I'm often frustrated over the amount of time this project is taking, but the more I think about it, it's an absurd frustration. It's like being frustrated about how long my life is taking. My dwelling is an extension of me. Even when this project is "done," I'm, hopefully, still going to be here and will probably want to make improvements and changes. God knows I'm always wanting to make improvements and changes to myself.
It is true, though, that the tasks that make up the whole project sometimes linger longer than I'd like, and part of that's because life gets in the way. With summer and it's beautiful weather comes the lazy porch sitting days. Well, not so lazy if you're hopping around swatting mosquitoes every 30 seconds. One of the nicest times of day on our little porch is the early evening with its diminishing light and often dramatic sky. It's also the time when the blood-sucking 3 milligram monsters appear.
At some point last year we sent away for a bunch of mosquito netting with the intent of screening-in the porch, but it was late enough in the season by the time the stuff arrived that we never got around to the project. With summer here again, we realized we better take a couple hours and get the job done. The idea was to get several yards of the stuff, cut it to the right length, and then tack it up. Simple.
After cutting it up, we decided that it would be a good idea to put grommets along the top so we could hang the netting from hooks. That would make it easy to put up and take down as we liked. Well, after going through the trouble of putting grommets on (first along the wrong edge and all with a poorly-made-in-the-USA tool) we realized that hanging the stuff from hooks was going to leave big gaps through which our uninvited guests were sure to come. Duh!
The 2 hour project was suddenly growing in scope.
My neighbor Bob suggested tacking it up with a piece of molding. Aha! Of course! Why didn't I think of that? Even better than molding, I had some scraps left over from making the door jambs for the upstairs rooms that would do the trick. I set about cutting the scrap pieces to length and tacking up the netting, flipping it so that the grommets were now along the bottom edge. To make seams where two pieces met, I simply folded the material in on itself and stapled it together with a stapler.
Now we had to come up with some kind of opening at the steps so we could get on and off the porch. I remembered that I had one of those zipper openings that I intended to use for isolating rooms during demolition but never ended up needing. In a couple of minutes I solved the problem of creating an opening.
After an uncertain start, the porch was screened in. As I sat drinking an iced tea, admiring my work, I noticed the floor and how widely spaced the boards were. Will the mosquitoes figure it out? Will they fly underneath the porch to suck the blood from our ankles? I'll have to spend some serious time sitting on that porch to find out.