Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Columns

June 3, 2014

I’ll do it this time for sure

ASHLAND — Saturday for sure. Of course I’ve said for the last couple of weekends that I was going to take everything off the porch, wash it down and get ready for summer. It’s a simple task, really, yet I can’t seem to get motivated.

So for the first time in years, I’ve made a to-do list for this week. At the very top — well, the only item — is “clean porch.” I figure if I write it down, I’m obliged to get it done.

Of course, what would really motivate me would be new porch furniture. Mine’s okay. Better than okay, actually. It’s just, well, blah. Boring. Not what I want anymore.

A few days ago in a neighboring city, I saw a porch like mine with sheer curtains hung on the ends and half the side. I looked at my son, who was driving which gave me the liberty to stare, and declared that’s what I need to do. Why not turn my front porch into a seasonal room?

I can see myself relaxing on a cushioned chaise, ice tea conveniently near and the current best-seller in my hand. An outdoor ceiling fan  twirls lazily above me as I enjoy a mini-escape from reality. Except, of course, I don’t own a cushioned chaise and a naked light bulb cuddles against the wood where the imaginary fan should be.  And with the traffic rolling past the house, those curtains would have to washed once a week.

As we passed an apartment complex a few minutes, inspiration struck for the second time. Plantation shutters — yeah, that’s the deal. Those are those whonking long shutters they used on old plantation houses to cover the windows during storms and cold weather.  Those could be pushed back when I wanted air and closed when I desired privacy.

Then I priced the things. I could buy a dozen chaises and enough curtains for the whole neighborhood for what those shutters would cost me, somewhere in the neighborhood of the gross national income of a small country.  So I guess I’m back to Plan A.

With a couple modifications.

While I have everything off the porch and after the cleaning is done. I think I’ll paint the floor. I figure I can pick up some cheap cushions to jazz up the chairs and a colorful cloth to cover the table. And maybe, if I offer to pay enough, I can hire the neighborhood kids to fan me with palm leaves as I settle back in my old chair with a new book on my e-reader.

CATHIE SHAFFER can be reached at cathieshaffer@zoominternet.net

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