Winding Down State Side.

Things have started to take on a bit of a melancholy feel over here. The excitement for the move has started to allow more nerves in. And as more and more gets packed we are starting to feel the completion of a very major chapter of our lives. A volume, really.

The basement is getting more and more sorted every day. We have gotten rid of about half of what we owned. A corner of the basement is now dedicated to things that are completely packed and ready to be shipped over to Germany. And so our sights have turned to the cottage itself. We’ve both been going through boxes of what was important just a few months ago when we moved from Providence to our little retreat of a cottage in Chepachet. A lot of it is already unimportant.

A slew of clothes are being tossed or donated. I’ve started giving guitars one last play before they either get shipped off or *gulp* left behind. The guitars provided the first, but certainly not last, true pangs of emotion toward this move. There’s been so much to do that it’s been a whirlwind. We are packing, cleaning, sorting, tossing. I’ve been writing and researching like never before. And everything is punctuated every 10 minutes by a baby, who is a good part of what’s bringing everything into perspective lhere.

Even the computer on which I’m typing this isn’t making the cut. It’s old now. I bought it in 2012, with a huge screen to be able to edit audio and a bit later video. It’s served its purpose admirably but it’s getting on in years. And we are moving somewhere with different plugs and outlets, and it isn’t worth risking a 27″ screen that would be plugged into an adapter and sort of not up to the tasks at hand anyway.

And that means I’m backing up a LOT. As I write this, I am copying all the raw files for Scrimshaw on to the Anthrospin external hard drive. That project is officially paused until we arrive. It’ll be started back up once we have our more permanent apartment and Anthrospin has a new computer. Projects until that point (roughly September) will be either on hold or in the research stages.

I’m very impressed with the amount I’ve been able to accomplish during this time period. I had joked that it’s almost going to be a writer’s retreat, and I can sort of bulldoze through some unfinished projects and get a new perspective on what’s going on. And this past week saw the completion of The Cast Iron Field Guide, which will be available in both paper back and electronic versions on July 2nd. Additionally, Searching the Sand is now available in paperback form, something I almost never expected to happen.

Another book is loosely being outlined right now. Many of you have seen the Barstow Stove Co., Prov. R.I. page of this site. Barstow has become a passion project of mine and I feel they are horribly underappreciated in their impact on Rhode Island’s history, and that the stove industry is all but forgotten within the state. It’s grown as sort of a tangent to my more broad focus on cast iron, and I feel it’s somewhere I can make a legitimately original contribution. Yes, the field guide is an important puzzle piece for the hobby, but that’s more of a compilation that original research.

And so there’s another book in the works. Currently called, Lost and Foundry: Amos Barstow and Rhode Island’s Stove Industry, it’s going to span the life of Amos Chafee Barstow and beyond to the demise of the Barstow Stove Company in the later first half of the 20th century. Barstow was both the first and the last stove foundry in the city, and so all the others came and went in its lifespan. It will be more history than a collector’s resource and I hope to capture the interest of the Rhode Island history crew as I did with Rhode Island’s Industrial Revolution.

I have a lot to say here, and usually so little time with which to say it. As things start to really wrap up here, particularly after all our stuff is shipped in mid-July, I hope to get around to adding more here. It’s been a strange few years and this is an even stranger punctuation to it, but I really feel like this year and this move will really be the start to Pedal Powered Anthropology coming into its own as a dynamic and fun educational resource.

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