Thursday, May. 20, 2010
Dear Diary:

It would be beyond perfect, if only the spousal unit hadn't been right and I hadn't been wrong.

The daughter was home this past weekend. We always have a bazillion projects going on here during the summer and she enjoys pitching in, especially with the carpentry side of things.

Two years ago I bought three cast iron metal supports for an outdoor bench at our annual community yard sale. They were sad looking things, a mass of rust and peeling paint. But hey, they were $15 for the three and I figured with some paint stripper, elbow grease and some fresh metal paint I could get myself something antique and beautiful.

Last summer as a break from the pond project, I spent a day cleaning them up and painting them. Well, they did clean up, but not as beautifully as I hoped. The original castings were very sloppy and rough. They were nice, but not as beautiful or intricate as I hoped.

It was the pond, though, that ate our summer so after the bench supports were painted they ended up back in a shed. Well, the bench might have been built last summer except for the fact that the spousal unit and I could not agree on where to put it.

I wanted to put the bench front and centre, right by the new pond. He wanted to perch it on one of the enormous rocks we uncovered behind our house a few years ago. I thought that was stupid and said so. Repeatedly.

Well, like I said, the daughter was home last weekend and the spousal unit wanted a project the two of them could do together within a day. So he proposed the bench and repeated that he wanted to perch it on one of the rocks behind the house, overlooking the others.

Who am I to deny daddy-daughter time? I reluctantly agreed to placing the bench on the rock. I figured that at least the metal bits would be out of the shed and put to use. After a few days of living with the bench on the stupid site he wanted to place it on, surely the spousal unit would come to his senses and realize that he was wrong and I was right and the bench would be moved by the pond.

Cedar was uncovered, a bench constructed, and a cedar ramp built over to it by my two favourite carpenters in all the world:

I love surprises

Do you know what I hate about this?

I really love where the spousal unit put this bench. You sit there above all these huge, deeply textured rocks looking into the woods. The rocks themselves are amazing, a subtle play of texture, almost water like. There's a huge gnarled cherry tree and several large ash trees behind them and this ... oh man, I'm going to sound like some sort of patchouli scented hippie here ... well, this wonderful serenity settles over me every time I sit down there.

Nothing to do

I find myself drifting there during my transplanting breaks to sip a cup of tea and think about absolutely nothing. I get lost in the textures of the rocks, the shapes of the trees, the sounds of the birds.

In any other corner of the property I find myself thinking about what I can tweak, what can be improved. I never truly kick back. But here, in this little corner, it's all about nature. We made the only change necessary when we uncovered the rocks.

Yes, he was right and I was wrong. It's the perfect place to put a bench. You can well imagine my bitterness over this.

--Marn

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This template is a riff on a design by the truly talented Quinn. Because I'm a html 'tard, I got alot of pity coding to modify it from Ms. Kittay, a woman who can make html roll over, beg, and bring her her slippers. The logo goodness comes from the God of Graphics, the Fuhrer of Fonts, the one, the only El Presidente. I smooch you all. The background image is part of a painting called Higher Calling by Carter Goodrich which graced the cover of the Aug. 3, 1998 issue of The New Yorker Magazine.

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