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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Welcome Katherine Leyton

We have a couple of really exciting dates to remind you of. We first announced these events back on May 15...and now they are upon us!

On July 1, our first Al and Eurithe Purdy A-frame writer in residence, Katherine Leyton, arrives at the A-frame for a two-month working residency. Katherine is well-known for her exciting HowPedestrian poetry project. I expect Al's poetry may be making it to a street (or road) near you this summer.

And on Saturday, July 5, at Ameliasburgh's Purdy Library, Library CEO Barb Sweet, and the Friends of the Library will be hosting a welcome reception from 1:30 to 3:00. This will be an informal opportunity for Katherine to meet her neighbours and supporters in the area. An invitation will be circulated shortly, but for now, save the date and plan to drop by for a bit.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Welcome Sarah

We met Sarah Dearing on Saturday. Sarah is a novelist, the APAFA book-keeper, and a darned good sport. She's spending the week at the A-frame, to test all systems before our first writer-in-residence moves in July 1.
Sarah and Brent (Best of Walrus Readers' choice poet 2013)
who came to mow the lawn and stayed to
talk about writing
Sarah and Pepita
Sarah is working on a novel, and a play at the moment. She is best known for her novel The Art of Sufficient Conclusions, launched in 2012. Here's a link to an interview done for NOW Magazine in Toronto and a great Quill and Quire review. Sarah's earlier novel Courage My Love won the City of Toronto Book Award.

Because Al's workroom won't be ready for this summer's writers, I carved out what I thought might be a spot to work. Of course, there's the front deck, the back deck, the dining room overlooking the lake, that stump right at the water's edge...

Enjoy the week Sarah.

How many steps in a mile?

foundation rebuilt, board and batten replaced, furniture
rehabilitated, deck moved back
A couple of milestones are coming up for the Al and Eurithe Purdy A-frame. This weekend, Sarah Dearing, novelist and A-frame accountant is staying for a week. She will be 'trouble-shooting' the household, and likely pitching in on some last-minute cleaning.

And then, on July 1, Katherine Leyton, the A-frame's first writer-in-residence, will be moving in for a two month stay. (more, much more, on that in future posts.) The historic February 27 announcement of the 2014/15 writers in residence was posted on the Al Purdy website.

Milestones. As we should at these times, it's a good idea to look back and celebrate the small steps that inched us closer. And the people who made those steps - sometimes toiling uphill! A recent post described the poetic carpenters' triumph with the 'back deck' as Eurithe calls the road side of the cottage, and a number of folks who worked on cleaning and sorting.

the sump pump's victory over the basement
 lake celebrated by a single wild aster 
before - the sun sparkling on the waves below the floor

definitely one of the 'before' photos (June 18, 2013)
The photos below show the immense new electrical box, part of an adventure that involved ripping up everything from interior walls to the lawn all the way to the road. Beside it is the elegant solution to this somewhat inelegant modernization. Rick showed me the door created from the original interior panelling. Even the inspector couldn't find it.

at left, the new panel covering the electrical panel

a rather picturesque reminder of so
many people-hours of raking, dragging branches
 piling firewood 

the new back deck-
remove the power tools and bring out some beverages
The June 14/15 weekend (photos on the APAFA website  on June 20) was an astonishing work bee. I received emails from A-frame faithful, all tired yet excited about being part of making a difference. Stalwart Elaine was back, joined in dusting duties by Marni. Eurithe pitched in - it's her way.

Jean Baird  forwarded Brian's account of the beehive of activity "cleaning, painting, hammering, planting, landscaping, wiping down dusty books" of Saturday June 15. No less than seven (according to Brian) of Katherine's family assisted, and made some significant donations. Brian, Ray, and Ron lent a hand. Marie, Paul and Barb have been in touch. Sorta sorry I was camping that week. Sorta. Another time - hope to meet all these fine folk at the Purdy Picnic July  26.

another cottage comfort - a firepit
Brian describes the return of the lakeside deck to its rightful place at the front door, "a spectacular scene the team using shafts of 2x4 lumber as levers to move the rear (sic) deck back into place, like Roman galley slaves". Very Cecil B. Demille. But then, Brian is a film-maker. Great photos on the APAFA website.

As Matti put it, "two days of work got done in one day!"

December 2012
 There are so many other contributors bringing this vision forward. I worry I've forgotten some. One fellow who has been around since early days is John, who used to come mow the lawns. These days he's spending all his free time reconditioning the windows in the living room. I'll post a photo when they return from his Kingston workshop.
June 2014 - wait 'til June 29 for the reveal

Polishing Purdy

Al's man DHL looking reflective in Lindi's
forgotten glasses - thanks Eurithe
Time to stow the buckets and duster for now and take a moment to reflect (an allusion to those shiny surfaces emerging from the dust and grime of unattended years) on the most recent developments at the Al and Eurithe Purdy A-frame. Saturday was my opportunity to get on with some cleaning, to catch up on Matti and Rick's accomplishments over the past week, to deliver some donated food supplies, and polish up a couple more rooms (trying to keep up with Eurithe who'd been there this past week cleaning, sorting, giving instructions and washing floors).

ash on the hoof
One of the ash trees (with which the property is particularly well endowed) had to be felled earlier this spring, and was milled into lumber on site. The lumber has been used for new interior walls which were removed earlier to enable wiring and window installation. Smells wonderful.
new bedroom wall

notice the thickness of the boards

Eurithe found a glass door at an estate sale years ago; Matti and Rick fitted it on the back (south) doorway, exiting to the new deck. Beats the before photo taken a year ago!

entrance (after)

entrance (before)

Incidentally, the view at right dates to a short year ago, when Lesley Kenny immortalized the cement block entry in her Descant blog entry about the first Purdy picnic. Lesley, hope you make it back to Ameliasburgh this July 26!
making a grand entrance
Other jobs that got finessed this week:
-front hall flooring
-kitchen basics donation delivered (thanks to Raymond Brassard who wishes to remain nameless)
-cleaning, cleaning, cleaning
-inventory of Purdy family items
-window frames around replacement windows
-countless other bits and pieces

And as Matti puts it, everything requires a special solution - seems Al did NOT build this structure 'square'.

Shhh...don't tell the mice. And yes, Jean, there is balsamic vinegar!

our writers will become custodians of some precious
Purdy family items

Brent mows the lawn, again!

Matti and Brent making required adjustments to the firepit

L: Rick R: contractor Matti 

 So, Matti and Rick (who have been working together for 35 years) and who sound like it sometimes, you have pretty much finessed it.

As Matti reported in a Sunday night email: "Well, we pulled it off!"

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Building an A-frame, once again

Thanks to the A-framers who came by on Saturday July 7 to donate their time and talent. We did such an amazing job that we decided to take Sunday off. If you should happen by today (we haven't heard from anyone who is planning to), enjoy the peace of the point and the lake. And maybe christen the new deck, in your fashion.

Michele sorting linens

Thanks to John Allport, Raymond Brassard, David and Karen Carpenter, Elaine Leiba, Michele Lintern-Mole, Brent Raycroft, Larry Scanlan, Katherine Sedgwick and Brian Way - and as always, Matti Kopamees - the deck got built, the lawn got mowed, the weeds got trimmed, and a lot of interior cleaning and organizing got done.

Matti and Brent

Elaine and Raymond
Next weekend (June 14 and 15) volunteers will be building a firepit (because a cottage needs a firepit, right?), moving the lakeside deck back into position, painting trim, and doing final cleaning inside the A-frame after interior finish carpentry is completed.

So, plan to join us if you can. Bring a lunch to enjoy on the point. Take a break to read or write a poem. Visit Al in Grove Cemetery nearby.

Next stops:

Katherine Leyton, the A-frame's first writer-in-residence (post 2000 of course) arrives July 1. Welcome reception at Ameliasburgh's Purdy Library on July 5.

The Second Annual Purdy Picnic, Saturday, July 26. at the A-frame. Hope to see you there!

carpenter poets 

And as it so often happens, the recorder is not recorded. Thanks to Katherine for the photos!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Work Parties at the Purdy A-frame June 7 & 8, 14 & 15

The A-frame needs you (and you need the A-frame). This coming weekend, a work party is taking place at the A-frame in Ameliasburgh Prince Edward County. Job #1 will be the replacement of the deck on the south side of the A-frame. Our contractor Matti needs 4 to 5 souls who "can wield a hammer" to assist with sawing boards to length and screwing them into the frame which Matti is building. The work will start about 10 AM on Saturday.

If carpentry is not your thing, we have other outside jobs (grass cutting, planting and general clean-up, moving the north deck back into position), and inside (cleaning and organizing). Be part of the Purdy A-frame story. Come help out for a few hours. Bring a friend or a few. 

Work parties are ongoing: June 7/8 and 14/15. Come by, find Matti, and take on a job. 

Thanks to those of you who have let me know you're planning to come. Looking forward to working with you. Thanks to those who have already make a contribution.

We have a number of other needs as we work to make this a good home for a writer in residence. We are looking for good used items, for loan or as donations.

Let us know if you could help out with any of the following;
1. a lawnmower 
2. a bicycle
3. a rowboat or kayak
4. a set of cookware
5. other kitchenware (canisters, storage bins, serving ware, etc.)

We are also looking for a donor or donors to enable us to outfit the kitchen, purchase new linens, etc.
A (tax receipt available) donation of $350 (or smaller increments) would help us make these purchases in time for the July 1 arrival of poet Katherine Leyton.