The Almost Vacation

We had great plans for our week of vacation…hiking, kayaking, biking, a motorcycle ride. But the reasoning behind taking the week before Memorial Day off resided in getting a jump on “summer-izing” the house and yard.

A work and play vacation.

But like most plans, things didn’t go quite as expected.

Even though the calendar said late May, our bodies still maintained their winter adjustment to cold temperatures. That week, a southern weather system moved in and brought extremely high humidity and 80°- 90°F temperatures.

To us, the outdoors felt like a suffocating, overheated sauna. Around noon each day, we staggered into the house, soaked with sweat and half sick. Unable to work in the intense heat, we thought it best to take afternoon naps instead.

IMG_3323We then worked during the mornings and evenings. While scrubbing up the table and chairs on our front porch, I noticed the faded metal frames had some chipping and rust and overall looked bad. Even the padded seats had seen better days.

A makeover for these turned into the first unexpected project.

IMG_3338We took off the table’s glass top and the padded chair seats before spray-painting the frames a deep red. And bought a bright-striped outdoor fabric for the chairs.

About those chair seats…a zillion rusted staples held the fabric to each foam-covered plywood base. These little metal strips refused to come out and trapped swatches of old fabric. Plus the plywood had aged and splintered.

This created an unexpected step in the unexpected project. Hubby now had to buy a sheet of plywood, and cut out four new seats. Each would need two coats of varnish before being covered with foam and fabric.

IMG_3337Next project…a recently acquired, used, wooden bench for the front porch. I thought a quick sanding and a new coat of paint would make this bench good to go. Yeah, right….

While sanding the bench, it became apparent that the acrylic topcoat of paint did not like to adhere to the oil-based paint underneath. The bench needed stripped before a new coat of paint could be applied.

By now we had relegated the cars to the driveway as the unexpected projects filled the garage. But at least we had a dry place to work during that week’s thunderstorms.

Ahh yes, the thunderstorms….

A yearly spring job is pressure-washing the front porch. Although pressure washing is not Hubby’s favorite chore, he cleaned all the porch railings, siding, and floor. And it looked really good…until the next day.

The weather called for severe thunderstorms and high winds. For once the forecast happened to be correct, almost down to the minute. At precisely 4:01 in the afternoon, high winds plastered thousands of tiny, wet, tree blossoms and leaves onto the porch. Once dry, these botanical masterpieces stayed glued to the siding, windows, railings, welcome rug, and floor.

Once again we cleaned the porch and washed the windows. And once again it looked really good.

Today, it’s nearing the end of the week after our week of vacation. The cars are still banned from the garage as we continue to finish the unexpected projects. We still have several patches of grass to seed, shrubs to move, and the deck and patio to pressure wash. And possibly the porch to hose down again – another thunderstorm is in the forecast.

The anticipated hiking, biking, kayaking, and motorcycle ride never happened.

But the entire summer is still to come, leaving us plenty of time for play. We are blessed, indeed!

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About Kathie Mitchell

Kathie enjoys country living, time with family, playing cornet in community bands, crafts, gardening, and writing.
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