another week goes by

If I didn't know better, looking at the top photos I'd say what the hell have you been doing anyway paula? are you even packing?! but yes, I have worked non-stop now, this must be week 5. Considering it took me 5 years to collect and make all that i have made, it is fitting that it take me at least a week for each year. there is progress..the lower photos show the boiler room, which was stuffed, is now mostly empty boxes. the stuff on the shelves is the houses' and not mine. I would have more packed and done too but have to keep things out as my art sale is still going on. sale ends wed, then it all gets packed!

this was the hardest week yet. i had a meltdown, which i knew would happen but didn't know when or what would trigger it. it was when i actually went against my gut and got a storage unit. i know not everyone can keep up with our vacillating plans. in a nutshell, a recap if you will....

first we were going to move to portland.
then we were sent a link (see video clip about 5 posts down) which intrigued me enough to want to consider going to texas instead.
then we decided to put stuff in storage here in vermont, hit the road, swing by texas see if we could get experience with building reclaimed homes, maybe swing up to detroit...find people in the states who would tutor us...let us get our hands dirty and learn something, THEN move to portland.
then we decided (without even mentioning it on the blog) that we would drive to portland get set up and tod would fly to texas, providing they let him volunteer, and start learning while i get my momentum back with art showing/making and establishing contacts.
two days ago, when i got the storage unit i melted.

knowing the dimensions. having them marked off in the basement was different than seeing the small space in person. had we just gone to portland i could have filled that 15ft truck to the brim. as it is i spent 3 weeks straight getting rid of stuff. now i was supposed to fill up a small storage unit (8x9x10). realized i needed one more unit that wasn't climate controlled (dont need to protect scrap just art and wood etc)....and realized paying $150 a month in storage was NUTS especially since we would need to drive ALL the way back to vermont some day and get this stuff and still haul it across the country.

melt down big time
tod didn't really want to drag this stuff to texas not knowing IF we would like it there, and he thought the truck rental cost would be the same (which thankfully it isn't). mostly he wanted to be FREE for awhile especially since its mostly all my stuff so who can blame him. hence the moving to portland and HIM being the vagabond. we realized i didn't need to do the vagabond thing AGAIN. and bless his heart he was prepared to deal with my panic and needing to be comfortable in certain ways that were he alone he wouldn't need to deal with. so we decided its best he do it alone and we would both be learning and doing and have valuable info. to share once we got back together.

nothing made sense and nothing felt right. we were waiting to hear back from my email to these people in texas and limbo was making me crazy. time was ticking...i couldn't take not knowing what we were doing. getting that storage unit solidified that NOTHING FELT RIGHT and i freaked.

long story, trying to cut short.
we heard back from them, it is looking more and more like yes, we are going to haul everything down there and volunteer. we still need to talk to the head honcho and find out if we give them what they want and need (labor, possible volunteer overseeing and other non-building duties) will we get to eventually learn and take part in actually building something that is mostly re purposed. will it be worth our time. we get the feeling it will be. we wont know until we get our feet wet.

go google hunstville texas....google images of huntsville and it leaves you a little unsettled. this isn't going to be a picnic but the people seem very nice and community based. we did talk to the assistant of this project last night for 2 hours so we got a good feel for things. if all goes as planned we will talk to dan tomorrow or sometime very soon. it looks like we would already have someone helping us find affordable temporary living, and i would be able to get back to art making. it sounds as if this little city (town?) is beginning to move towards culture on a much bigger scale and art is included in that. would we live there permanently? probably not. we still want to get to portland, but are willing to do whatever it takes to learn valuable skills, and the huge plus is, we get to make a difference in other peoples' lives at the same time. purpose. learning. being a part of something that makes sense to us, it is worth the hassle and uncomfortableness.

i know this still may not make sense to people yet. i dont want to go into details and speak too soon or talk about another persons' project when i know nothing really. suffice to say it looks more and more likely we will go to huntsville and be involved on some level with the phoenix commotion (see sidebar).


Karen said...

Wow! So much going on. It sounds both wonderful and overwhelming. Texas and those houses...wow, That has to be amazing. I hope you can get really into the thick of it there. It sounds like something that is right for you. A renewed house full of art all from cast off objects. I can only imagine the combined effects of excitement,fear and energy that must be swirling all around you now. And Portland too!! I am speechless. You rock. Todd too.

self taught artist said...

yeah i feel like a fool posting all this...but this is my life. its chaotic and unknown so why pretend i know what i'm doing?
messy as tod says. life is messy.

Nellie's Needles said...

I certainly never intended throwing a monkey wrench into your plans when I sent you that link. They just looked like the kind of houses that would appeal to you and Tod. My intent was to give you optimism about outfitting your future "box of a house" in a way that could suit you. You guys are gutsy and have my good thoughts and goodwill.

self taught artist said...

well nellie, thats what a 'good enzyme does'...and YOU are an enzyme :)