Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Stranger's Comments on Tobbit

When on the road, I get a lot of *thumbs up* from folks and every time I park, an old man thinks I want to have a conversation with him about my truck...

"Is that a Volkswagen?"
"Yes -- it says so right on the back and front."

"What does it get for gas mileage?"
"32 mpg"
"Shouldn't it get 40?"
"There's a huge thing on the back."
"Oh.. you need to build it different."

"What year is that?"

"Is that diesel?"

"Did you know those are rare?"

"I didn't know Volkswagen made trucks."
"They do."

"Do you want to sell it?"
"This is my home."

"I need to make one of these things for myself."
"Yes, you do."

"Where did you get it?"

"This thing is built like a boat!"

"Does it leaks?"
"Yeah. Yeah it does. I'm working on it.'

"You must have driven everywhere with it."
"I just got my license two months ago."

That's about it...

Tomorrow I leave for the island where I'll be giving a go at living on for a bit.

Monday, April 28, 2014

From Point A to Point B on Lopez Island

A & A - the Brother and Sister duo
Today I put together a chart of distances that I travel with Tobbit:

FF to Fisherman Bay Spit - 4.9 miles - 14 minutes
FF to the Library via Center - 3. 9 miles - 9 minutes
FF to the Library via Lopez Sound - 3.6 miles - 9 minutes
FF to the Library via Fisherman Bay - 4.4 miles - 10 minutes
Library to Otis Perkins - 2.4 miles - 5 minutes
Otis Perkins to Fisherman Bay Preserve - 1.6 miles - 3 minutes (over and back = 3.2 miles)
FF to Garcia's - 5.4 miles - 14 minutes
Garcia to Library via Center - 7.5 miles - 17 minutes
Garcia to Library via Fisherman Bay - 7.8 miles - 18 minutes
Green Barn to Library via Center - 8.8 miles - 20 minutes
FF to Watmough - 8.9 miles - 23 minutes
Mud Bay Road to Iceberg Point - 2.2 miles - 6 minutes
Watmough to Berta's - 14.2 miles - 33 minutes
Garcia's to Berta's via Center - 10.7 miles - 25 minutes
Garcia to Berta's via Port Stanley - 11 miles - 29 miles
FF to Berta's via Port Stanley - 5.6 miles - 15 minutes
FF to Berta's via Center Road - 7.2 miles - 16 miles

32 miles cost $4.5.
1 miles costs 15 cents.

One round trip into town from FF to Library via Lopez Sound costs $1.08.
One round trip to Berta's from Garcia's cost $3.21.
One round trip to the Fisherman's Preserve from FF costs $1.47.

The cost of diesel is a bit less than $4.5 per gallon, but I rounded it up because there's no highway driving. Maybe I should round 32 down to 30. To go around 200 miles, it costs me $30.

I wasn't planning on driving when I got here but my ankle is acting up, still a month later, and even biking has been really bothering it lately, which frustrates me. So I drive everywhere. And I don't feel good about it... but I'm grateful to not be stuck or isolated in one location.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Cable Crossing

Today Tobbit and I went out to main-land end of this long string of land that connects to a small blog of land at the end. There was a park, Otis Perkins Day Park, that was perfect. I could park with a view of the Salish Sea on one side and Fisherman Bay on the other.

I pulled out the latest book I had checked out from the library - Bonhoeffer's biography. I grabbed my sheepskin (from a Lopez sheep) and threw it on the roof and hopped up top. I sprawled out, took in the sun, and read. It felt good. I took a nap. It felt good. I took high-school themed self-portraits, it felt alright.

One of the highlights was finding this phrase, "...umlautless generations repaired."

Wander the beach.
Hours go by.

When I got home, the chickens were there to greet Tobbit.

I had ran into the the new WWOOFer and her brother, Amanda and Andrew of Las Vegas, earlier in the day at the dump. I wandered over to the trailer where they would be staying to munch on the broccoli I keep stored in the fridge there. Not only did I find my broccoli, I found that they were lovely people and super-chill to hang out with. I really enjoyed them - and Amanda has the tiniest pup!

Dinner was splendid. At around 8:30 PM, we headed up to the house where Davis had been preparing a feast! There was a man up there playing guitar and I grabbed my cello for a quick jam session. There we go. Now it feels like home.

Dinner was nettles, yams, salmon (Alaskan, I think), clam chowder (I just had the clams), brown rice (which I didn't have), freshly fermented sauerkraut (did have). So good. So grateful.

And now I think I'll sleep.

Dear Alex :: Leaky Tobbit

Dear Alex,

I woke up cold with a full bladder a headache and the sound of crazy rain pounding on the ceiling (more than 60 decibels because my earplugs cancel that out and I can still hear it plenty loud through them - I'm going to get a loudness-tester at the library and see).

Welcome to the reality of living in a truck.
No complaints - truly.
It was 2:30 AM and I knew that everything would seem dramatic in the middle of the night. I put on Grandfather's robe, put a towel over to catch the leak, and that was that.

I don't mind the discomfort for that night, but the leaky-roof was what worried me. Tobbit can't leak. He can't. He's a tiny little truck with a little shack and I can't afford for him to crumble down or get nasty.

In the morning, there was another drip spot. I hopped out of bed and covered the top of the shack with a weak tarp I had and, in the morning light, saw that i had left my rubbermaid-tub open so everything isnide was soaked.

It had been one of those nights where the rain turned to a relentless storm that poured inches of that wondrous wet stuff.

I curled back up in bed and put on Rachmaninoff for a Rainy Day.

Over the next few days the shack dried out and I decided to fix up the leak-spots.

The good news is that they way you suggested I fix the last leak had worked, that spot wasn't leaking, and I decided to take the same approach. I ran over to the hardware store and picked up some sandpaper, epoxy, and that weird plastic-wood paste.

In the sun, I scuffed up the spots, cleaned, and then dried them. I applied a thick, thick layer of epoxy which hardened over the next 24 hours and it's held so far. I don't know if this is right or not, but I applied some weird wood-plastic paste up on the inside where the wood looked like it had split a little, or weakened. I'll sand over it next time I can get my hands on a vacuum. For now, I think it strengthened it a bit. I hope it did. or at least sealed it up - but not too sealed, the walls can breath on the outside.

We'll see with the next big downpour that comes our way.

See you in a few weeks,



I've been trying to read more books. I want to make time for it and make it a priority.

Last night I looked up Bonhoeffer on the Lopez Island Library online catalog and saw that they had it there on the shelf - how convenient. The next morning, I went specifically into town to check out this book.

When I got there, though, I made myself at home writing up postcards. 14 of them are now being shipped out across the world and to just about every continent (North America, South America, Europe, Africa, Australia... even Canada).

And then I remembered what I was there for. This book! This biography.

I knew the spine well and was sitting right by the biographies section of the library. I glanced up and browsed without seeing it. I figured I'd have to get up and take a better look.

A few minutes later I turned my head side-ways and there, right at eye-level on the CD's was the book I was hoping to checkout. Of all of the hundreds of books in the library, the one single book I had come to town for was there sitting out by itself right in my line of vision.

I waited a bit but no one claimed it and the librarian said it was up for grabs.

So I snatched it and checked it out with a grin.

Tobbit's Swanky Kitchen

Friday, April 25, 2014

Sunset at Sharkreef

I was told that dinner was 7 PM at the house, but things turned to things and I missed the memo that was never sent (all cleared up in the morning).

So what to do with a Friday night when it's dinner time and you're on your own?

I headed out in Tobbit and saw the sun setting and sprinted for it full speed.

Catch the sun before it falls!

I made it to the woods just in time and hobbled my way down to the water. I was grateful for boots that kept my feet dry as I glopped through the inevitable Cascadian mud. I had the New Yorker tucked under one arm (nothing says, "Out for a sunset on the beach!" like reading the New Yorker) and my camera in the other.

The trees started to glow and I wanted to breath in... which is stupid because I don't think you can breath in the glows of trees.

I could just see the sun coming down behind the clouds, just in time.

I planned on reading or something but I ended up on a rock instead. Sun went down. Another sun set. Bang. Pretty thing.

And I felt alright. Maybe that's what I needed of this Friday night. Maybe I needed to lay on a rock and feel sideways and swallow glowing trees and think with a hopefully-clearing head.

Thank you, Salish Sea... although I'm disappointed I didn't see any sharks.

Current Postal Address

One of the first letters I ever wrote.

You can currently write to me at...

Mägi Hubert
General Delivery
Lopez Island, WA

And if you wrote to me in the past few months, expect a letter soon. Some fog has lifted and my fingers are writing again. Scribbling. Scrawling.

There's also another address with a 49 in it that you can use to reach me. Both work fine.

I appreciate the postal encouragement I've receive from friends.. and foes. Well, foes don't normally post me encouragement.

If you're on Facebook and know me and know that you know some of my friends, perhaps you would consider posting this blogpost for folks?

Location Options on Day Four on Lopez Island

When I do a downdowndown post, I like to try and follow it up when things upswing, which they generally always do. Hopefully do. Not always do.

But today they did within two hours of the post.

I'll avoid going into the topic of writing about "my time of the month." Spare you that. Although.. although.. nevermind.

Just went to talk to a future family I could nanny for. It was excellent and left me with a huge grin. Awesome family.

They're currently building their home out in the south end. I think it looks like a castle. One of the rad things to note is that one of the reasons they'll be redoing their ceilings completely, changing them to vaulted, is so that the dad can do his juggling.

They have this huge piece of land with nooks and crannies I was told a Tobbit would fit in. They've got outhouses, a sauna, an outdoor kitchen, and a mud hut. It was the mud hut, I was told, that would be available to me (very likely) in October if I chose to stay on the island.

A mud hut in the fall sounds very, very attractive.

As much as I like Tobbit, I think I'd get stir crazy trying to live in him on my own during the rainy season on a dark island. Could I do it? Yes. Will I? No idea.. the fall is in 4-5 months.

The beautiful thing is that home/settling places are starting to appear and I'm grateful for that.
The lovely thing is that my home can go with me wherever I go. I can change locations every night and still have my home just as it was at the last location. Good ol' Tobbit.

So - locations! What are they?

Location Option #1 - With Hannah, Martha, and John

Wonderful loving family and reason I'm here on Lopez. I adore these folks!

The reason why I'm hesitant to live here is because it's sort of like having parents and I want to see Hannah regularly, but I'd be nervous about living with her. Living with a dear friend can end either in a positive or negative way. I don't want to risk the negative. I think I'd also end up eating a lot of their food and not be self sufficient as I desire to be.

It's also a bit far from town.

But they rock and I'll be visiting very often and probably spending at least 4 nights a month here.

Location Option #2 - F. Farm

Farm in the very center of the island. Location is ideal. There's a place outdoors to use the restroom (buckethuzzah!). Beautiful. Community is to be found there and lots to be done.

I'm hesitant to live here because I just finished living in intense community and need a break from it. I also think I'll frequently feel guilty for not helping enough and spend a lot of energy with personal, emotional interactions. I want community but I want community that is within reach that I can go call upon and vice versa. I don't know if I'm mentally in the right place to be here.

Location Option #3 - South End with I, G, and their Goats

On the South end there is a family that graciously offered me a place to park Tobbit. They have a outhouse available to me and a sauna. In exchange for being there, I can help with the garden and milking the goats.

I'm hesitant because of location. I still have to check it out.

Location Option #4 - Berta

Rad, vibrant Christian woman with a loving heart and a pool! Met her and she said I could always park on her land. I haven't explored this idea much. Maybe I should.

Location Option #5 - This One Place

Hannah is looking into it. Someone she knows has a lot of land.

Location Option #6 - Summer House

These folks have a summer home they're not at. Hannah is looking into it.

Location Option #7 - By the Green Barn

Family I'll be nannying for. I could exchange childcare for living on their land. Has potential to become a fall/winter home in a mud hut. Level headed fun family. I'd have my own space and access to water and an outhouse. Only drawback is the location, 10 miles from town. I like the idea of doing childcare for a place to park, though. That's a great trade.

Location Option #8 - Sperry Peninsula with Paul Allen

Today I stumbled upon Paul Allen's peninsula. The man bought all of Sperry Peninsula. He said that me and Tobbit are welcome to park on his land all I like since he's rarely there. This isn't the house. I'm guessing it might be the pool since it's right by the tennis courts (thank you Google Maps). The house is this huge thing on another part of the island.

It was a sweet offer but I turned him down. He lives to far from town.

And that's what I can remember and recall at the moment.

So there are places to go, and I'm grateful for that.
I am grateful to be here.

I Miss You Haines :: Meeting Lopez

This is Haines
 I really am grateful to be on Lopez Island, honest... but.... I just miss Haines so much. I tried to fall asleep last night but couldn't help thinking about Haines.

When I describe the community I desire, I can't imagine finding it again like I found it in Haines.

I know I've only been here for four days and that I really do need to give it more time.
I know that community doesn't come in four days.
I should know that.
But it's hard to be patient.

I want my brain to stop buzzing. I want to feel safe. I want to feel secure. I want to know what I believe. I want to be surrounded people that I know I love and that I know I love so I can work through the muck I've been dragging around.

I don't know what I want.

A lot of opportunities require commitment and I'm having a hard time committing before even sensing out the place. I think I'll come to love it. I think I could. I think I need to just get out there, today, and wander and be present minded. I need to go swimming to keep my brain happy. I need to find librarians to laugh with and see about volunteering.

On Monday, I might get to have a sleepover with my dad on Orcas! He said he could maybe rent out a two-room place on the East end. I'm really excited of the prospect of being with him. That's currently the most exciting thing on my mind.

Today I'll hear from one of the jobs I applied for and they'll let me know if I got it. If so, I need to decide pretty soon if I want to commit since they will be investing a lot of time in training me.

One job I applied for decided I wasn't the right match and I'm a bit relieved at that as that's what I was going to tell them. One thing Haines taught me was that it's worth waiting for the right job.

Last night, though, I laughed to myself in bed at the idea of getting on the next ferry and immediately hitting the road for Haines, Alaska. I could be there by Wednesday if I left now.

I think I need to set a date for how long I must, must stick around. At least a month to see how things settle. And that needs to be a month of going all out in the way I do, trying to see what Lopez can offer me and what I can offer back.

The street I currently call home on Lopez Island.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Clam Digging

"Want to go clam digging?" asked Matt, the man I had just met who owns the property I'm currently living on.
Immediately, I gave back a, "Yes!"

How's that for an end to the first afternoon on Lopez?

Matt, Hannah, Davis, and I all piled into the big white truck and drove down to the bay, tools and buckets at the ready.

We were soon taught how to dig holes and tell a fake clam from a real one. The fake ones are the shells just filled full of sand. Both fake and real clams were bountiful.

After we'd filled up a bucket, we all got back in the truck to drive to another body of water with a dock. There, we worked together to clean out as much sand, grime, gunk, and slime as we could. We twisted the shells and used our fingernails between the gap.

It was a refreshing afternoon.
Sandy, dirty, and sea-smelling.

Love that Salish Sea.

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