Sunday, June 17, 2012

Walk This Way or Keep Your Balance

We are having friends up for Independence Day and Ed has a list of things he wants to get done before the big day.  As usual he's having to work around the weather to get them done.
  At the top of the list is the cement walkways around the house. We're still fighting a losing battle with the sand that was used to backfill the basement walls. Between three cats, one dog and two people that's a lot of grit tracked into the house onto the new floors. Ed and I change our shoes at the back door, but we don't seem to be able to impress the animals with the importance of this little step.
  As the weather allows, Ed has been forming for the big concrete pour. There will be a parking pad in front of the front porch, sidewalk around the grass and to the side door. There will be another parking pad in front of the garage, walkway in between the garage and house, and underneath the garage overhangs front and back.
   I think Ed owns more forming stakes than most contractors. Every time we do a project, we need ten more.
   Behind the house will have a walkway from the side porch to the back porch stairs and a pad for the back steps, which will also form a landing at the base of the stairs. The portion behind the house and garage will require a concrete pumper truck. Those things are amazing. They hook up to the concrete mixer, extend a monster hose over the two story house and into the back. The back portion is scheduled for this Wednesday, with the front part to follow a few days after.

     I, of course, have been working on putting icing on the cake so to speak.  When we began construction on the house I had two huge planters full of hostas that I moved to the vegetable garden and promptly forgot about. I noticed they were glorious and  moved them to the back porch.

   I ordered a patio table last month and it came right on time. I like this one because it's longer than many of the standard ones. It seats six with plenty of room, and ten in a pinch. I sure hope it stops raining so we can actually use it.

   The year we bought this place, 2005, I bought a cedar porch swing. There was a pergola off the dining room door of the double-wide and the swing fit perfectly between the posts. I was pretty good at remembering to bring the swing in during the winter. Once the double-wide was gone and during construction, there was so much stuff in the garage the swing never made it inside.
   Fast forward two years, that poor swing was looking pretty tired. The cedar was dry and weathered. The bolts had somehow worked loose. Ed helped me pull it free of the weeds and grass. I gave it a quick sanding. Ed tightened up all the hardware. I found half a can of outdoor stain and seal and a paint brush.
   There is just something so restful about a porch swing. They even look contented.
   This house is tailor-made for large gatherings. It is my fondest hope that those big boisterous gatherings happen. But it also offers little corners of peace.  A porch swing, a hammock under the maple trees, a trail down to the pasture....a balance between happy noise and solitude.