Tag: furniture

Rocking Chair Reading

In one daydream, I am sitting on a covered porch that faces south toward a vast cornfield. There is a gentle breeze that blows and if I look up at the corn, I become distracted by the waves that seem to ripple through it. Beside me, on a small table, is a sweating glass filled with the perfect lemonade. In my lap is a thick book (like the one I am currently reading, Volume I of Shelby Foote’s The Civil War: A Narrative) with a bookmark slipped in after the first four or five pages. Glancing down at the book, I see I have 800 pages before me. The sun is just above the distant horizon in the east. There is not a cloud in the sky. The air is cool, but not cold. I’m sitting in a rocking chair. There is a padded cushion on the seat and a gentle, rhythmic rumble on the planks of the porch as the chair pendulums back and forth.

In another version of this daydream, the porch faces the Penobscot Bay or the Bagaduce River in Maine. In still another, the porch is screened in, and facing a fishing lake deep in the Vermont wilderness. A steady rain is falling and another thick book sits open in my lap.

Sometimes, when driving, I’ll pass a large meadow. In the distance, I’ll see an oak tree, and in the shade of that tree my imagination conjures a rocking chair. I find myself longing to be in that chair, book in hand, and a quiet afternoon before me.

The reality is somewhat different. The chair is not a rocking chair, but a rail chair. We bought it thirteen years ago, when Kelly was pregnant with the Little Man, thinking it would be a good chair for sitting in while rocking the little man to sleep. It is cushioned and comfortable, and came with an ottoman that itself rocks along with the chair. Having long grown out of the need for being rocked to sleep, the chair ended up in my office after we moved into this house a few years back. Instead of being surrounded by a wide porch, it is surrounded by bookshelves

My rocking rail chair
The rail chair (glider) in my office

I do a lot of reading in this chair, and there is a reality that never comes up in my daydreams. For instance, if I am reading, say, a thriller, I’ll find myself rocking faster and faster as the tension builds, often to the point where the chair reaches its limits, abruptly stopping and giving me minor whiplash. It happens again and again, but I can’t help it. My rocking matches the pace of whatever it is I am reading. It is probably a good think this is a rail chair and not a rocking chair. If it was, I imagine I’d have already flipped myself over backwards several times.

In my daydreams, all I hear is the sound of the wind through the corn, or the rain pelting the lake, and perhaps the hum of the rocking chair on the floorboards of the porch. In reality, I often hear the television from the living room, which is right next to my office. When we moved into the house, I wanted to put in French doors that would provide some separation from the office to the living room. That hasn’t happened yet so my reading is often disturbed but the sounds of Murdock Mysteries or Pink videos on YouTube.

Finally, in my daydreams, I set out to read at sunrise, and watch the shadows move across the land while the sun passes over from east to west and my bookmark finds its way deeper and deeper into the book I am reading. The glass of lemonade is always full. I never feel the need to empty my bladder. And by the time the sun has set and there is no longer enough light left in the sky to make out the words, I feel incredibly satisfied with just how much reading I managed to do. The reality is far different. For when the TV is not on and the house is quiet and I find myself sitting in the chair with a thick book open in front of my and a cold A&W Zero Sugar Root Beer on the table beside my, as often as not I find that I read five or ten pages, and then fall asleep in the chair.

That never happens in my daydreams.

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New Patio Furniture

We recently ordered new patio furniture and yesterday it arrived. It was quick and easy to put together, and I think it looks pretty good. I like Adirondack chairs, and as far as Adirondack chairs go, these aren’t too bad. I just wish they were wooden chairs instead of some hybrid. It turns out that the authentic, wooden Adirondack chairs are very expensive for some reason. The version we got cost about half as much. As far as I can tell, they don’t feel any different when sitting in them, and they look just as good, so it seemed like a good deal.

Our new Adirondack chairs on the front patio.

We put these chairs in the patio area at the front of our house. We don’t sit out there often, preferring to use the deck in the back, but perhaps by having nicer furniture in the front, we’ll sit out there more than we have been. We have a small portable fire pit there as well, which doesn’t come in particularly handy in the blazing hot summer. And there isn’t much shade out front this time of year, except for early in the morning before the sun gets too high.

I think we could use a table, between these chairs, one that could hold, say, a bottle of beer or a glass of Prosecco. I joked that we should look for an Adirondack table to match our Adirondack chairs, but it turns out that was not joke. There are such things as Adirondack tables. (So far as I can tell, however, there is no such think as an Adirondack fire pit.)

Our plan was to give two of these chairs a try, and if we liked them, we would eventually add two more. That would give us four, and since there are five of us, will lead to loud arguments among the kids about who gets to sit in the chairs and who gets left out. These arguments will shatter the calm and quiet of the evenings and make us not want to sit out there in the first place.

We’re considering obtaining some kind of shade we can put across the patio area to cut down on the direct sunlight. If we can eliminate some of that it only leaves the blistering heat, humidity, and the bites of the mosquitoes.

We got these Adirondack chairs because they remind us of the place we stay at when we go to Maine in the summers. There, four brightly colored Adirondack chairs are arrayed in the grass facing the water. The air is generally cool, even when it is warm out. The black fly season has passed and there is a cooling breeze from the water. The sound of buoys and lobster boats fill the air. It is peaceful and relaxing

Adirondack chairs in Maine.

The Adirondack chairs don’t have quite that effect on our patio. Our two chairs are arrayed on the patio bricks instead of grass. They face the driveway, and look directly into the side of one of our cars. The air is humid and hot, even when it is cooler out. We are just entering mosquito season, and the only water we can see is whatever happens to be dripping from the hose the kids left in the driveway. The sound of cicadas fills the air.

It isn’t exactly peaceful and relaxing. We always have our deck.

Saturday is laundry day

I was up at 8 AM, ran up to IHOP for breakfast (for the first time in a while) and then spent the rest of the day on chores. I did every scrap of laundry available in the house and it is finally all done. Every last bit of it.

I decided my bedroom needed some rearranging. It has been the same layout for 4 years now. This started with the fact that I decided to flip the mattress. I then decided I wanted new bedding. I ran out to Target for that. When I returned, I decided to rearrange the furniture in there and that too is done now. I also vacuumed the house. Thoroughly. And got rid of a ton and a half of trash. And cleaned the kitchen. Really, it was a busy day today.

I fell asleep last night listening to the Yankees game on the radio. I heard the amazing 4 run comeback they made with 2 outs in the bottom of the 9th but eventually fell asleep sometime during the 13th inning, so I didn’t know they ended up losing the game until this morning. They are in a back-and-forth battle in today’s game against Toronto too. The road to October is paved in excitement!

My shoulders and neck are a little sore from the arms and shoulder workout yesterday, but not nearly as bad as I thought they might be. And the soreness in my legs has almost completely vanished.

Warm today. In fact, I finally turned on the AC a little while ago because, even with the windows open, it was well over 80 in the house. Supposed to be beautiful weather tomorrow. Glad I got a lot of my chores done today.