Fitting for sitting

by Chris Born-Long
November 1997

BenchHere's the newest addition to our yard, a splendid gift from my terrific friends at Parsons Engineering Science in memory of Annie.

This is a handmade cedar bench. It comes from Los Indios Ranch Woodworks in Boerne, Texas. It is beautifully crafted, with comfortable curves and a graceful design. Annie's name is burned into the center back. The wood is well sanded and oiled, and it feels like satin.

At first we placed the bench out in Painter's Field, the little glen where Annie's ashes are scattered. Also there were a little plaster angel who recently came to live here, and a stone in memory of my father, Robert Long, whose ashes are also scattered there, and for whom the field is named. But Painter's Field is at its best in spring, when it's filled with gorgeous Texas wildflowers. Now in the fall and winter, it's kind of uninteresting.

So for the time being we've moved the bench and the angel and the stone back by our fountain, where we can see it from the house. Our winters are so mild that we can spend lots of time sitting out on the bench, looking at our pretty woods and Annie's angel, and listening to the gentle fountain. The daylight now ends early, and the sharp slant of the late afternoon sun through the trees makes the most beautiful golden light and deep soft shadows.

It's very quieting.

Bench at front entranceUpdate, March 2012: For the past year or so, Annie's bench has been in its new location just outside our front door. We landscaped this area a couple of years ago, and now it's the perfect spot for the bench. Our daughter Emilie, Annie's sister, refinished the bench last summer—badly needed after 15 years out in the weather—and it looks just beautiful.

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