$15 Fix

We love our screened porch. Thanks to a ceiling fan, it’s comfortable on all but the hottest summer days. Shortly after moving we found a farmhouse-style table and four chairs at a thrift store for $50. Hopefully we’ll find a couple of inexpensive rocking chairs at some point as well. It’s a lovely place for summer dinners, your morning cup of coffee, or working from home (pity my poor former coworkers stuck in their cubicles!).

The only downside is lighting. The electric light gives an awkward fishbowl feeling at night (though nobody can really see into our private back yard), and the ceiling fan snuffs out candles. We tried an old kerosene lantern, but it leaked terribly and left the porch not-so-subtly perfumed with fossil fuel.  Last month I picked up a large supply of fifty cent glass votive holders that nicely shield candles from the wind. Then, while at the hardware store this weekend I spotted a box of $5 lanterns. Throw in a couple $2 plant hooks and fifteen minutes with a level and screwdriver and we now have breeze-safe non-electric lighting for many summer nights to come.

Incidentally, that tablecloth is actually a twice repurposed shower curtain. My college roommate and I used it to create a separate “room” in our oddly shaped dorm apartment, but these days it’s the perfect surface for picnicking.

For more Southern screened-porch thoughts and poetry, go here.

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