it wasn't until we lived in portland for a few years that we really seriously considered moving out. we had just bought a house there, gotten in over our heads, and it instantly became too much. the hand-to-mouth, starving artist, feeling of desperation was inescapable. the pollution, the noise, the expense combined were grating on our nerves. our dog had really horrible allergies. james needed to be by the ocean. we went out too much at night to avoid the stress, and in the day we were constantly at each other's throat. we needed an out.
we drove through edison one weekend on a van-camping getaway, and spotted a for sale sign hanging in front of a long schoolhouse in disrepair. with its peeling yellow paint, sagging foundation, poor roof and a boat under construction in the yard, lots of potential, we thought. maybe it's in our price range. nothing a little elbow grease couldn't fix. but edison seemed awfully quiet to me. too quiet. two shitty taverns, a cafe and bakery, a couple of seemingly abandoned buildings and some other indistinguishable places that were closed... lots of potential, we thought. maybe we could get comfortable here. what the hell, we decided, and knocked on the door. even the owner of the building seemed annoyed at our disruption of the quiet. but he humored us for a bit, gave us the tour of edison's old one-room schoolhouse-turned-woodshop. he told us the story of how they had to cut off the eaves so the building would fit around the corner when they moved it. he was a fine woodworker named jeff, and everything in the place was coated in a quarter inch of sawdust. "too many people knockin at my door, askin me to fix their grandmother's rocking chair," he said. gettin too busy, he needed to get away. further away than this? we're in the middle of nowhere. i thought to myself. but maybe it could work. in a building like this, where i could spread out and breathe deep, i could really picture myself making some great art.