Less is More?
Enough years of an endless summer and Arcata in April feels...well, Arctic. The flannel-shirted, Indian-robed, long-skirted, costume-wearing denizens of the town don't seem to mind much. Like the Glorious Founder of the Great Kinetic Sculpture Race, Hobart Brown used to say, "If the sun is out, we race anyway." When the sun is out, the locals still gather in the plaza, the homeless still camp next to the freeway, the crazy old man still accosts unwary visitors with his flying glass pipe.
We finally have a phone! And thank you, Dan and Cheryl, for letting us piggyback on your WiFi! But we still have no furniture, washing machine, dryer, oven, dishwasher or cable...the usual comforts of Life in America. When I wrote that to a friend of mine, she encouraged me to harass Big Dog into buying more appliances. It made me laugh because she's not the only one. Why does everyone thinks it's BD who is so eccentric and making me live like this? I miss the oven, but most Japanese homes have no oven either. Sleeping on foam pads on the floor is also commonplace and we have two brand new foam pads this year. (They look just like the fold-out foam pads that are called futon in Japan, but these were being marketed as some kind of deluxe yoga pad!) None of it is a big deal and to fill my life with more STUFF just doesn't make much sense. We have a working shower and toilet (indoor plumbing! woo-hoo!), a laundromat near by, and best of all, our health and strength.
Besides, we are in Humboldt where people with PhDs live in cabins with no running water or electricity. Where a house in town could be getting their electricity from the house next door. Where a twenty year anniversary present is sheetrock. Or indoor plumbing, as they joked in the Northcoast Journal. We're waaay normal.
Here's a typical Humboldt dwelling. Big Dog lived in this house many years ago. It actually has indoor plumbing! And electricity! But the biggest appeal is the awesome privacy, so close to town, the huge redwoods and Strawberry Creek babbling year round. Who cares that it's a little...Tabacco Road-y.