Patio Time

Living close to the city means that our acreage is the stereotypical postage stamp lawn. When we first moved into our house, about 1/3 of the backyard that we did have was taken up by a chain link cat run. Not having or ever planning to have a cat, that was one of the first things to go. After that, we built a couple raised beds that through the years have grown tomatoes (that we have graciously shared with the neighborhood birds, squirrels and rabbits), basil that keeps our freezer stocked with pesto year round, and hops that have flavored Dan’s beer. Memories of little kids helping me plant or pick, make me smile.

As we settled into the house and the kids got a little bigger, the backyard housed a swing set that was carried from a neighbors house. The kids would play out there some, but the space was never conducive to romping play time.

The kids got bigger and the swing set got moved to another location.  Weeds got the better of what grass was there. Our goal for the space became keeping it under control and not be an embarrassment. We were not always successful.

But a couple years ago, Dan had an epiphany that he was no longer going to be held hostage by hot, humid Missouri summers (I probably should not recount here how he phrased his new commitment, but it was spoken in some colorful language). He would spend more time outdoors. I committed to doing the same.

One step we took towards this commitment was to buy some new lawn furniture. Now with a place to sit, we began a habit of spending some time outside before dinner. During our sitting time, we came upon an idea that promised to make our new ways even better! We wanted to build a patio.

I expect that other couple are like us. We have decided upon many things throughout our years of marriage that have never come to fruition. We can put a lot of thought, enthusiasm, and time into an idea to see it fall off the radar as time goes on. For this patio thing, we got enthused, checked books out of the library, went to the hardware store to look at materials, and searched the Internet. We planned walkways and planters and seats. We thought about the tools we would need to make it, and the friends we might be able to recruit to help us. As last summer was coming to a close, we didn’t have a patio or even a final plan. We did, however, have David.

David has been our go to guy for the things in our house that we really do NEED to get done, but we couldn’t possibly do ourselves (we are not the handiest). He has painted our house, worked wonders on our wood rot, replaced our windows, and turned a bathroom into a much nicer place.

We finally stopped our monkey business and called David to see if he would make us a patio. In the next few weeks, we had what we needed. It is not extravagant in any way, but it makes us very happy. Now that the clocks have changed and we have more evening, there are not many nights that we don’t get home and head for some patio time. Last weekend, friends unexpectedly came by in the afternoon to watch the theatrics of Dan brewing beer in the backyard, and we ended up spending some hours just hanging out on a beautiful day. It has become exactly how we envisioned it.

It really is a quality of life thing that keeps giving. Now I want the grass that we have to be nicer. I want the weeds growing on the fence to be nonexistent. I want the raised beds to not only grow, but be pretty and fragrant. Already, we have hummingbird feeders and bird baths sprinkled around the yard to invite the bird traffic.  It is the synergy of a pleasant thing.
This weekend promises to be another lovely one here in Missouri, and today is Friday night cocktail night. I am thinking that we might try an Old Pal tonight as we cap off the week and head into the weekend.
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