October 2016: Greetings from Lady Dunrovin
What a special time it is! Every year I look forward to autumn’s delights. It seems the angels of the night throw ever more brilliant coats of paint across the landscape, creating a collage of vivid oranges, reds, yellows, and purples. The warm, shorter days and cool, longer nights can be a relief from the hot and seemingly endless days of summer. A quiet and calming atmosphere descends as the ospreys migrate away and take their boisterous chirps south with them. The glow of the plums, apples, and pears lure us into the orchard for juicy rewards, while the horses line up with the hope of us grabbing the fallen fruits from the ground and tossing them over the fences.But there is also a certain ambivalence about autumn. Its charms are short-lived. Saying goodbye to autumn’s warm afternoons, crunchy leaves underfoot, and splendidly dressed trees is not easy as the season all too soon fades into the first cold days of winter. Don’t get me wrong, I love winter—once winter is actually here and snow blankets the world in its own beauty. But I don’t always like the thought of winter and its challenges of driving on icy roads, frozen pipes during severe storms, or the long months of little direct sunlight. So while I rejoice in autumn, my joy is tinged with sadness at the thought of it passing.
Luckily, cultures around the world have created various festivals to celebrate autumn’s end and prepare us for the rigors of winter. Halloween and Thanksgiving top my holiday affections. They require so little of us and focus almost exclusively on family and fun. Dress up, be silly, visit neighbors, and give thanks for all our blessings. What could be simpler, yet what could be more rewarding?
Dunrovin fully participates in these autumn traditions. Each year we invite the children in our community to come in costume for horseback rides, lawn games, and s’mores around the fire. And each year we have to attend to the Divas getting dressed up in their purple and red costumes and sashaying around with their sawbuck saddles loaded with candy. They must think Halloween was invented just so they could play with the neighbors. Please join us on our DaysAtDunrovin web cameras as the little goblins, witches, pirates, spooks, and clowns descend on the ranch.
Our D@D community is a subscription-based online community. We require a subscription for several important reasons.
First, all of this—the magazine, the website, the web cameras and broadcasts—costs money. Ours is not a wealthy family. We cannot afford to support this entirely on our own. Yet, we do not want to use our limited resources chasing advertisements as a source of revenue. And we are tired of being viewed primarily as consumers in the online world. We strive to create an online community free from constant, invasive pushes to purchase. Information about and links to our partner organizations appear without charge on our public D@D pages. We are proud to be associated with these entities and hope you will support them. They share our values and will serve you well.
Secondly, we endeavor to create a community of people with common interests and values who can freely communicate without fear of disrespect. Requiring a D@D membership to participate in the open chat and posting forums ensures protection from internet trolls and bullies. Open and respectful communication opens hearts, and forms the basis for friendships. Our website must be safe and secure for meaningful conversations and friendships to thrive. Furthermore, this is very personal for me. I live at Dunrovin. I am inviting you into my home. I need to know that you, too, are a real person with honest and good intentions.
Thirdly, we would love to raise money to give back in meaningful ways and support nonprofit causes which speak to the values we all hold. As a community, we can collectively be a force for good.
If you want to join the D@D community and cannot afford the $8/month subscription fee, please email us at email@example.com and we will work with you to set up a scholarship. Willingness to divulge who you are and abiding by our conversation standards of respect are more important to us than payment. Ability to pay should not be a barrier to community membership.
Members and nonmembers alike, please communicate your thoughts on the magazine by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We cannot promise to answer every message, but we do promise to read every one and post them in our Discussion section for our D@D members to see and discuss. We will work with our D@D members to determine the magazine's course together.
Thank you for your time and attention. Welcome to Dunrovin. I'd love to hear from you.