I often have the pleasure of meeting someone special while purchasing Craigslist items. Some folks are all business, which is fine, some are cautious, which makes sense, and some are very friendly and sharing. I have to say that connecting with people from Craigslist finds has been a positive experience. Now if I think I need something for the house, I start shopping on Craigslist to see what I can fit into the overall plan or flow of the house. And I find gems in the people as well as the items.
This weekend I picked up a garden gate with an arch for $100. I thought that was a reasonable price. One of the interesting things about items on Craigslist is that some items are highly priced and some reasonably. I will ask for a reduction if I see a lot of the same type of thing listed for less, and the seller usually expects that and reduces a price a bit. But if the item is something I like for a reasonable price compared to other listings, I will pay that asking price outright.
I have been looking for something to define the entrance to the patio as separate from the public front door. Eventually we plan to have a porch roof over the new front door, which I think will help, but we often have visitors skip the mud room front door and proceed to the door that is recessed and was the former front door. That door will be to our bedroom so I need to redirect traffic.
My reservations were that the gate is very ornate and my house is definitely plain and I thought it needed a paint job. But the seller introduced me to the concept of Wabi-sabi. He even sent me the Wickipedia link when I thanked him for the gate.
The idea of Wabi-sabi is to appreciate simplicity and feature the process of nature wearing out the physical world. Sort of like appreciating getting older I guess. The legend I found in this Utne Reader article is that a tea ceremony apprentice was asked to clean up a garden, so he did it perfectly, but before showing his master he shook a cherry tree so some blossoms would fall to interrupt the perfection. He understood wabi-sabi. The seller was telling me not to paint over the rust on the gate but to leave it in its natural state of decay. I kind of like the idea. And it goes along with the simplicity and plain nature of our building itself.
To install the gate I leveled it a bit with some extra chips of flagstone and used large nail spikes in all four corners to hold it to the walk. I envision flower beds on each side of the walk and the recycled rubber patio blocks will be on the lower patio where the fiberglass edges are laying.
I think it needs plants around it to soften the contrast with the straight pergola. But if it truly doesn’t fit in this space, it will be easy to move to another. I think the gate is charming.