The View From ‘My’ Front Porch (For a Week)

imageI live in the city, and have become inured to the nightly sirens, train whistles and cars driving by at all hours. (Now if only I could get used to the neighbor’s Hammond organ at odd hours – though that’s been less of a problem of late – and the occasional 3 a.m. fights on the sidewalk).

Last week, however, I had the soothing sounds of cicadas, a fast-moving stream and birdsong filling my ears. Plus eight-nine hours per day of 11 wooden mallets whacking chisels, miter saws clanging into the guides on miter boxes and rubber mallets knocking together and taking apart test-fits on full-sized English tool chests. (Which beats a Hammond organ and fights any day.)

For my summer vacation, I spent a week helping out in Christopher Schwarz’s tool chest class at Roy Underhill’s school (The Woodwright’s School) in Pittsboro, N.C. Both Chris and I stayed with Roy and his wife, Jane, at their lovely mill; Chris was in the guest room in the converted mill, and my quarters were across the lawn in the recently completed guest house (which doubles as Roy’s office).

imageIt’s a restful, bucolic setting, and I’m honored that Jane and Roy invited me to stay there. I ask you – How many other toilets afford a view out the window of a doe and fawn out for a morning stroll? (I, er, couldn’t get to my camera to take that picture….)

We drove the eight hours back to Greater Cincinnati on Saturday (apologies to Chris for my three-hour playlist of singer/songwriter music, to which I loudly sang along), then I had to hurriedly unpack my suitcase (I typically let it sit for a week), do the laundry and vacuum. I had a 10 a.m. showing on Sunday, and after a week of late nights, early mornings and possibly a few too many adult beverages, there was no way I was going to get up early on Sunday to take care of all that.

imageSo I’m back in the city now, and back to being worried about selling my house – and I’m hoping fervently that with summer coming to a close, the young folks who tend to populate my neighborhood will be back in a house-buying mindset.

The house I’ve been hankering for is still available (plus my contingency contract doesn’t expire for another two weeks). But there’s now a niggling thought in the back of mind about how nice it would be to get a new place with a view of a mill stream and waterfall, with deer ambling through the yard – instead of a view of the neighbor’s house mere yards away. For that, however, I’d have to go a bit outside of city (and county) limits – and my idea of a bearable morning commute is no more than 20 minutes.

Perhaps I’ll make myself some nice deer yard art instead. And the Brood X 17-year cicadas are due to emerge in Cincinnati in 2017; I doubt I’ll find them soothing. Bring on the sirens. (Still, I wouldn’t mind another week or three in North Carolina.)

p.s. Apologies for the fuzzy photos…the iPad camera is crap.

About fitz

Woodworker, writer, editor, teacher, ailurophile, Shakespearean. Will write for air-dried walnut.
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3 Responses to The View From ‘My’ Front Porch (For a Week)

  1. I really think you have to look into Glendale. Maybe I’m just biased because I miss my old home on Jefferson Ave. It’s a short ride to work and the homes have character (my wife worked at Jewish hospital for a few years). They still have enough trees for regular wildlife spottings. Plus Rockler and Woodcraft are within walking distance. And the Cock ‘N Bull…I digress.

    I’m not sure what’s available but you might want to explore. Good luck.

  2. Kevin Thomas says:

    I envy your trip. There is nothing like sipping a nice cup of coffee while taking in the peace of a country morning or evening.

  3. Wes says:

    Just looks like a dirty lens.

    Really enjoy the blog.

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