Sunday, August 23, 2015

Tinted Windows and Sad Farewells

All of our earthly possessions have been moved into the new house. We have a two-car garage and more than half that space is taken up with Roger's tools and the boxes and boxes of stuff we never unpacked for the year we were in the rental. We've learned how to live without all of it. I even fantasized about not missing any of it. But, when we unpacked our art, our hearts soared and our eyes filled with tears. All the beauty we had not seen for so long. I had even forgotten about some of the pictures we hang on our walls. Seeing the photo of the Himalayas taken by a friend of Roger's in the 1970s took my breath away. This photo of Abbie Hoffman and Johanna Lawrenson, Timothy Leary, and Gregory Corso is a favorite of mine from 1982. My ex-husband took this at the Kerouac Conference. I couldn't believe I had forgotten it, but I had.
We placed all of the art all around the house just to remember and dream about where to hang it. It is like waking from a deep sleep, seeing all this again. Ah, we begin to become ourselves surrounded by the the pieces of life we have collected over the years. We have moved from the ascetic life to the aesthetic life.
We are getting to know this house after only two days here. Our first major realization is that we're going to replace every window that faces west, which is almost all of them. The previous owners preferred a sallow, bronze-tinted window for privacy. I find it utterly insane. I am a natural light window gazer, as you all know. This lighting is ridiculous. It cuts whatever available light is out there, which isn't much in this foggy northern clime.
When I open the sliding door to the deck, I see what the real light outside looks like. I do this often. It's not exactly bright, but it is much lighter than what seeps in through the tinted glass. We're happy that two large windows that face east are not so weirdly tinted, so I go into those rooms to give my eyes the light they seek. We are looking forward to making this change as soon as possible. I can hardly wait to see what it's going to look like. We may not even need skylights if the change is as grand as we think it could be. We'll keep you posted.

On a sadder note, Roger and I want to bid a farewell to our old friend Roland. We wrote about him last May. He was 94 years old and still very much in love with the far north coast of the Pacific. We loved talking with him when we visited with my mom in southern California. He lived in the assisted living facility there. Roland breathed his last breath Sunday morning, August 23rd. I know he knows we will say a farewell for him to the mountains and ocean that he so loved.


  1. It meant so much to Roland to meet you and share his love of the North Coast with you. A life well-lived and shared.

    What a beautiful house you can call home now. It was after 2005 that I started reading your blog, and I didn't know about your time in Colorado and that you were at that conference for Jack Kerouac. Great poster!

  2. Congratulations and best wishes to your beautiful new home. Hope you will be very happy there.

  3. am-- I was the volunteer coordinator for the Kerouac Conference at Naropa. It was quite a time. I loved every crazy minute of it.

    Sabine-- Thank you. We are settling in and enjoying the comforts of home.

  4. Could you remove the tinting rather than replace the entire window?

  5. Very nice place, Robin Andrea and Roger! Congrats!

    Since our move is 2-1/2 years away, I've been giving a lot of thought to getting rid of a lot of stuff, and even wondered about some of the art. (Kali would never hear of that, I'm sure; she's already decorated the new house in her mind.) Kali's brother is a real minimalist--the fewer things he owns, the happier he is, but it makes for a very bare existence in his house. I'm somewhere in between Kali's cluttered, careless packrat tendencies and her brother's asceticism. It's going to be a bit of a battle when we get serious about getting rid of a lot of stuff.

  6. Hopefully you can just remove the tinting which usually is just an applied film. We used it a lot in Florida because the sun was brutal. Can't imagine the need for it where you are.
    That must have been some time at the Kerouac Conference. Haven't heard those names in a long time. Lucky you.
    So sorry about your losing Roland. He certainly lived a long life.
    Enjoy your new home.

  7. pablo-- We're trying to figure that out. Would be great if we could remove the tint, but I'm not sure it's possible. I'll keep you posted.

    Scott-- So glad you like our new house. It is a pretty place. Nice and modern with insulation and everything! That's a big deal here in Arcata. I was surprised by my reaction to seeing our art. I thought I was fine without it, but seeing it was the most wonderful heart-opening experience. I wrote on Facebook that it was like reading old love letters.

    Arkansas Patti-- We may try to remove the tint, but just not sure that's going to work. I think the previous owners had an issue with light. Maybe their eyes were ultra sensitive because every light bulb in the house was as dull and dim as possible. Really weird. Also, I think they were very concerned about privacy, which explains the six foot fence in the front as well as back of the house. I loved the Kerouac Conference so much. I got to spend quite a bit of time with Allen Ginsberg. He was such a lovely man. Years later, I ran into Lawrence Ferlinghetti coming out of the university library at UC Santa Cruz. We walked past each other, but he looked so familiar I had to run back and ask if it was him. It was. I told him that we had met at the conference and that I was the volunteer coordinator. His face lit up, and he said, "Oh that was a time, that was quite a time, wasn't it." It was. It was.

    We raised our glasses in Roland's honor last night. Such a nice old man. Really sorry that he's gone, but he really really wanted to go.

  8. You're there! We had a lot of our stuff in storage for over a year when we lived in Japan, and I remember just being overwhelmed with the things I didn't know I was missing.

    Hope the windows get worked out smoothly, one way or another. It would be grand if they could just remove the film, but when we had most of our windows replaced last year, the installation was quick and easy. YMMV.

    I'm sorry about the loss of your friend, but it sounds like he had a good and full life.

  9. Your house is beautiful and I am sure it will be even more beautiful once you fix the windows and let the sun in. Maybe one of the previous owners had chronic migraines, in which case I can understand why they would block the sun. Otherwise, it really is baffling.
    Yay for insulation! It's the best, smartest, quickest, most sensible first step to reducing energy use. You are going to be so happy.
    You brightened Roland's final days and his spirit rides the waves of the Pacific now. Look for him when you stand on the shore.

  10. kathy a-- I think we may have more art than we have wall space for. It's funny to try and figure out where to hang things. I'm already thinking about getting new stuff too. I like lots of color! Calling the window people today. Oy.

    CCorax-- So glad you like the house. It really is a lovely house. At 1400 sq ft it's the smallest house we've bought, and yet it feels so big after living in tiny rental for a year. It is interesting trying to figure out why the windows are tinted like this. It makes us feel like we're living in a sepia toned photo. So weird.

  11. Starting over and anew. Sometime painful sometimes not...:)

  12. So glad it feels like home. I would not be able to live in a sepia world either. I'd go for new windows, insulated and easy to clean.

  13. Wonderful news! Settling in and the unpacking of the past. What a strange and welcoming feeling(s) that be. RIP Roland, what a lovely man. Robin, during the Colorado days did you ever run into Joe Bagent and/or Hunter Thomson in Boulder?

  14. troutbirder-- Yes. Right now lovely.

    NCmountainwoman-- It really does feel like home. We had the window company come today to take measurements and order the replacement clear glass. We should have new windows by next week. YAY! No more sepia toned madness!

    MandT-- We have been enjoying finding parts of our old selves that have been stored away for quite some time. It's a delight. I never ran into Joe Bagent or Hunter T. Naropa Institute was a fine place to hang out in the early 80s.

  15. It is hard to move to a new house. It is amazing the things we find we can do without. I packed up much when I moved and find, years later, that some of the stuff is still in the same boxes. If I have not used it in the past 7 years, I think I will just find someone to donate it to. My art pieces, however, I do cherish and put up soon after moving in. It really makes my house a home.

    Christie Goodwin @ Window Enhancements LLC