We're in Galveston, Florida, right now. Just kidding. Galveston, Texas, but it's on the gulf and sometimes feels Floridy. Luna finds herself on a four-acre lawn near a nineteen fifty-nine Mid-Century modern, concrete house. I met the house last year when we came to visit. Judy owns the National Landmarks house and the Dogs and Dolphin daycare here on the island. Her partner Dick owns Machine Head, the metal shop that helps me with parts for Luna and the solar system. We go back to the eighties and nineties in various paths.
We first visited here last February, catching up, visiting the shore across the road, and enjoying the weather environment. It's a touristy island, but the beaches are public, and the winter weather brings lively surfs, crashing waves, and steady wind. The air is saline and floats in mist clouds along the ground so densely you can brush them with your hand. I'd say it's humid but a different humid, therapeutic, and gentle. Temperatures are usually in the fifties and sixties but push the mid-seventies on a few days. We have encountered almost no flying insects or bugs in the house. That seems like a little thing, but we've had some bug battles.
Judy hired me to refinish the cabinets in the kitchen. I asked for the job and knew it would be a chore if she hired me—the kitchen cabinet peaked at eleven feet from the floor. The doors are zero clearance, which means they weren't taken down to refinish, and there was a lot of delamination and buckling from decades of use and hurricanes.
I got started about three weeks ago. Within about twenty minutes, Dick jumped in and said he would help. He said the same thing last fall when we picked up stain in Kansas City for the job, but I figured I'd wait and see. Sure enough, he turned into the stain and top coat applicator extraordinaire. I sanded all the cabinetry and made repairs, and in no time, the finish coats were getting done as fast as I could go. Gallons of finish. Oil-based stain with lots of solids and at least two coats of oil base polyurethane Spar varnish. We ordered glass and mirrors to decorate two original cabinets and upgraded lights and electrical. The kitchen is handsome now.
As if that isn't enough old house for one month, we visited the Bishop Mansion yesterday in Galveston. A fantastic display of nineteenth-century woodwork, plaster ceilings, upholstered walls, floor-to-ceiling sash windows, and stained glass facing every direction. Merely being in the house was moving. Standing and staring, I couldn't believe the level of work that had been done, much of it with hand tools. The scale of the woodwork filled the fifteen-foot ceilings, only to be engulfed by curved ceilings covered in decorative coves and murals. It was a fantastic place.
Christina spends her time in the coach doing her office work, artwork, and other projects. It's an odd, comfortable little life, far from home, but always in our house. We step outdoors and walk through a park next door, across the road, and onto a public beach almost daily. Indie loves the shore and jumps around!
We've been on the road for over three and a half years and are amazed at how often we still build new systems and learn new skills—dialing in hitching methods, storage, or water and waste management. We changed out the whole house water filters last month, and of course, one look says it all. Never trust the water. We switch our weight distribution hitch from a twelve thousand pound model to a ten thousand pound hitch. We bought the twelve thousand pound hitch for a great price when moving out of the house, but it was too much. The back tires on the trailer have been wearing weirdly, so we switched to a lighter-duty hitch. It's fair to say the hitch makes a big difference. It drives steady and surefooted between the hitch, triple axles on the trailer, and a one-ton van weighing just over eight thousand pounds.
Both Christina and I are working on new jobs. Learning new ways to market and advertise. It's a different world than the one we built our last professions in, and we both enjoy the process. It feels good to be learning and growing in our brains. Sometimes it takes a considerable lifestyle change to reveal intellectual growth opportunities. We're pretty deep in that right now.
This week is spring break, so the island is full. Judy has a lot of extra dog clients, and the beach house she manages is busy. We took this week off from working on the woodwork, so I'm glad to be on the lawn in my lounge on a sunny sixty-three-degree day in Galveston. Texas or Florida? I don't care. Half the time, I can't remember where I wake up anymore.
What a life, the Luna life, for sure.