Dear Students, Friends & Colleagues; Since moving to Eugene a few months ago to support family I have been promising an update for you with some anecdotes and images to give you a sense of the journey here so far. Here we go!
You may know that my brother, Kim, became deathly ill late in 2022 and I was commuting often to Eugene to help him sort out life and hopefully survive his ordeal. He has survived, recovered mostly, and now in assisted living here. During early 2023 my dear cousin Eric asked if I could come and live in Eugene to help him with construction and rebuilding projects near his home here in Eugene. I did so in June to help him out and be near Kim to support his recovery.
Kim had a near-death experience and good medical and nursing care. He began slow recovery early in 2023 that continues, Now he often says, “I love life now even though to learn that I had to get very sick.” He has always loved art and been unable to spend time with it until now. He now does his art daily and teaches three art classes a week in his assisted living place and the nursing home nearby.
Now further from my children and granddaughters in Washington, they were
delighted to take the train down for a visit here. They stayed in my Grandpa B&B and took over the house I am helping refurbish during their stay; swimming at Amazon Pool nearby, a visit to the river, strolling the neighborhood, and more.
The small 1947 brick house I inhabit is being refurbished from head to toe; roof, kitchen, bathroom, electric, Lunos air quality system, plumbing, wood floors refinished, new windows, cork siding for insulation, and much more. It is in a lovely, down-to-earth neighborhood with many dear folks nearby.
We are building an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) on the back of the lot of this
small house by Adrienne and Cueyo of CedarStone Design. It is a lovely dwelling that is very unique in its first use of cross laminated timber (CLT) here in the area. Very carbon neutral and environmentally sensitive. It will have a large array of solar panels to power both houses (see the picture here). A landmark project for the region. I am honored to be part of the team; electricians, plumbers, carpenters, architect, builder, my cousin, excavators, and many other. Grand and lovely chaos!
The new dwellings will leave me to create the landscape. One dear student, Melanie, has sent along seeds for the garden next year from her garden in Hillsboro. Sunflowers were my first addition to the landscape this year!
I am now an employee of the local YMCA and the City of Eugene’s Parks & Recreation Department to teach yoga and mindfulness practice periodically very near my home. I will need to hone my dancing and singing skills to keep up with colleagues at the YMCA and encourage my acting skills to keep up with my colleagues at Parks and Recreation (see these video links ).
I continue to have ’Eugene Moments’ encountering unique and fascinating local personalities. One early morning as I sipped coffee on the bench outside my neighborhood grocer, Sundance Grocery, and a man pulled up, parked, jumped out and walked over to me and said, “The guy walked up to the taco stand and asked, ‘Make me one with everything!” The taco maker handed it to him and he paid. The man asked for his change and the taco maker said, “Change comes from within.” With that the fellow who told me that story said nothing else and went back to his car and drove away. A ’Eugene Moment’ and there have been many!
I will be traveling up to HIllsboro on the weekend of October 14th and 15th and
hope to gather with you somehow. Let’s be in touch with perhaps an outdoor yoga class.visit if the weather is at least a little delightful!
You remain in my heart. Always nearby in online classes, cards, calls, texts and periodic visits! Reach out to keep in touch and if you are near Eugene give me a shout!
Much Love — Brant