• Cara Van Leuven

Loftless / Not Listless

Tom once owned a ’69 Corvette that was in pieces when he bought it. He himself put it back together again, but it never felt right. He always believed he could have done a better job. The car was stellar, yet he sold it (with a sting in his heart). That’s his current stance on this farmhouse. Despite the incredible changes and upgrades he’s just not feeling it’s up to par. He says, “Hopefully I’ll feel different in time. It's like my paintings and why I began collecting art. My work was never up to my own standards.”

Meanwhile in Cara’s head…I couldn’t be happier. Boxes are being unpacked and the weather has been delightful. Every night I’ve spent here I don’t regret. Even when the fuse blows in the bathroom every time I try to dry my hair. Even though we can’t figure how to “unset” the thermoset so that it doesn’t kick down to 50º during the dead of winter. And even though the house is still ransacked despite all the unpacking.

I have to give Tom a little slack -- this week was stressful because the loft closed on Friday and we had so many layers of décor to move and 2500 sq ft to clean. Nothing was forgotten except two horsehair stools and a candlestick. We avow to minimize our belongings and live more like Quakers, less like Ralph Lauren on amphetamines. Saturday warranted a trip to Goodwill and we already have the fixings for a second trip.

I will miss the loft and living downtown; the loft was so beautiful and elegant with an ugly gritty view. I loved it except the windows faced north and I prefer south. My old loft faced south and my view was the old courthouse and SouthWest Bell tower. That was my favorite home ever, but the morning I officially moved out was followed by the tragic death of a man moving in. He opened the door to the freight elevator, stepped in and there was no elevator. Poor Bob fell to his death and the building was condemned.

I continue to work downtown, taking the bus from a park-and-ride from Highland to downtown by the Convention Center. It takes about 40 and the he beauty is I can work on the bus that has wifi. I have a serious aversion to driving and let’s face it, I’m horrible at it. For God’s sake, I drive a station wagon. What does that tell you?

My studio is coming together. It’s my favorite room in the house that overlooks what will eventually become the barn and pasture. Tom has a study that is masculine and full of dark woods and sculpture and painting. My studio is pocked with horse ornaments, a halter from my first pony and a draft bridle from when I used to drive carriages and give guided tours downtown.

I can only hope next week is met with more promise of Tom’s optimism. There is still so much to be done inside with trim and painting and an upstairs unfinished bathroom. Then there will be the land – excavating, fencing and trails through what will be meadow grasses where there’s not pasture. One step at a time.