Art, The Creative Process, Work

Greetings from AROHO

Soon after returning to Nevada City from the Heart of America Tour, I began casting out feelers for a new space to park the Avion. My parents’ place, my long-time home base, is lovely and welcoming in many ways but it’s also several miles outside of town and far enough up the mountain that there’s zero cell service and what I consider impossibly slow internet service.

Since I was planning to be in Nevada City for several months and had LOTS of work to accomplish, I wanted to be closer to town, with better connectivity both digital and human.

The original stagecoach stop, now the back side of the property and grand entrance to AROHO.

A few days after settling back in, I met with my friend Babette who lives just a few blocks away from downtown Nevada City. Over tea I told her I was looking for a place to park the Avion, and she told me she’d met a guy around the corner who might be just the ticket. He’d recently purchased an old house, one of the original stagecoach stops in Nevada City; he was rehabbing the property and there was plenty of space for parking.

So I went over to talk to him. He was hesitant at first. And why not? It’s not every day a strange woman drives up and says she wants to park on your land. I urged him to think about it and gave him my business card. A few days later, I got an email from him with an offer no sane person could refuse: a parking place for the Avion in a lovely shaded grove, plus space in the house – two rooms, a full bathroom and a walk-in closet. Oh, and a wicked fast Internet connection. All this, in exchange for a small stipend, largely payable through in-kind services: being a watchdog presence on the property and working on the house, ripping out old plaster, wallpaper, carpeting, and eventually, painting and such. Be still, my heart!

That, of course, sparked my own hesitance. Too good to be true, right? This guy had to be some sort of weirdo, right? And, honestly, how could I call myself a professional wanderer if I had a permanent space (outside the pile of boxes in my parents’ basement)?

And so I hemmed and I hawed. But it quickly became clear that this man was not a weirdo – well, only in the best possible way – and it occurred to me that he might just be an angel in human guise. I spent a new few nights on the land, and despite the outrageous heat, it felt good. Fiona was a having a great time exploring the new territory. Neighbors kept popping by to introduce themselves and welcome me. Lovely warm people with happy dogs. Even the neighborhood cats were friendly.

Then as I was transcribing my road journals, I came across an entry that made up my mind. Though I’d completely forgotten it (oh, the challenges of my post-fibromyalgia brain!), this is what I wrote: “I am officially sending an intention out to Big U(niverse): When I get back to Nevada City, I want to find creative space, not just to write but to make art. I want an art studio.”

Ask and you shall receive.

So here I am, random furniture and boxes of art supplies moved out of the basement and into this ramshackle old house, with the beginnings of an art studio falling into place.

I’ve named my new space AROHO: A Room of Her Own.

Thanks, Big U.

I think I’m going to like it here.

2 thoughts on “Greetings from AROHO

    1. Thanks, Beth! I hope our paths cross one of these days, either up here or on the coast. Seaweed art is right up my alley!

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