Funny how the weirdest things can cause one to change an opinion – especially an opinion about how one (okay – ‘me’ – enough of the ‘one’ stuff) exists in this wacky world. I’ve been struggling with an image of myself as relates to more clement weather and the great outdoors. For most of you who read this blog (or follow me on Instagram) I would appear to be a person who revels in being outside, working in the garden, etc. And that’s true. Except! I find that, once I’m done digging/weeding/sniffing/etc. what I really like is: looking at the outside from inside! Now. Not INSIDE!! …more inside. Or maybe ‘inside-adjacent’.
This portentious/pretentious post is about … Back Porch v. Deck. Oh, the humanity! I just finished reading Hilary St John Mandel’s ‘Station Eleven’ (which I highly recommend), so the whole Goober Things to Worry About is fresh in my mind – there’s a paragraph where a wealthy man tells a young paramour of his to come by later, he wants to give her a check to pay off her student loans. My first thought (because I have the luxury of sitting here, Not Dead) is “gosh, I hope she got the check before he died”… then….”gosh. it won’t matter – she’ll probably be dead in a week” … then “well, even if she’s not dead, Student Loans will not even be on the radar of Worry.” Btw – did I mention that I highly recommend this novel? It’s got a quiet, elegiac tone to the winking-out of humanity, going back and forth in timelines. I didn’t think I would want to read it, given the current pandemic – but I found myself devouring it within 2 sittings (and that 2nd sitting only because I’m old and don’t stay up late like I used to). It is beautiful.
But since our pandemic is not currently wiping out 99% of humanity within 3 months I have the luxury of thinking about how I prefer to view the outdoors. I have always been a perimeter nut – I love walls and gates. El O said ‘if you could build a moat around this property, you would.’ And I couldn’t argue with him. In the old days walled properties existed for a reason – neither nature nor humanity is always your friend. And they still aren’t, hence my love of walls and gates. I also love porches with roofs. Perhaps I’m not completely evolved – there’s an element to the sky that always makes me just a bit uneasy. And, on a more civilized note, there is nothing lovelier than being able to sit on a porch during a thunderstorm. I think I need to just accept the fact that I want a porch – with a roof. Yes, A Roof of One’s Own.
I also realized that what I love about Spring and Summer isn’t always being outdoors – it’s the ability to choose to be outdoors – or to bring the outside in. I only use AC in the bedroom so having the windows open and the fans going is a lovely, seasonal luxury. Going out into the garden is an early morning/early evening affair (late Summer in the Midwest is hot AF, so 5a-8a is it, until about 6p, when the sun is behind the western tree line). I think… yeah. when I get the back done, it’ll be a porch. With a roof.
Crap. Do you think they’re going to make me turn in my Gardener card? I mean, it’s just a roof, right? Keeps the pterodactyls from pooping on my head.
If you had to choose, which would you prefer? Open deck or roofing? Open garden or fences and walls? And here’s a weirdo question: given the current viral state of affairs, do you find disaster/apocalyptic entertainment to be terrifying… or cathartic (I keep wanting to rewatch ‘Contagion’ but… I dunno…)