My Sunporch Room

The summer of 2006 was a disaster. Max’s left hip prosthesis came apart on June 6. After a trip to the ER and minor surgery to push the ball back into the socket, he was fitted for a brace and spent the next six weeks on crutches. No sooner had he healed than on July 23 he pivoted at the car wash and the hip popped out again. Another trip to the ER, surgery, and back to the brace and crutches. On August 9, the ball and socket were replaced successfully; after six weeks of healing he was off of crutches and back in the swirl of life again.

When Max and I were married in 1987, and he moved into my house, he claimed the sunporch as his room. Here his recliner, TV, and piles of stuff “lived” for 18 years. But, the large new TV never fit well in the room and it was too crowded when visitors came. He certainly does not intend to receive visitors from anyplace but his recliner. Thus, as he struggled with the hip issues last summer, one day he suggested we flip the rooms, meaning he and his recliner/TV would move into the much larger living room, while my computer and I would move out to the sunporch. I had to let go of one of my mother’s rules, “no recliners in the living room,” but we do not keep a formal household, so I let it go.

Well…what a mess. We hired some former students to help and they whirled around moving things faster than we could point to where to place them. It took me several days to sort things out, but once we were settled, we were very pleased. I dragged up the French Doors, original to this 1920ish house, from the basement, covered with dust and mold. After washing them in the front yard, I managed to hang them—they are quite heavy. Before I bought this house in 1984, the previous owners had pasted bamboo on the glass and used the room as a bedroom. Half the bamboo had fallen off and the glue had crystallized to a deep golden color. However, the glue chipped right off with a razor blade. I got enough off to allow light to pass, though the job needs a final finish and several panes must be replaced. The doors block the noise of the TV and the scent of visitors—giving me a safe place from the headachy perfume and laundry detergent scent visiting people wear.

As we sorted out the furniture, I decided to put my particular treasures in this room—the sunporch. The tall oak bookcase that stood in the kitchen of the Fair Acres house where I raised my children now stands along the inner wall, along with a temporary metal bookcase—until I can dig the oak bookcases out of the storage unit. Along the same wall is my china cabinet, filled with my treasures, none of which would gain any $$$ on Antiques Road Show. The Edison record player is centered along the east wall, as I don’t mind partially blocking the view of the street. Next to it are small bookcases from my children’s grandparent’s home, also loaded with pictures and treasures. Other particular treasures are an antique oak washstand that belonged to friends of my parents, Bill and Jane Thompson; my grandparents’ library table, which I use as a desk; and a small bookcase my father made for me when I was in college. A couple more book cases, my apricot colored recliner, Aunt Francie’s apricot velvet chairs, plus my glass desk and computer fill up the room. The three walls of windows, eleven in total, keep the room from feeling too crowded. Obviously, I prefer things to be “visually stimulating”….i.e. cluttered.

Right now, it is past midnight. The half moon is shining through the branches of the largest silver maple tree, out the window to my left. I would never see such a lovely sight or see the glorious pink and gold sunset I saw today or watch Friend squirrel if I were still in a corner of the living room. It was a mutually beneficial move.

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