SPEECH TO BE GIVEN MONDAY APRIL 29, MEETING THEME=GREENERY DAY (a Japanese holiday)
City Toasters, in honor of Greenery Day I am reclaiming my outdoor space. Some of you may be thinking “is she up to that?” The answer is “yes she is”. It is not as complicated as you may think. Today I am going to give you some background and tell you the three things that made this possible – free trade, good bones and follow-thru.
First for the background. There are two decks on my 30 year old house. Both the front deck and back deck have gone through expansions and rebuilds over the years. The front deck, west facing, is the width of the house by 8 feet deep. It has a 4ft rail and nice broad steps with a landing. Ahead of the front deck is the well landscaped yard with green grass and hardscape of river rocks. We have a yard service that whips this into shape and keeps it that way. The back deck is large enough for a good size table and the deck is anchored by a covered gazebo housing a hot tub. JB and I rebuilt this deck from the ground up. We only intended to put on new surface boards but once the structure was revealed, we had to go all the way to dirt (good bones created by pressure treated wood, hurricane clips). This was 10 years ago. Today we both look at it and are amazed that we did this. The back yard has the same look with river rock around the perimeter, grass in the center and old growth fir trees.
Therein lays the problem. Each winter the wind in the foothills whips through and de-limbs some of trees. One might call that natures’ pruning. Sometimes it is as simple as cleaning up dropped branches. Some years the branches come down like spears thrown from the Gods destined to destroy all in their path. Winter before last we lost our glass deck table to one of those spears. The morning after the storm revealed tiny pieces of broken glass that blended in with the ice and snow on the deck. The roof was intact but collects moss and fir needle debris over the years.
To the rescue, the guy next door with a pressure cleaner!!! I did not see his cape but he was the superhero of this Spring. Last Fall, JB gave him a very expensive chipper that we weren’t using. He was so excited about this gift that to repay us he promised a roof cleaning once the weather improved (free trade, equip for work). Any of you who live in neighbors with houses pretty close together can attest to the irritation brought on by the drone of the pressure washer. It goes on and on and on until all the neighbors are gritting their teeth. Turns out that when the project is yours, the noise is not nearly as irritating. We have 4 separate roofs. Swath by swath he swept each one until the moss lay all over both decks and the ground. By the time he was done a day and a half later the piles of moss disappeared and the decks were restored to their former glory. As a bonus the yard and deck furniture were cleaned of winter grime. I drug out the very expensive tilting umbrella to see if it could be salvaged by the miracle pressure washer. Success! All surfaces have dried in the few days of nice warm weather we had this last week.
Now for the follow-thru – the cushions from Pier One have reappeared to bring a spot of color to the chairs. Saturday the new table was assembled. It turns out that buying a new table was cheaper than replacing the glass in the old one. The new table is metal frame with tiles. I am sure that those tiles could be speared too but as individual tiles, those can easily be replaced. The next project is to plant the deck rail planters with bright colors. Throughout the summer I will nurture those plantings until they blend together into a riot of color. I am excited to spend the balance of Spring and Summer between the two reclaimed decks trading sun for shade and shade for sun.