Monday, July 20, 2015

Making Do

Hollyhock Cottage - a house of finds.
My grandmother lived through the depression. My father had to declare bankruptcy when his chicken farm went under for the third time. I grew up learning how to live frugally. It does not seem remarkable to me that I've furnished my little cottage with other's castaways but when, at the insistence of a friend, I took stock of all I now own that came from Transfer Station discards and free items from end-of-day tag sales, even I was surprised.

The cabinet on the left was found by the side of the road.
Large things like metal kitchen cabinets, an apartment sized washing machine, a glider chair, a leather office chair, a rolling filing cabinet and two bookcases rub elbows (it is a small cottage) with innumerable baskets, a Cuisinart, a blender, a French coffee press, a Williams Sonoma popover pan, countless picture frames, a floor lamp, decorative pillows, a couple of framed cork bulletin boards, and toys for the grandchildren. 

Discarded picture frames and found bookshelves.

A repurposed towel rack serves as an over-the-stove pan holder, an old steamer trunk at the foot of the bed holds off season blankets, a table my father made 60 years ago as a kitchen counter extension for my mother now holds my TV, DVD player and VCR. A small wrought iron kitchen rack holds movies and CDs. Even my kitchen counter tops are made of leftovers from a remodeling job. The decorative wreath at my front door? Yup, the Transfer Station.

Bookcases, glider chair, floor lamp - tossed treasures.
The repurposing extends out of doors where sections of an old, discarded, but still serviceable fence frame my patio garden. A second-hand table and umbrella give me a comfortable place for alfresco dining. The platform under my screened gazebo is made of wood salvaged from an old shed. My garden boxes are made of planks left from a torn-down building. Even the slate for my patio and the path to my door are give-aways.

Fence, table, umbrella, chairs, even the purple moon decoration - all finds.
In a world where trash seems to be taking over, it's fun to find treasures that, though not new, are new to me.

The platform and trellis, cement steps, swing, chairs and tables, cushions, even the chandelier  - all free.

Saturday, July 04, 2015

One Day

Rain pattering on the steps, a counterpoint to the humming of the tea kettle. Eggs with fresh herbs from the dooryard garden. A few blackcaps stolen from the dish. The clatter of a fork chasing pie dough around a glass bowl. Clean sheets for the bed still smelling of yesterday's sunshine.

Bacon from a local farm, lettuce from the garden, a Florida tomato. A second cup of tea, listening to the whisper of book pages, a wren singing in the lilac bush.

Lobster and corn on the cob and berry tart for supper. An after dinner bike ride. Mosquitoes. Sunlight slanting through the trees. Millions of backlit, diaphanous wings. Swallows skimming the water, crows calling from the woods. Buttercups and black-eyed susans, day lilies and tiger lilies, and lily pads on the pond. The harrumph of a bullfrog. A waning sun, a pale blue sky, evening silence.