Oregon writer, Rain Trueax, and Oregon painter, Diane Widler Wenzel co-author Rainy Day Thought. Diane generally posts on Wednesdays and Rain on Saturdays. There may be extra days or changes as situations warrant. Comments are always welcome and appreciated as it turns an article into a discussion.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Clearing the Deck

Basically my month of August has been and will be about clearing debris out of my life-- both emotional and physical. I got started by redoing where I paint. I had been working in one end of the living room but decided if I cleared out and used instead the room I call the solarium (which had mostly become a storage area), it would leave the living room more open.

As it turned out, the solarium got more of a remake than that and these pictures show what it looks like now. The computer, an old one, recently upgraded, will be handy when working from digital photos or even when using it to experiment with an idea before bringing it to canvas.

Wherever I paint, I like to have a few things to look at that inspire me (the paintings at the end of the room will be changed) and have room to step back from my own work. In the case of the solarium, bamboo blinds still have to be installed at the windows to block afternoon sun. This south facing room isn't ideal for art but you work with what you've got in life.

The door is also one way into the vegetable garden, and this much-treasured basket, which had been my mother-in-law's, is for gathering produce.

A 30 cubic yard dumpster is already about 1/3 full and part of the August plan which has been about clearing excess from around the house, the harness shed, and if the dumpster isn't full by then, the barns. Last time a dumpster came, the barns went first and the rest lost out. I do learn my lessons-- eventually.

My goal is to get rid of everything that wouldn't be taken if we left here. It's not that selling this farm is planned, but one of the advantages of moving regularly is you don't accumulate so much of what can only be called junk.

Just beyond the solarium was a deteriorating deck and fence. I've been helping remove them by dragging the cut-apart remains to the dumpster. I also managed to get a long sliver in my arm from the rotting wood. Go Rain! I do have a knack for those kinds of moments in any outdoor project . This was with leather gloves and a long sleeved shirt, but I have to get at least one sliver to know I was working.

You'd think August would be for hanging out at the beach or maybe a mountain lake, but on a farm, it rarely is. I see the clearing outside as a metaphor for what I am trying to also do inside me-- get rid of what isn't working. Outside is usually easier.


robin andrea said...

Looks like a great project both inside and outside. I like the new room for your art, it has a very nice feel to it. I also like the philosophy of discarding what you would not take if you were to move. It's amazine what we accumulate over time in one place.

Hope you got that sliver out and all is well.

goldenlucyd said...

Cleaning the inside is always harder for me---housewise and headwise...so many nooks and crannies to collect junk! Great post and one that gives me incentive to get a things myself. Hope your sliver injury (ow! ow!) is on the mend.

Mary Lou said...

Dont I know how hard it is to de junk a place! I go through and throw things every so often, but then someone will come along and tell me it is too good to just throw out, and since I REFUSE to have a garage sale, I end up keeping the damn stuff, THis time I pitched it literally into the front yard, and it is going to the dump on Wednesday!.

If I have not missed it or used it in a year, it goes!!

GOod luck! and Good Work on the Solarium!

Dick said...

Your solarium looks like a great space for your art studio, but I'll bet it gets hot this time of the year. Living on a farm you are no doubt very busy now but do you get time to head south for warmer weather in the winter?

If you really want to pare down things you ought to get ready to become a fulltime RVer where you live in a 40 foot motorhome. Most people I know still end up keeping a storage locker someplace for those things they just can't get rid of. Friend J says whenever she wants to buy something new she has to figure out what thing of D's to get rid of in order to have room in the rig for the new thing!

Rain said...

Actually there might be some gypsy in my soul as things always seem to weigh me down. I appreciate them and enjoy their beauty or usefulness but also feel they kind of trap me. I constantly try to think now what would I really need out of all this. When I was much younger, with two kids, we had a 15' simple vacation trailer that I kept more or less equipped for living in if needed and thought with a tent, it'd be very nice living that way. It had a porta-potty we added to a closet and that was it for the bathroom other than a hose outside for showers.

The modern motorhomes though are anything but primitive. We went looking the other week-end at vacation trailers and campers. I had a very big eye opening with what they are like with the pop outs. It wasn't anything like camping in a trailer used to be.

Augustine said...

Looks like we're both doing clear-ups in August, Rain. Your workspace looks lovely and bright, I'm sure it's conducive to inspiration. I too go through stages of wanting to get rid of nearly everything, so much stuff accumulates and only serves to weigh us down.

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