The free flowing form of a house that can literally be sculpted with one's hands had a serious allure to our creative and rule abhorring tendencies.
Joseph easily and happily dove into this indulgence with us. We would daydream about building cob houses together, drawing up floor plans, discussing how to create a waxed earthen floor, and working out how to find supplies for as little cost as possible.
The three of us and little Adelaide even took a day when Joseph and I were in Chattanooga to visit a commune of hippies who lived in cob houses, just to see how it was done and to stand in a few and look around.
These were some seriously all or nothing hippies whom we enjoyed immensely. Our tour guide's name I do not remember, but we all remember that he had a colleague named Patrick who he routinely disagreed with but was, "too laid back to care".
Star said that if he mentioned one more time how laid back he was, she was going to ask what was stressing him out so much.
One kind lady who was straggling along behind everyone with us told our troop of her morning outdoor shower. A caterpillar had crawled onto her foot, leaving her first in astonishment at it's perfection and beauty, and then in awe of it's self defensive powers. Within minutes, it had caused her foot to swell to twice it's size. It was some kind of freak poisonous caterpillar.
She gazed off happily into randomness and said, "I just thought how amazing it is that such a tiny creature was able to use it's gifts from nature to make such an impact!"
Star and I looked at each other, concerned for this poor woman's foot. We hoped secretly that she would get it looked at.
I went to Indiana again to be with my family a little on a long weekend. I sat on the living room floor talking to Joseph on the phone.
"So... When I build my cob house, and you can help, and I can help you with your cob house..." I was so confused. How should I be conveying that by the time I had a house I hoped it would be one that we would have together?
"Of course I'll help you build your cob house!"
We discussed specifics and design while hemming and hawing around any bushes that represented a future together or apart until finally Joseph just softly stated, "You know... for now, I think it's safe to say 'our cob house'. Ya know, just for conversation's sake. If... if you want."
"Okay", I grinned into the receiver, "Our cob house. For conversation's sake."
Fall break found us together at Joe's parent's house again. Late into the night, we whispered about the future.
"I hope we don't ever break up" I confided, "It would just be too sad!"
"Oh Sarah," Joseph smiled sweetly, "you know that won't happen! In fact, I can't picture us not getting married!"
"HA!" I buried my face in a couch pillow to keep as quiet as I could. I didn't want to wake up the family! "That does not count as a proposal, mister!"
"I know. Oh, I know." he countered, with an up-to-something expression on his face.