The Blog

The outdoor workplace

July 30, 2018

Sometimes, you think the fates must be against you. Trying to formulate a storyline for my novel, sitting in my “lucky workplace,” just hasn’t been cutting it. Of course, the “lucky” part of the workplace could be to blame.


Now, granted, as a retiree and oh-so-fortunate to write wherever and for as long as I can, this primo spot is my back deck, under the umbrella at the patio table. However, this assumes there’s a table. And a deck. And air that’s suitable for humans and not saturated enough for fish.


The deck became an issue this spring, after four consecutive Nor’easters destroyed the indestructible coating I labored to put down last summer. Not only did chunks of it peel like wallpaper, but it sealed moisture into the wood for weeks. The prospect of sanding it all off for a do-over made me seethe and my knees ache. Refusing to deal with such calamity ever again, we opted for composite, no-maintenance decking. And June and half of July passed before the pretty new flooring became a reality.


Reveling in our new escape spot, we lunched outside with my musician “brutha” Bill just a day or so later, christening the deck on a warm, very breezy afternoon. So breezy, the umbrella decided to do a Mary Poppins while we sat at the table. Up it flew, tilting to the south, which tilted its pole to the north—and directly up through the table’s glass top. The resulting explosion sent nuggets of safety glass everywhere. Unharmed but stunned, we sat staring through the now empty rim of the table, down to our lunches at our feet, everything buried in shimmering rubble.


So the table hunt was on. My amazing wife purchased one a half hour away, only to learn the hard way that it wouldn’t fit in her car. A morning of finagling ensued, as I stripped the top off my Wrangler to snag that table and bring it on home.


And at last, the nice new table sat on the nice new deck. Too bad no oxygen-sucking creature could go outside because Mother Nature was bathing everything in air as thick as molasses. Days passed, sheltering in place. (And we thought the heat at the GCLS conference in Vegas was bad!) Here in Massachusetts, even Cape Cod had no air. More days passed, dashing out only when necessary.


But today, as August approaches, the siege has lifted. On the umpteenth day, let there be air. Windows are open. Even I can catch my breath. The lawn can be mowed without either of us having a stroke. Our chocolate Lab, Chessa, who, at nearly 10 months old is experiencing her first summer, says, “Now can we play in the yard?”


So finally, the “lucky workplace” is back in service. All I have to do now is write a novel.

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Chessa shows you her latest

BarkBox critter

Fighting for a brownie with the effervescent Kris Bryant. Boston Pride 2016. Prankster authors Holly Stratimore & Jean Copeland are photo-bombing!

I'm honored to call the illustrious Lee Lynch my good friend.  Post Office Café, Ptown, Women's Week, 2013.

With my sweetie Kathy

at Bubala's in Ptown, 2013, Women's Week -

the week she proposed! 

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