Not even Norman Rockwell, had he been alive to commission the painting of such a scene, could envision a more spring-time setting for the second annual Home and Lifestyle Expo, showcased under brilliantly sunny skies Saturday.
Home-improvement weekend warriors, indoor-grilling aficionados and environmentally conscious retirees wandered throughout the Nevada Appeal parking lot and the plant's makeshift exhibit hall, seemingly ready to wake up from a long winter's nap and plunge into a little spring spruce-up.
Jerry Carlson of Reno-based Sun E Concepts wasted no time in securing some possible repeat customers, wielding a hard plastic 14-inch-long "sola tube" that he said could emit as much as 600 watts of natural light, without flipping a switch.
Carson City resident Linda Curtis, who scampered over from nearby Governors Field after her grandson's baseball game, purchased a similar contraption a year ago and installed it in the ceiling of her home office.
"I haven't had to turn a light on in that room since. We don't need to, until it's dark outside," she said.
To prove his point, Carlson invited those stopping by his booth to enter a small room and close the door.
Let there be light, indeed.
And, Curtis noted, not a lick of excess heat.
Inside the exhibits, a cornucopia of vendors extolled the virtues of rural Nevada's business opportunities, stain-resistant countertops, energy-efficient hot tubs and new home additions.
Susan Cooke fielded questions about prefabricated sunrooms.
"They out last their owners, and the guy who buys it from them," she joked. "They're guaranteed for life."
The sunroom glass, she said, can survive Category 4 hurricanes and the occasional swarm of earthquakes, like the ones that have rocked Reno and Carson City recently. Oh, they're heat and golf-ball resistant too, she said.
Spring and summer means time to break out the barbecue grill, even if it's grilling from the countertop of your one-bedroom flat.
Audrey Atkins grilled chicken, vegetables and fish on a stovetop grill she said would give barbecuers on a budget the same great taste as the outdoors - without the smoke and the fat.
The secret? Pouring water into the bottom half of the grill, which combined with the drippings, creates a smokiness. Those not afraid to experiment can add honey, spices or anything else to create a specific kind of smoky flavor.
Ami Murray of Carson City sampled grilled chicken.
"It's great for an apartment," she said of the stovetop griller. "I have another type of grill that always sets off the smoke detector in my apartment."
Atkins, who lives in Sacramento, Calif., said she has a couple of the contraptions at home. Asked why so many of these items being sold Saturday were not available in stores, Atkins paused.
"Because a lot of people do this (selling at exhibitions) for a living," she said.
As they left the indoor exhibits, many patrons were greeted by Ford salesman Wade Adams, who stood by a new tricked-out Ford F-250 diesel pickup.
Though diesel exceeds $4 a gallon these days, Adams said people are buying the pickups at a steady rate. Much of it has to do with a person's need, and their loyalty to a brand.
"When you're at the pump, you better like what you're putting the gas into," he said.
The expo continues today from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.