Saturday, May 19, 2012

Summer on the Patio

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We’re having the most spectacular May weather ever in my memory, and in a stroke of some beautiful luck, it is also festival weekend here in my little town, which means parades, fireworks, corndogs, glow necklaces, fire trucks, mounted police, antique tractors, convertibles and the County Dairy Princess, and I am wearing sandals and sunglasses for the first time in years.  (Sometimes, it sleets on our festival, which takes some of the fun out of things.  I have huddled through many a parade in my winter coat.) How blissful of the sky to be such an endless blue, just when I want to stroll amidst the mood ring craft booths and Bloomin’ Onion wagons.  How lucky I feel!  I can’t even tell you how much I love it.  Summer is here. 

In anticipation of this moment, I have spent the last three weekends toiling over this stone patio. 

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This patio has plagued me ever since we moved here—twenty years ago—as a weedy, creepy, dark corner of our yard.  No matter what cute furniture I put there; no matter how many pots of cheerful geraniums, it was dank and spooky and full of broken glass.  It was the ghetto of my yard.  Nobody ever sat there, and the weeds grew and grew and grew.  Finally, I decided to take charge, so I put on some gloves and, by myself, prised up each one of those huge heavy rocks—and some of them are two feet long and as thick as tombstones—removed the weed-filled layer of rocky dirt underneath, put down a weed barrier, and put all the rocks back.  Dean helped me fill in between them with gravel, and then I sagged into a hot bath and could barely move my arms for a week. 

The men knocked down a crumbling old homemade barbecue grill, and once those rocks were hauled away, this happened:

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Light!  It poured over this formerly woeful corner, and suddenly everything was in color. 

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I thrifted this wrought metal garden furniture, and this morning, I added new cushion covers, which I made by cutting off one of the old ones and using it as a pattern.  A yucky process—that old foam under there just seems like a filthy sponge—but worth it.

And, on top of all this, I solved my camera problem.  Saturation!  Yes, it’s been a great day.  I’ll be on the patio.