Leaving Northern CA – Headed to WA


Bus and horse trailer all packed up and moving north

Northern CA has been one of the main home bases for the tea bus for four and a half years. Places like Healdsburg, the East Bay, and Arcata/Eureka have shared in the community of free tea and helped to create the tea bus. Ideas, inspiration, resources, advice, workspaces, showers, etc – have been shared to an extreme in these places, as well as places like Palo Alto, San Francisco, Ukiah, Cloverdale, Shelter Cove, Berkeley, Grass Valley/Nevada City, etc.

Horse trailer ready for getting packed

These places have helped shape our destiny – we’ve built a lot of Edna’s infrastructure here, we’ve been embraced by the different communities, and we’re taking those beautiful things with us to share with other communities down the road. Many of the cabinets, trim, etc have been built with reclaimed Redwood, a tree that holds majestic qualities, and looks darn pretty. The space inside the tea bus has literally been infused with the laughter, the inspiration, and the spilled tea of many guests. All of these things contribute to the essence that people feel when they enter the bus. It is our great honor to carry these things forward to new places and new communities.

Caitlin Jemma plays some tunes at Arts Alive

On the first Saturday of August we hosted a going away tea party at Arts Alive in Eureka, CA. So many good faces came out to celebrate and say good bye. Many people said that they didn’t know if it was going to be nearly as fun at Arts Alive anymore. Aw, thanks! There was music, laughter, etc. People came from far and near. In fact, four folks showed up after one of them had heard me on the radio talking about the tea bus on West Coast Live a few months ago. They drove three hours from Redding. Wow! It was a great farewell.

For more than a year and a half I have had the opportunity to do a loose work-trade in a wood shop in Eureka, CA. When I’ve been in the area I have built wood racks, painted walls, welded brackets for a barn, put up chicken wire, put in windows, sorted scrap wood, replaced a toilet wax ring, plumbed a triple sink, etc. The shop is filled with salvaged lumber, hardware, and tools.

Arts Alive

The shop space is run by a fellow named Joe. He’s a lover of reclaimed lumber, fixing old furniture, and finding nifty ways of doing things. This was probably the largest and most successful work-trade I have done to date. It was also the loosest. Whenever I was around and Joe needed help, I helped. One week it may have been several days, other weeks it may have been a couple hours. And I think the reasons it worked were these: (1) I would almost always drop what I was doing to help Joe if he needed it; (2) Joe really appreciated the tea bus and the ideas behind building it; (3) Joe genuinely wants to share knowledge and resources; (4) Joe and I became good friends and got a kick out of sharing ideas with each other.

In this shop I built about 70% of my interior – closet, sink, wood storage roll out table thing, woodstove, bench backs, upper cabinets, drawers, etc (see previous blog entry for details on this). When you have the right tools and materials at hand, building things can be fast and so much fun. Joe taught me how to use countless tools, had great input for all of my projects, and gave me an incredible amount of access to his salvaged building materials.

My thanks for Joe is one that cannot adequately be proclaimed with words.

My Shelter Cover family, the Andrews, were also a huge help – offering advice on green building, some wood, tools, and materials, as well as a place to get some great rest and nurturing. Thank you, thank you.

Perry on his 60th birthday

My countless friends who have offered, well, friendship, along with showers, places to park, work spaces, advice, food, and community, you are thanked – especially Perry, Daruka, brother Josh, other Josh, Gregory, Josiah, Artemisia, Pepper, Suzette, the Weiss family, Jim, Jonathan, Seve, and and and… and so many more. You know who you are.

Alas, it is time to move forward, forward to spend some time with my blood family. I need to get a good fix of the community I grew up in. I am excited for some slow island life. Will there be tea? But of course. Tea at events, tea on the west side for sunset, tea if you come visit me in the woods where I’ll be staying.

San Juan Islands, here we come!

And then on to more grand adventures.

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