Thursday, June 05, 2014

Stress Reduction

Finding a rental in a college town in June is an absurdity. Yes, more houses come on the market when those rascal students flee for their summer vacations. But all the houses they leave behind are as creepy as one might expect. Maybe even creepier in a foggy north coast way, with ancient homes from the 30s and 40s that have never been updated, and were built without insulation or charm, but easy enough to unload on students who don't care what the house looks like as long as they're no longer living under their parents' roof. An electric stove straight out of the 50s? Cool. Every garage converted to an extra bedroom? Excellent. An attic with a bed? Let's just call it a loft, shall we?

That's life here in this beautiful college town on the north coast of California.

So, when it finally gets to be too much for us, we take a walk. Wednesday we went to the local marsh and wildlife sanctuary.

Thursday went to the community redwood forest.

Roger stood in the stump for me, and I tried to wrap my arms around one in a hug that embraces probably more than 3000 years on earth.

It's a balance. Those unbelievably horrible rentals and this ecstatic beauty everywhere else.

So we remind ourselves why we came. That, and our grandchildren will be much closer, and the temperatures reaching 100 degrees on the old home turf on Sunday. The cool ocean air is the most beautiful reminder of why we are making this journey.


  1. Being at the ocean is always soothing. Have you thought of looking directly for a home to buy? Sometimes when people have to move due to school ending, opportunities arise.

  2. sounds wonderful to be on the coast again! love the pics - nature is magical and can carry us away. looks like you have plenty of places for quick escape. it looks like a challenge before you, but hopefully you'll find an acceptable place soon, are you guys planning to build your own home down the road?

  3. Oh, yes!! I do miss the ocean!! I do hope that you can focus on the beauty and hopefully everything else will fall into place!! Holding good thoughts for you! both!!

  4. The nature is enough to get me there. I hope you will find a suitable abode soon.

  5. Ah! I lived in a place like that - when I was a student. Nowadays I crave a little more comfort. Hope you find some suitable comfort soon.

  6. Life is a balancing act. So happy you will be closer to the grandkids...for you and for them!

  7. I don't suppose you could just set up housekeeping in one of those old stumps?

  8. Amazing relics of past trees; I remember reading about a tree expert who spent a long time hunting for the remains of old growth and documenting them. Beautiful and sad...
    Geeze, the rental stock there is depressing, hope you get a spot of luck.

  9. Rain-- We want to rent for a while to get a feel for neighborhoods. Buying is a commitment we don't want to make right away.

    Sky-- We've talked about building a place and also of buying a fixer-upper and making it look just the way we'd like. Time will tell…

    Sylvia-- Thank you so much for your good thoughts.

    kenju-- I haven't even photographed the unbelievably lush gardens that are everywhere. It's truly lovely being in a temperate climate again.

    John-- We're getting a little bit old for this stuff. I woke this morning thinking we're going from splendor to squalor in one fell swoop. Yes, I'm being a bit overly dramatic, but it's scary out there.

    Kate-- We're hoping to find some balance and sanity in all of this.

    Pablo-- Aren't those old stumps amazing?

    isabelita-- When we drove here on Tuesday we went through the Humboldt Redwood Forest. It's more than 50,000 acres with over 17,000 acres of old-growth redwood. Those trees are absolutely awe-inspiring. Thank you for your good wishes.

  10. There's something to be said for drifting from place to place, soaking it all in, before making a commitment. Of course, finding those "places" is the challenge! Good luck on your search...and continue to enjoy the wonder of the area!

  11. I can picture the places, having visited Quinn there! Thanks again for saying hello to her. That means a great deal. There has to be a place for you, there amid the majestic redwoods! XO

  12. If I were rich, I'd gift you a yurtle so you could truly travel rootlessly.
    You've had wonderful luck before--especially when something you thought you wanted slipped out of your hand, then you found something even better. I think things will work out well for you again.
    Water and trees the best stress reducers, for sure. I'm glad they are nearby for your enjoyment.

  13. John-- We found a month-to-month rental that is old, but clean. It will give us a quiet space to search for either a better rental or a house to buy. We really want to make the right choice this time, and not rush.

    Annie-- We loved visiting with Quinn. It was a delight to meet her. I'm glad we're going to be living in the same town. We found a rental that really isn't bad, and luckily it's month-to-month.

    CCorax-- I think we're going to be okay. I am finding this move more stressful than the others, but I think once things are all packed up and dealt with, I'll feel a little calmer. The ocean and redwoods make all the difference in the world.

  14. CCorax-- Very cute yurt campers. Great idea!

  15. "The ocean and redwoods make all the difference in the world."

    What a joy to find at the end of the comments that you and roger have found a clean quiet place to live while you explore Humboldt County in search of a place you can make your home.

    I know you will enjoy buying groceries at the Co-ops in Arcata and Eureka. Plenty of good food available.

    Looking forward to Humboldt County photos. For me, that's the next best thing to being there!

  16. Life is a balance that's for sure. You've said it well. And I remember those ugly rentals well....:)

  17. Glad you are finding your stress release. Mother Nature is always the best place to do it.

  18. Wise to look around and get a feel for the neighborhoods. Nice that you don't have to include school districts in the decision.

  19. Student housing. That's a real laugh, isn't it?

    Leah and I are considering moving and are trying to figure out how we can do it and not live in our travel trailer for months.

  20. am-- Thank you for your comment. We're back in GV right now, getting everything ready for the move. High stress and high temperatures here. Can't wait to be back where it is cooler. The photo opportunities are grand there.

    troutbirder-- We did find a rental. It's old, but clean. In that rental market, clean is a pretty good find! It's a month-to-month, so we can make changes if necessary.

    Dave-- Mother Nature comes through for us every time. We are grateful everyday for that.

    NCmountainwoman-- It's so interesting that you mention school districts, I've never had to consider that when moving because I never had children. But, Roger's youngest may be moving to the Arcata area as well, and her two babies will be ready for school in a few years. Definitely something to think about.

    Mark P-- The condition of rental houses after students have been in them is really pretty gross. Most home owners don't even do upgrades because they will be trashed. So, we really focused on CLEAN. Do you and Leah know where you want to move?

  21. Robin, check our blog in the morning. We found a possible home site right under our noses.

  22. It is so beautiful there! Redwood park is amazing. Forest, mountains, the ocean, all right there for you. I hope you are able to find something that feels right for the two of you.

    I've had two girl friends from that area, one from Eureka one from Arcata. It became my second home (in the early 70's). It was a long haul hitchhiking and/or driving from SoCal though. Back in those days, I loved it so much there. That area was a perfect reflection of the times. I know things have changed a lot, but every time I'm there, it still feels good to me.

  23. My wife and I lived in "student housing" the last year of undergraduate school. It was a back-to-back "twin" with a mirror image place stuck to the back of our house. It was a shoddy, stuccoes affair that probably had no insulation. I remember the shower the most. It was all rusted-out sheet metal with a slimy wooden pallet on the bottom to keep your feet off the rusty floor. I vividly remember taking the pallet out each sunny day so that it would sorta' have a chance to dry out. You know what, though? We loved living there. Our first real independence. I'm glad you found your month-to-month and look forward to hearing about your moving exploits.

  24. Pat-- We love the north coast and the redwoods. We tried to find a place to live there in 2008, but our search coincided with the real estate crash, so there wasn't much to look at. Four years in the hot foothills have made us want to try again. Roger used to hitchhike that highway in early 70s as well. You two may have shared a ride some time back then.

    Scott-- Much of the rental housing stock is in disrepair because owners see no point in upgrading houses. I think a lot of the rentals that don't change hands are probably much nicer than the ones that get vacated every spring. It's still a wonderful little college town, and we're glad to have found a quiet spot to begin this new adventure. After June 20th, it's a whole new journey.