Saturday, September 27, 2003

A Greenhouse

Big news that is not about writing: the new greenhouse kit is here--four big cardboard cartons lying beside the driveway. I hope this weekend to spread gravel where it is going to sit, and then I can assemble it next Friday or Saturday. The weather forecast is dry, luckily--and the aspens are turning now, streaking the ridges with gold.

We have always had vegetable and flower gardens. We grow food to eat and some plants just because they are dramatic and drought-resistant (wormwood, various sturdy asters), and we grow some medicinal herbs. Since the greenhouse will not be heated, it will not provide year-around production, I reckon; but it should stretch the season for salad greens, at least.

This afternoon Mary and I are going to an art auction to benefit the local conservation land trust, which I do support with donations, even though I feel like they tend to ignore this end of the county. Mary is not thrilled about hob-nobbing with the "trophy house" crowd (if that truly is who attends), but I think that we will see at least a few familiar faces from our service on the board of another nonprofit organization a couple of years ago.

There will be painting demonstrations, which seems weird to me. Can you imagine a writing demonstration? It's the finished product that matters. (My father, who was a representational painter, would disagree with me on that--but I am not interested in studying another painter's technique.)

The art will be primarily representational and/or "Western," I suppose, but maybe we'll find a local version of Robert Bateman--someone whose paintings of the natural world are not only superbly executed but also have a sense of Mystery to them. I'll take the checkbook, set a modest spending limit, and see what happens.

To use my favorite 19th-century expression, I just need to "see the elephant."



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