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Posted: March 4, 2014 10:00 p.m.

Husband's key building material is creativity

My husband invited me down to his cabin last weekend to see his new additions. Well, he also wanted me to clean and loaded up the vacuum cleaner and various cleansers as well as me for the trip.

He has added on to the porch — not a deck, he corrected me. The addition is roofed and is about 12 by 10 feet. It has windows on two sides and is open on one.

Most of it was made from the tree he had to cut down to expand. The open side has a railing made from the smaller branches of the tree. It is quite decorative.

His helper said that he believes my husband will not be happy until he expands the porch to the lot line. It is growing. This is its second expansion.

His Howard Finster tendencies in decorating have continued.

My old bathtub is, indeed, on the new addition and is hooked up to hot and cold running water. It has a great view of my husband’s pond. With a little more privacy, it would be a wonderful place to take a long and leisurely bath. It needs a table or something close by to hold a wine glass, if one is going to soak in the style of television commercials.

A second bathtub also adorns the new addition. This one had been in the yard at the cabin. He had one side cut out and painted the tub red and black. With a few cushions he has made a sofa similar to Audrey Hepburn’s in "Breakfast at Tiffany’s." But this one is resting on two sections of tree trunk, not the tub feet. The tree trunks raise the tub up enough to make it comfortable seating.

Another addition is a church pew he acquired somehow or another. It is about 5 feet long and is complete with maroon cushions. It has a rack on the back of the seat for books, and my husband completed the effect with a hymnal in the rack.

Hanging from the ceiling is a chicken coop that he has fashioned into a chandelier. There’s also a a brass chandelier. It does not work, but he likes the decorative effect.

The new addition has a small jut-out that he has designated as the place for his grill. He covered it with an old awning someone threw away, one of those metal ones.

This is the third place he has designated for the grill. The first one smoked out everyone on the porch. The second position was too close to the cabin window, and the heat cracked the window. I think this one still might smoke out those sitting on the porch, but we shall see.

The grill is right next to the goldfish pond. His goldfish pond is actually an old syrup kettle that he has outfitted with a water supply and small fountain to keep the fish happy. The whole thing is covered with a contraption he made to keep the varmints away from his fish. It is basically a wooden box, but instead of wood between the sides, he has chicken wire. The fish must like it. They have grown apace from last year. The freezing weather did not seem to bother them.

He also has added a popcorn popper that is a small version of the one at Mayfield Hardware. So far we have never used it for popcorn, but it is where he stores his fish food. Again, since it can be closed up, the food stays safe from varmints.

All this activity means my husband is gearing up for the summer season. He likes to spend at least one night and day each weekend at his cabin and invite the family down for dinner. The grandchildren can fish and ride in the golf cart. I get to sit most of the time, except when my husband is just about ready to serve the food and gets a little frantic and starts ordering everyone around.

The food is always good, and my children help me with the cleanup. I enjoy spending the day down there, but I am not hardy enough to venture spending the night. I come home to my own bed.

Paula Travis is a retired teacher from the Newton County School System.

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