Monday, June 7, 2010

A Random Plank

A week ago Saturday was a bright day, hot for the first time this spring (or so it seems), the sky as blue as could be, endlessly blue. A day of de-clutttering and arranging, of uprooting crap from the basement and planting tender starts into welcoming soil. I even got around to clearing a bunch of stuff out of the studio -- it's become another collecting point again, an eddy in the river of crap that runs through our house, garage, yard.

Remember that Get Rid of 100 Things a Week project? That diet plan for my Inner Hoarder? The good news is that Saturday I managed to get rid of almost 100 things, if you count  each hanger I took to Saks Thrift Avenue, that is.

But my reward for clearing out the crap was a trip with my sis to Heritage Salvage in Petaluma for garden supplies. This is like going out for chocolate cake and ice cream to celebrate losing two pounds. But we had a list and we'd stick to it, dammit: cinder blocks, a metal structure (bedframe, wire fencing) as a trellis for the clematis clinging desperately to the back deck, border-edging for the garden path. Didn't find any affordable metal trellis work, but we scored on cinder blocks and cadged a deal on edging rocks, red stone cut into long, roughly rectangular blocks.

Then a 7-foot long, 16-inch wide crappy looking plank called to me. It was splintery, weathered-grey, with surface splits and thin patches of ancient white paint here and there. The edges and corners practically ate our hands.  But to me it had charm and character; it deserved to be rescued. With a bit of scraping, sanding and filing, I figured, it would be a fine, if very rustic, bench for my backyard.

And so it is becoming. The WP* was impressed with the plank's dimensions and suspected it might be old redwood; using the full complement of power tools at his disposal, he spent a good part of the weekend sanding, smoothing, patching and and then sanding that plank again. After three coats of spar varnish this week, the old, splintered, cracked piece of redwood (which is what it revealed itself to be) will be installed as a handsome garden bench, no splinters for the unwary behind or careless hand.

So. I dumped 100 things, purchased 24, ended up with a net loss of 76 things. And if the items I brought home have an immediate purpose and are a delight to behold, they don't count as clutter, right? right?

"Why take pictures of a plain plank when such a handsome, debonair cat-about-town is close by?"

*Wonderful Partner


  1. Kiah says "Silly monkey. Why aren't you petting me?"


Noise makers!