The past couple of weeks at Green Gulch have been marked by the presence of many fantastic volunteers here for another work period – with the goal of moving everything back in to Cloud Hall!
Cloud Hall right before move-in day:
With the tools and paper removed:
And after a decent amount of order restored (the shoe rack situation is a work in progress – we will need wait for the radiators to be installed before they are in their final configuration):
You might notice one major thing that had changed: no stove!
Now that all the rooms (and central area) have radiators, we have no need to burn wood for heat. Don’t worry – we have wired the boiler which feeds the radiators in such a way that we could hook up a generator in the event of a prolonged power outage, so given air quality concerns and the added benefit of easier flow through Cloud Hall (particularly for Suzuki Roshi memorials), we decided to remove the stove.
The difference between the color of the wood that was under the stove and the rest of the floor is quite striking (as you can see in the photo below). We were happy to find there was flooring under the stove – we did some exploratory digging and were pretty sure this was the case before the brick was removed, but at Green Gulch you never know what you’re going to find!
The Doshi altar and Kaisando have been restored. Kwan Yin is now on the Doshi altar (see below). The figure that was there previously, Ida-ten (the deity that protects monasteries), was relocated to the Wheelwright Center altar during the renovation and will stay there either permanently or until another altar is cited closer to the entrance to Green Gulch. (One thought is that perhaps when the back road is re-done as the main pedestrian entryway there will be a good place to put an altar – it is traditional in Japan to have a statue of Ida-ten at the monastery gate.)
In the picture below you can see the new cork floor along the walkway on the second floor. Cork was selected because of its sound dampening qualities (all current and former residents who were consulted unanimously agreed that carpet – which is the best sound insulator – is a terrible idea in Green Gulch’s damp climate).
The stairway connecting Cloud Hall to the dorm on top of the new program building is temporarily closed off by plywood:
A surprising and lovely feature of the east-facing rooms of Cloud Hall is the very wide window sills that were created when the external insulation, siding, and all the other layers were added:
Frank checking out one of the rooms on the west side of the building:
This is a photo of the new counter in the women’s bathroom, before it was totally finished (it was finished before move-in). If you had ever used it, you might recall that the counter top was badly rotten – due, it turns out, to water damage from the wall behind it (which was fixed when the Bunk House was demolished and the program building put up in its place).
One of the amazing projects that the work period participants did, in addition to doing many dishes, helping in the kitchen, and bringing good cheer to the valley, was to completely unpack/empty three of the five storage containers that we have had on the property since March (and go though and organize the other two). Here are the contents of one of the containers being moved and sorted:
Another crew worked on sewing new curtains for all the rooms in Cloud Hall. (This project was not completed, so if you’re local and you have a sewing machine, give us a call!!)
Another work period project was to build simple storage units with shelves and hanging bars for Cloud Hall rooms (many of the funky closets in the downstairs rooms were removed, and many of the rooms didn’t have good shelving or a place to hang clothes before the renovation). Here are some of the members of the furniture the crew working in the shop:
We were lucky that Phil (center) a Tassajara work period regular, and professional carpenter, headed up this project.
Although not all of them got built, all the pieces for sixteen units were cut, sanded, and are either put together or ready to be assembled – all in two weeks!
Here are some of the shelves that were assembled, drying in the bike shed:
The Guest House and Wheelwright Center rooms, which housed students for the last four months, are clean and ready to welcome guests full-time as of September 4th.
Thank you work period participants!