Thursday, June 11, 2009

sky-chair west!

When we first moved in, the narrow space between the house and the fence had been used for a dog-run. An ugly but very secure chain-link fence covered each end. It took a deal of work to remove (and I have a photo of Mark rocking out one of the securely-concreted posts in a manly fashion). After that, though, what to do with a narrow overshaded run?
Build a cable-ride, obviously.
Mark pointed out that however cool a cable-ride is, inherently, eventually it will be grown out of, and what is one to do with the rather large supporting structure afterwards?
Oh, I said, use it for a arbor, or a support for a garden swing.

It took a few years to get around to making the cable-ride, time to research designs, look for an affordable (non-industrial level) setup, etc. The actual building didn't take that long, once we had all the bits.
Like most such innovations, it was used extensively for the first while, then when visitors came, parties & birthdays, and eventually the available children all grew too heavy (I can't remember what weight the grip was tested to - 100 lb?).
The lilac tree that Mark had cut down to a stump decided to take it as a severe but kindly pruning, and sprouted up and around the posts and platform. The various cats found the platform an excellent belvedere.

About 10 (15?) years ago I found a hanging wicker chair at a garage sale. The porch had no place strong enough to support a hanging chair, so I stuck it in the attic. Because hanging chairs are cool, and I'd always wanted one, and someday I'd have a place to put it.

This year, in the process of pruning, I reached the lilac tree and the cable-ride posts. With a prybar, a hammer, and my husband's suggestions, I got the platform off (to the later grief of cats, I'm sure).

I sawed off the two branches that ran across the middle of the space and suddenly it opened up beautifully, while enough leafiness remained above for comfortable shade.
I brought the chair down from the attic. The hook on the chain fit perfectly through the eye that had secured the cable. The length of the chain was just right for gentle foot pressure to steady the chair or set it swinging.

It was meant to be. For perfection I only needed the addition of a cat or a laptop. I've tried out the first, and will be checking out the second shortly.


avo said...

Oh, so you're the prophesied heroine who, with Terri, restores Balance to the Porch.

batgirl said...

I'm pretty sure we need one to the north and another to the south, to establish the Verandah of Tranquility that girds the House of Discord.

Terri-Lynne said...

Yay! A skychair!! Well, a wicker chair--but it swings! Yay, again! We can sit in our chairs and pretend we are not a gazillion miles apart.

My skychair has gone unloved the past few days, as not only is it raining yet AGAIN, but it's cold, cold, cold!!! I love sitting on my porch in the rain, but the damp :::shudder::: Maybe if I had something dark and Victorian to read. :)

batgirl said...

I have a fondness for wicker, from when my parents had wicker basket-chairs on the patio. The creaking is soothing. My brother and I used to pull the quilted seat-covers off and crawl around under them, pretending to be turtles.
What if you took a quilt or an afghan out to the skychair and had a lantern nearby? You could read Jane Eyre by lantern light, wrapped up warmly.