Just posted this on Facebook; for those not on that platform, here’s some important news:
First, I lost my mom last week, so a moment of silence for that. I know some of you knew her, some met her at the couple Harp Guitar Gatherings she attended, and all have seen her at one point in my blogs. It is no exaggeration to say that this blog, this web site, my musical career and reputation…none of that would exist if not for Mom’s belief in and support of my crazy ideas through the years.
Meanwhile, as they say, Life Goes On. And for Jaci and I, that means getting back to the Major Adventure that I can now reveal. We wanted to wait until she announced her retirement from Paramount (last day of July 31, she’s really going to miss it). This is big, and nothing for it but to just blurt it out. Long story short:
We’re relocating to the East Coast. We bought a place in Connecticut last June, and have spent a year so far on the logistics of moving. I’ve been back and forth every couple months all this time, prepping, getting the lay of the land (more than we needed or expected), searching for contractors, renovating, and finding room for the two huge loads we’ve already sent. Jaci’s been there just for the first walk-through before committing, then for 1 week just recently. The impetus was mainly Jaci wanting more space for her projects, crafts and collections, and after looking in California, then Illinois near my family, we decided to look in CT. Nothing fit our needs (that we could afford), then suddenly Jaci found this!
Me? I didn’t need to leave L.A. and couldn’t begin to comprehend actually packing up all my crap; Jaci was ready. Then, so was I (the heat, fires, droughts, traffic definitely now a buzz-kill). But still too early to consider getting rid of my large, hard-won, decades-in-the-making collections. And, so…pretty much everything is going – ONLY because we lucked out with room(s) for her and an entire separate building for me. Yes, I’m spoiled. We’ve cleared out the majority of the L.A. house; Jaci’s packing her huge storage unit full of old business stuff and I’m home now starting to pack up the instruments.
Everything that has an original case or bag has been matched up. These will all go into larger heavy duty cardboard crates.
Meanwhile, I’ve been slowly snagging all the large to huge road cases I can find every time I’m back in Southern Cal…the eventual move’s gonna look like an epic rock band tour!
Some quick pics of the new property:
As purchased. A nice 2-story house + basement and separate barn-style garage. Looks fancier than it is (all vinyl siding and shutters).
From the front. Wisteria arbor and outdoor tower a nice touch. No, I don’t mow this lawn. It takes 2 guys riding their 360-degree machines 2 hours to do it. Note the original brown roof.
In order to get insurance we had to immediately replace the perfectly adequate but “near-end-of-life” roof. They did this in 1 day in Week 3. Note the very cool sperm whale weathervane.
View from the 2nd floor rear windows. I saw our home’s first fall colors on a foggy day when I flew back for last year’s October Harp Guitar Gathering (after which a dozen HG friends – sworn to secrecy – paid a visit). That charming little “guest house” in the back left is actually just a fancy drive-thru lawnmower shed. And yes, you are seeing what you think you are seeing in the last panel…
We got a koi pond! (Mainly goldfish so far.) Jaci would never allow me one, but, hey, it was included! I’ve always loved moving water features; who doesn’t? Behind it, over the bridge, is a small but professional 3-hole putting green. No, we don’t golf, but are anxious to find a volunteer to build some wacky Miniature Golf obstacles.
The new Miner Museum, as found. For the now-liquidated woodwork shop, the past owner built onto a standard garage, adding rooms on the side and back. Fully insulated, solid floor, clean insulated attic (for empty case storage). Limited heat and cooling. A diamond in the rough? T’was virtually impossible to find contractors, let alone someone creative and outside-the-box.
Until I found the only guy who COULD have done it and then he DID so. He’s finishing up final details as we speak. The first change can be seen outside (let’s see who notices). No point in showing you the empty insides as it’s all pretty simple white painted construction (the instrument museum this time will be “open air” much like the Phoenix Museum). Suffice it to say that basically EVERYTHING I own is coming – the instruments, Disneyana, toys, dinosaurs, framed art & ephemera, a few thousand books – and should JUST fit in the 5-room 1200 sq ft space. Buy your tickets early is all I can say (kidding, will still not be open to the public, only friends and VIPs). Fully alarmed and climate controlled (heat, cooling, humidity) – now all I need (once things get there) is a year to unpack and set up.
The whole house is on a propane generator (it has seen use during a couple power outages already), and now the entire museum barn is also connected. No freezing harp guitars, thank you!
Here’s the last photo I took of some of the backyard colors of spring. Man, I think I need to get back there! Make that both of us…surely by the end of this year…? Let us know if you’re in the area. We’re exactly halfway between the Hartford BDL Airport and New Haven/Yale, and an hour+ from the Bennetts, who never seriously believed we’d actually do it! (Nor, for that matter, did I…!)