Summer is here: accretive design meets socio-dynamic challenges

Is it snack time yet?

Summer is icumen in, and we’ve been singin’ cuckoo all week long! Like a couple who have their noses to the grindstone for decades while raising children and then find themselves in an empty nest taking a new, frank appraisal of each other, so too have we and the girls faced the first week of summer as a crucible wherein the souls and the RIGHTS TO BE THE BOSS OF EVERYONE of parents and kids are tried.

I for one am keenly aware of how precious the hours and afternoons are that I get to spend with the family on sunny summer days, given that the rest of my existence is measured out with Powerpoint spoons. So it grieves me to piss it away in heated debate over who did a sassy face, and (worse) who hates whom.

With the onset of summer, and the heightened passions it brings, our tendency to mistake boxes and other random objects for permanent bookshelves/storage surfaces has been abloom with design possibilities! Just check out these examples of how easy and fun it can be to transform a humdrum garage into a powerful expressive framework for contemporary life:

From the Tar Pits of Boston, two different species found in the same stratum from the Summer of 2012

Let’s start with this primordial statement about Summer in New England. We have a box fan purchased a few weeks ago when it looked like we might be in for a “scachah” of a summah. Here it sits in the garage, tilted on its side as if to say “just another step or two, guys, and I’ll be oscillating dutifully.” But trapped in the oozing sands of Summer Time, the box fan remains a foot shy of the threshold–its place in the household unrealized–while on top of it just for a second sits a backpack full of beach toys. Thanks, box fan, for keeping the faith that someday we’ll call on your powers and in the meantime keeping that bag of beach rings just a bit closer to hand.



The rich ecosystem of the garage is perfect for gardening

The garden is doing great with the rain we’ve been having. After the massive snow two winters ago swept away many of our little stake lamps around our driveway and walk, Amy went and got a box of new ones at Costco. And soon they will take root in our front yard, as though we had sprinkled seeds from the Frontgate catalog to see high-tech McMansion gadgetry spring up to adorn the property. But until then, Amy’s gardening clogs have found a home. I will take it upon myself to express in iambic tetrameter some witty, Richard Wilbur-like commentary on how the daily tromping out to tend to aphids and mulch overrides (o’ersteps?) modern efforts to zap it all away. The world is too much with us, people.


So much is draped/Upon a black wheelbarrow

Finally, I think this is my favorite little installation. Our neighbor kindly lent us his wheelbarrow after we got a big pile of mulch delivered. But given its tempting upright position, the wheelbarrow soon found itself encumbered by a beach towel. And what’s worse, the little lime-green lad who lets the world know that PRECIOUS DARLINGS ARE PLAYING SO SLOW TO A HALT YOU BIG GOONS has snuggled up to him, as if to say, “the rude dignity of your outdoor life was left on the other side of that garage door, pardner. Can I offer you a juicebox? Seaweed snack, mmmhmm?”



I cannot tarry…our midnight cleanup efforts are starting in three…two…zzzzzz





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