Friday, November 7, 2014

notes from the screenporch

A fragment of music from my parents' piano bench,
seen thousands of times in my childhood.
No recollection of ever hearing the song.

A few notes on last weekend's clearing-out of the screenporch.

It was A Task.

There was Stuff.

Much of it was there for good reason.
Since I built the screenporch, it has been one of my favorite places to be, from early Spring through late Autumn. It's my dye-simmering spot, my potting shed, my library and writing space. When visitors stop by, we sit on the screenporch and share the view. I knit and listen to audiobooks on the screenporch. It's where I did Drawing August this summer.

I more or less live out there.

Oak galls for dyeing,
collected on many walks with Piper.
Simmering while the cleaning went on.

In the years when I could sleep on a camp mat, I slept on the screenporch. Now I have one of my LaFuma recliners out there for resting my joints between chores.

Piper enjoys the screenporch, too. She snoozes on Grampy's Chair, or stretches out beneath my worktable, keeping an eagle-eye on the driveway and road below, and announcing anyone who crosses the boundary between the two.

my work table, mid-clean-up

But that Piper! 
Do you know what she does? She leaves all her gardening tools and plant pots and buckets of dyes and her stored portfolio slides and boxes of old paperwork all piled up in teetering towers in one corner of the screenporch! What a mess!

Just kidding, Piper!
Except for the box of your toys, it's all my stuff.

Last weekend, I spent many hours completely clearing out the porch. So that I would not lose momentum and get lost in minutiae, I decided that whenever an item beckoned me down Memory Lane, I would just take a quick snapshot and Move On. It worked very well!

flashback to my Master's research

I had to get it done, because I had a deadline.
Monday morning, a long-pondered project began:
turning the screenporch into a many-windowed room comfortable enough to be used and enjoyed year-round.
My goal is to make it my bedroom this Winter, so I can wake up watching the sun rising through the trees. I have a strong feeling that this will be an uplifting and encouraging way to begin the Winter days.

Sounds likely, doesn't it?
Here's hoping!

I've hired a fellow to do probably 85% of the work, which is a reversal of the way I built the screenporch in 1997. Then, I designed the porch but hired a licensed carpenter to make sure things were done "to Code" and to do the parts I had absolutely no idea how to tackle, like tying the roof of the porch to the roof of the house. But I did a lot of every part of the actual construction, from the ground to peak and everything between.

This time, well. I've redesigned the porch, and I've been sourcing materials and doing a lot of prep work, but the construction will be out of my hands. I'm going to try to just step back and enjoy it.

I'll let you know how that goes.