother hopped in a VW bus with some friends and drove south from her Massachusetts home to join a commune.

"It wasn't a commune," Mom said, correcting my wording just like every other time I'd ask her about Greensun.  "And I wasn't a hippie."

"Sure you weren't, Mom," I'd either say or think, depending on how nice I was feeling at the moment.

"It was an intentional community," Mom reiterated a week before I ended up stranded in West Virginia.  The flier that had restarted this conversation hit the trash can as Mom continued her historical whitewashing.  "You can call it a community land trust if you want, but not a commune."

I wasn't buying it, but I knew what Mom was trying to say with her adamant denial of hippiedom—she hadn't smoked pot (supposedly) and I'd darn well better not either.  That message was coming through loud and clear, so I decided to humor my  mother on the semantics issue.  "Sure, Mom.  You spent a solid year living in an intentional community.  Got it."

I'd been begging to visit the Greensun community since I could pronounce words of four syllables, but Mom never saw any reason to fly across the country to grant my wish.  Never mind that my biological father still lived there (I thought) and that I've never met him.

(Oh, yeah—I'm a love child.  Still not a hippie, Mom?)

Playhouse"You think you want to go there now, but you really don't," Mom replied.  (I decided to let it slide that my mother seemed to think she knew my wishes better than I did, so I stayed silent.)  "When I left, there were plastic doll heads on all the fence posts.  Your father said they scared away deer, but they mostly just scared away people.  Very creepy."

"So, I'll wear my doll-fighting gear," I said.  "No problem.  I'll even bring a wooden stake if it'll make you feel better."

Mom smiled despite herself.  "Forsythia—"  (Naming your child after a flower—another sign of being a hippie.  Just saying.)  "—Do you really want to spend your Europe money visiting an abandoned commune?"

At this point, I couldn't hold my tongue any longer, so I crowed: "Ha!  You admit it's a commune, which means you're a hippie!"

Mom plowed right past that remark and continued trying to talk me out of my plan.  But even though I yes'ed and no'ed appropriately, I was already at Greensun in my mind.

I hope you enjoyed this second installment of Forsythia's adventure.  Stay tuned for another chunk of her story tomorrow, or download the entire ebook of Watermelon Summer here.

This post is part of our Watermelon Summer lunchtime series.  Read all of the entries:

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