Long, Golden Rays of Summer Days

day lilyOnce again, the end of August is upon us. I recently wrote a blog about going back to school, and I can’t believe it’s that time again. If you’ve been around the area this summer at all, I hope you’ve been taking advantage of the many fun things the western New York region has to offer! We have wineries, trails, festivals, concerts, other shows, and two lakes where people can boat or simply enjoy being by the water. I grew up in Chautauqua County and fondly remember chasing hot air balloons around with my parents and sister on hot evenings; summer is a beautiful time of year in this part of the state. (Check out the Chautauqua County Visitor’s Bureau website for more information about what to do in the region!)

In conjunction with copious things to do, places to go, and people to see, this region is home to Chautauqua Institution. After nine weeks of intensive programming, lectures, and religious dialogue, everything will conclude this coming Sunday night with the Chautauqua’s IMG_4597President’s traditional speech, and then the customary three taps of the gavel. Despite everything to look forward to this fall, including apple cider, sweater weather, changing leaves, and spending time with family/friends, it can be difficult to leave places like Chautauqua or abandon the summer activities you’ve enjoyed during these warm months.

On behalf of everyone at Bush, we wish you good days as you conclude your summer and drift toward autumn. As an integral part of the community and Jamestown’s fascinating furniture legacy, Bush Industries is proud to be located here in the western New York region year-round. As the season changes, we hope you consider us for your back-to-school and autumn decoration ideas. For now, enjoy the remaining lazy, hazy, crazy days, and know that next year’s warm breezes are never too far away. On behalf of the team here at Bush, we hope you’ve been having a very good summer!

Long, Golden Rays of Summer Days

Summer Reading

Is reading part of your summer plans?

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Summer is one of the best times of the year to kick back with a good book. It’s warm so you can sit outside and enjoy the weather, especially if you have a hammock! In this day and age, there are so many options as to what to read and the means by which those things are read. Maybe you’re a history buff and you want to read about the beginnings of jazz, or you’re interested in escaping from this world into others like Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter. Or still, you keep up with the news then you can pick up a newspaper or get one of many apps that will provide up-to-the-minute world updates. All this and so much more can be consumed electronically or in hard copy, depending on your preferences. You can also listen to audiobooks whenever it suits you. The options are endless, truly.shutterstock_132056054

Summer reading in particular is wonderful and enlightening, whether it’s through a program, assigned reading for school, or simply at your leisure. Chautauqua County does a particularly good job encouraging its residents to read, especially at this time of year. When I was young, I participated in summer reading programs through the Prendergast Library; their efforts have been very fruitful in enticing children to read, and they have done so much for the local community as a result. Additionally, the Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle (CLSC) at Chautauqua Institution chooses nine adult books and nine children’s books to highlight every summer as part of a longstanding tradition to encourage lifelong learning through reading.

If you’re an avid reader, it’s time to either start or revamp your library space. Choose from Bush Furniture’s wide array of bookcases to design the optimal way to display your reading materials while keeping them safe and organized. They come in a variety of sizes and shapes to fit your collection, budget, and dreams of creating the perfect reading area. Whether you’re searching for a more traditional approach to shelving or a smaller unit for a child’s room, we can accommodate.

Our collection of Universal Bookcases are ideal for home and office scenarios:Universal Bookcases

The Buena Vista 6-Cube Bookcase fits perfectly in many living areas, big or small, and can store books or attractively display photos.BV6-cubestorage

Hopefully this blog has inspired you to start or continue your summer reading! Thanks for stopping by, as always, and investigate www.bushfurniture.com for a complete overview of all bookcase options.

Summer Reading

Porch Culture

With gusto, ladies and gentlemen, I say to you: I believe summer is upon us! Let’s all take a second, feel the breeze on our shoulders, and know that we’ve been liberated from our long winter. Even when it’s raining, there’s a general sense of warmth and uplifted spirits floating around. Trees are in bloom, too, and the air smells sweet with possibility!

Alright, maybe a little much. But as the seasons change and it gets warmer, hopefully you’re feeling the late spring/early summer begin to creep around you. I love being outside at this shutterstock_3971008time of year and enjoying nature, particularly ifI can do all of that while sitting on a porch. Originally, porches were built to give homeowners a covered place to sit in the summer when the weather was too hot to be inside and they stood a chance of catching a breeze outdoors.[1] Now they have become a social gathering place and encourage community spirit.

An article in The Milwaukee Journal, written in June of 1966, waxed poetic about porch culture and significance of porches as a status symbol: “You don’t have to be antiquated to remember when a porch was a sign of affluence. Even if it was a mere dab on the front of a row house, its owners could feel superior to less fortunate neighbors with nothing more comfortable to squat on than stoops.”[2] While this might not be a hard and fast social symbol today, those who have porches still enjoy their covered social area. The quality of that experience also depends on the furniture on which you’re sitting. The article, in particular, mentioned porch swings: while they might be slightly uncomfortable and fit approximately 2.5 people, they can also perfect for cuddling up with a significant other.

In 2006, forty years after the Milwaukee Journal article was printed, NPR’s Michele Norris did a piece on All Things Considered about porches entitled “Sitting on the Porch: Not a Place, But a State of Mind.” Among some of her observations was that porches organically bridge the gap between private homes and public space on the streets.[3] Therefore, homeowners can invite guests to spend time with them in a way that’s not too intrusive so they could still keep their home more private but still entertain comfortably. Similarly, would-be guests did not have to feel they were intruding if they were only gathered on the porch. Thus, in thIMG_4597at established milieu, the porch also became a symbol of good-natured and “safe” quality time.

Bush Industries is located in Jamestown, NY about twenty miles southeast of Chautauqua Institution, the pinnacle of porch perfection. Chautauqua is a cultural center dedicated to lifelong learning that focuses on religion, literature, science, and the arts. Finding a house at Chautauqua without a porch is rare; I don’t know if anyone has ever specifically counted how many porches the Institution has, but there are undoubtedly hundreds in its tiny community. During Chautauqua’s nine-week summer season, thousands of people enter the grounds and often engage in meaningful discourse on their porches…or they just sit back and enjoy the time with their friends. Either way, porch culture is very prominent and contributes to Chautauqua’s laidback atmosphere. To learn more about the Institution and its upcoming summer season, click here.

IMG_3725The Chautauqua Amphitheater Back Porch:
a gathering place after lectures, church services, and performances.

Thus, porches create summer ambiance. Why not spread that to other areas of your home? The Bush Furniture Volcano Dusk Collection by Kathy Ireland can help you complete your summer atmosphere, particularly if you want to give your whole home the same comfortable feeling your porch has. Or maybe you don’t have a porch but you desire that Volcano Cabinetsummery feeling in your cottage or home year-round. Check out the collection for desks and hutches, storage options, and convenient tables for any living area.

Here’s to quiet evenings that are still warm even after the sun has gone down, lightning bugs, and the casual bluegrass after-dinner jam session. Here’s to sitting with your friends and peeking out from under the porch railing to glimpse comets creeping across the sky (I was six and remember my father telling me it was the only time I was ever going to see the Hale–Bopp comet in my life.) Here’s to sleeping on the porch on warm nights, and the Chautauqua season commencing in a month. Let summer seep into your bones, and keep swinging.

[1] http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5589974

[2]https://news.google.com/newspapers?id=HQQqAAAAIBAJ&sjid=0ScEAAAAIBAJ&dq=porch-sitting&pg=2625,4955701&hl=en

[3] http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5589974

Porch Culture