The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #74705   Message #1589792
Posted By: wysiwyg
24-Oct-05 - 01:16 PM
Thread Name: MudCamp Dorm Open & Suggestion Box
Subject: RE: MudCamp Dorm Open & Suggestion Box
Thanks for your kind comments, LF and LF; and thanks also for your self-sufficience during your visits. We're glad to know that visitors find us a good destination for Mudcat travel. And we love having the company, even if it is a lot of work when you add it all up.

Regarding the changes we're contemplating, one thing I have found myself reflecting upon is that the Dorm was planned and equipped to serve many purposes, but continuing to maintain it to serve any of them only makes sense if it serves its MAIN purpose-- and that is, weekend Gatherings of Mudcatters or others.

The spring Mudcat Gatherings we can host in this mountainous climate, before festival season opens, have been variously attended by a large or small number of people. Spring 2005 would have been the first with the Dorm available.... but I was very sick that spring, so we didn't even try to plan it.

So I need to be thinking about a couple of things:
1. Spring MudGather? How to know far enough ahead if attendance will justify allocating the space to it?
2. Other users? Touring cyclists; retreats; clergy vacationers; hunters...
3. If 1 & 2 above are not feasible, then what other use could we have for the space?

There are some ways in which the Dorm just does not work nearly as well for one-night visitors (or for hosting them), and that is LINENS and MEALS.

Linens-- My health just does not permit me to do mass changing of linens. Yet, as a tired traveler myself, I can appreciate that someone making a single-night's stop does not feel like putting on fresh linens-- nor, often, lugging in a bedroll after lugging in all the instruments one prefers not to leave in the night air in one's vehicle. Unfortunately, I can't say, "The beds aren't made up but help yourself," because if I am also going to take paying guests at other times, I can't have hardy camping souls lying about on naked mattresses or on top of bedspreads, just to save themselves a bed-change or unloading of bedroll-- because the later, paying guests deserve a certain standard of cleanliness. (Someone asked me once, "Why not charge for your time with Mudcat visitors?" The answer is, "Because when there are musicians present, my time is not for sale-- I want to play and sing, too!")

Meals-- With weekenders, it's easy to assemble an ample buffet to which all have contributed-- the Friday arrival crockpot and house-prep are usually our end, and this leaves time for us to sing/play, too. But one-nighters using our place as their way-station need to be fed and may be coming a long distance, making it hard to bring a dish to share. It's very awkward for both guest and host. I can feed an army.... But I want to sing and play, too. The guests can go to the store-- but we're in what looks like the middle of nowhere with only the awful Enemy WalMart "near"by.

So when we host groups of one-nighters, it is very hard (as a hostess who wants to be gracious) to actually maintain the policy that all visitors contribute to the work/food of hosting, and that each guest readies the space they used for the next visitor. (If you look at my description of Camp memories, above, I think it's clear these are memories of long visits, not one-night whistle stops.)

Meals ideas in the works among the ragtag, disorganized Hosting Gang (folkies!!!) include having first-nighters' dinner and brekkie out (there is a handy truckstop with real and good food); the group then assembled can make a plan for the home-meals of the return trip, with more leisure at that end of the trip to stop and shop. Linens ideas involve covering the made-up-for-paying-guests beds with dust sheets (me), providing pillows and changing the used pillowcases later (me), and asking that people bring sleeping bags to spread on top of the beds. Towels, which have been kept till now in the various sleeping areas of the house, will have to be brought down to crowd up the small bathroom, because that's where people look for them. OK-- there's a corner where I can squeeze in a bag of towels.

But back to weekends-- the Spring Mudcat Gathering-- that's going to be the make-or-break issue in the decisions we need to make about the Dorm. When I get this year's closing-up done, I'll start a thread to try to find a realistic date that doesn't conflict with early festivals.

It's either that, or move this house we rent, downstate. :~)