Tuesday, May 25, 2004

When the roll is called up yonder

We won't be there, at least not yet (if ever, of course), although it could have been a near thing. Those little screened-in tents or pavilions with the Tinker-Toy fit-together rods supporting them are stronger than they might appear, even though the connectors are cheap, the gauge of the metal is thin, and the covering, except for the mosquito netting, is of cheap, thin, and brittle plastic. Ours didn't come from Wal-Mart, but they all seem to be made by the same company, just under different labels. Eventually they succumb to deterioration from the sun or even get blown away, but most last for at least a couple of years, some longer. They're usually 13x10 feet in size, although the last time all we cound find anywhere was just 10x10. We keep one up the year 'round as a shelter from the mosquito. Since we have no air-conditioning, it's an invaluable refuge, particularly after supper, although of course if provides a degree of shade during the day, both in and of itself and because it's set up under one of the live oaks. During one of the recent gusty periods, we heard a strange noise but couldn't figure out what it might be. Later we discovered that a six-foot piece of oak branch had come down and broken into three sections, either when hitting the ridgepole of the pavilion or when bouncing off that onto the crazy-stone pavement of the "patio" set in the midst of the side yard. The pole didn't snap, although it's cracked and sagging, and not a bit of the rooftop plastic is torn. Sometimes, if there's no mosquito problem, we sit outside the pavilion in some of the chairs knocked around when the limb-sections landed. We'll have to splint the ridgepole with a length of dowel and some duck tape.


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