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Monday, August 9, 2010

High Summer

"Tackle Box"---our tubing launch spot

The first week of August is High Summer here in Washington County.  Days are hot, nights are hot, and I'm always thrilled to have a thunderstorm to water the tomatoes.  I find the studio gets too sunny to work in by 2:00, so I unplug my laptop and go out to the breezy screened porch to work.  Then, later in the day, we all pile into the Jeep and head for our swimming hole, or the sand beach at the lake, or we take our tubes and float down the river for an hour or so.

There are also so many things to do around here that we can't keep up with them.  Garden tours, church suppers, town-wide yard sales, our Fire Department Carnival.  And festivals.  Two weeks ago we celebrated the Alfresco Weekend, a fundraiser to benefit our Historic County Courthouse.  Local food producers donate delicious dishes of locally grown food, and we, the crowds, come, purchase our tickets, then move from tent to tent with our plates, socializing as we go, and filling our plates with an eclectic assortment of delicacies. This year we welcomed Bryony Graham, and her unique, whimsical, and thought provoking art installation entitled Porch Pieces, which features a freestanding, traveling porch.

This traveling artwork is a project that will inspect the place of porches in present day upstate New york.  Do they still make sense in an indoor culture saturated with TV and air conditioning? Graham, here from the UK, will transport her porch to new locations daily, inviting passers-by onto the porch to converse about their past and present day experiences living in the local area.

I had a chance to sit on the porch again the following week when a young friend and I attended SAWfest, a music festival at our local Sculpture park and school. I have invited Bryony to come and sit on our own front porch, where we will tell her how poor our lives would be without that singular architectural feature on our farmhouse.  [That's Bryony in the red shirt.]

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quid.di.ty The real nature of a thing; the essence; the essential nature or quality of something that makes it distinct and different from other things and establishes its identity

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