“I’m painting a blue square in my backyard. So that Google Earth thinks I have a pool.”

Glorious is the perfect description for today. The brightly shining sun is framed by a lovely blue sky. The breeze is strong and the humidity has disappeared. It will be in the 70’s. I can hear the deck whispering my name.

Most houses around here have decks. At night I can hear people talking. One of my neighbors at the other end of the street has a distinct laugh, and when those neighbors have company, I can hear that laugh all the way down the street from their deck. When I was a kid, nobody had decks. Some people had brick patios but not in my neighborhood. On my bike rides I’d see them in the backyards of houses. Most had a table, chairs and an umbrella, sold in stores as patio sets. My backyard had a clothes line and a hill. When my father barbecued, we’d eat inside. It didn’t seem at all strange. That’s what everyone did.

Even when we moved to our own house, we didn’t do much outside. My parents bought a few webbed lawn chairs and a chaise lounge for the backyard, but I seldom spent any time out there. When my dad cooked, he’d pull over one of the chairs. We still ate inside.

After they moved off cape, my dad spent more time outside where he’d sit to drink his coffee and read the newspaper. Once when their living room furniture was being redone, my dad brought the chaise lounge to the living room, and it became his spot to watch TV. Their backyard was filled with mosquitos so my sister would sit on the lawn chairs in the front on the grass. Those were the days when the darker the tan the more impressive it was.

My house when I bought it had a farmer’s deck, and I found the perfect size small table with two chairs so I could sit outside, but I really wanted a huge deck. I got my wish. This deck is as long as the back of my house. It has two sets of stairs and at one end is what I call the dining room and at the other end is the living room. I love my deck, and I need to finish here so I can get outside. I’ve got a good book and some limeade. I’m set for the day.

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16 Comments on ““I’m painting a blue square in my backyard. So that Google Earth thinks I have a pool.””

  1. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    My house doesn’t have a deck. It has an enclosed front porch which is wonderful in the winter because it gets really hot out there on a sunny day. If I want to sit outside in the back yard on a summer day, I have an upturned horse bucket next to the laundry room door. It’s cool and shady back there but awfully buggy. I sit on the bucket and wait for the washer to finish so I can put the clothes in the dryer.
    When I was a kid, this same back yard had a picnic table with benches as well as several Adirondack chairs which I wish I still had. There was also a cement slab left over from the old chicken house so my father built a brick fireplace on one end of it and put his massive charcoal grill on the other. It was cook-out central. My mother would wheel the food and drinks out on an old wicker tea cart that had glass sides. It had big wheels and could roll over the grass easily.
    The slab has collapsed over the decades and the fireplace is very wonky but they are still there. I like how they look with roses and phlox growing up around and through them.

    The weather is beautiful here today. Cool, sunny and slightly breezy. So nice to open the house, turn off the AC and enjoy the fresh, dry air.

    Enjoy the day.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      I f I were building my dream house, it would have a front porch as well as the deck. I always loved the one at Andy’s house in Mayberry.

      What great memories of your parents and your yard. I like a house with history. When we left the cape. we left behind our second house with memories. The first was in Stoneham.

      My parents moved back to Stoneham from the cape but it was never my house as I was in Ghana at the time and never lived there.

      It is the same here. I even shut the window behind me as it was a silly breeze.

      Enjoy this glorious day!

  2. Coleen Says:

    Hi Kat!

    The house I grew up in had a patio…you had to pass the BBQ material from the back door that led down a cement staircase. A separate cemented spot was reserved for when you brought out the grill.

    My last house had a small deck, and I bought a huge top of the line grill so I could cook. It’s the only cooking of any sort I can do…spent many a happy hour out there…when circumstances changed, I gave the grill to my best friend. She still uses it. I also used to water my garden standing at the edge of the deck, letting the water from the hose spray over it. Those two things – – grilling and tending to the garden – – are the only two things I miss…

    Ummm…what is a farmer’s deck? Never heard that one before…

    Lovely today…enjoy!

    Waving,

    Coleen

    • katry Says:

      Hi Coleen,
      All the meat and rolls were passed through the dining room window to my dad in the backyard. We had a good size yard, but it was all grass.

      I water the small vegetable garden right below the deck from the deck where I keep a hose to water the garden and the clay pots on the deck. I also have a huge, top of the line grill I bought 8 or 9 years ago when I had the deck built. It is a Weber, and I love it.

      When I bought the house, a small deck was outside the back door. It was only big enough for a little round table and two chairs. It was referred to in the description of the house as a farmer’s deck.

      Hope you had a great day!!

      Waving!

  3. olof1 Says:

    I have a small patio, it has a plastic roof and the sides are more or less covered in grape vines. I never get any grapes though, it turns out that often this grape (V.riparia) only get either male or female flowers. Too bad because it is huge now days 🙂

    We also always ate indoors when we bbq’d at our summer cottage, I always though we did that because of the mosquitoes. I can’t remember us ever doing that at my grandmothers place, she preferred to cook in the kitchen and then bring out the food to the patio. It had walls on three sides and only one side was open towards their garden.

    We’ve had a rather wonderful day here, just below 68F, sunny, windy and therefore mostly fly free 🙂 According to predictions the rain should be pouring down here right now but I guess the weather never watched the predictions 🙂

    Have a great day!
    Christer.

    • olof1 Says:

      By the way! What’s a farmer’s deck?

      • katry Says:

        When I bought the house, a small deck was outside the back door. It was only big enough for a little round table and two chairs. It was referred to in the description of the house as a farmer’s deck.

    • katry Says:

      Christer,
      Do you sit outside in your patio?

      Grape vines here often cover a trellis or arbor. When I was a kid, the patio in the back of a house across the street was covered in a grape vine which produced sweet Concord grapes. They let us take as many grapes as we wanted.

      Even when we had a yard, we ate inside though if my parents had a summer party, it was in the backyard as it was too hot and there were too many people for the house.

      That sounds like the day we had here. I have the window closed behind me as it is chilly with the sun going down. They are predicting the humidity will be back by Saturday and rain on Sunday. The weather man called the weekend steamy and oppressive.

      Have a great evening!

      • olof1 Says:

        I used to sit there much more a few years ago, now I mostly have plants growing up there and big sacks of soil waiting for to be used 🙂 I like it there though, the grapevine keep most flies outside but still let in lots of light. I really should use it more than I do.

      • katry Says:

        Christer,
        I never knew how much I missed having a deck until I got one. I realized all the wonderful days outside I had missed.

  4. Birgit Says:

    However it’s called in English, ground-level between living room and garden, glass bricks on both sides with shelves and plants, transparent roof, open to the garden. It’s our outdoors living room as soon as it’s warm enough in spring and we’ve just had cocoa and garden sour cherries by candlelight there. Summer is back and beautiful 🙂
    Have a nice day on the deck!

    • katry Says:

      Birgit,
      Candlelight is so lovely on the deck while in the yard fireflies twinkle. Summer is magical in so many ways. It is definitely beautiful!!

  5. Bob Says:

    Our house had a smooth concrete patio in the backyard that my sister and I would use as a roller skating rink. My dad would smoke meat in the backyard but we would eat inside. In Texas the older homes had pier and beam foundations which raised the floor a couple of feet above ground level so we could have had a deck. My house had a slab foundation and we had a patio. A deck would have to have stairs to raise it above the ground. Because of the clay soil we can’t have basements in Texas.

    We always ate inside and didn’t even have an outside table and chairs. I dislike eating outside because of the bugs. In Texas it’s too hot in the summer to even want to go outside except to dip in a pool.

    Tonight my students and I are going to eat at a churrascaria barbecue here in São Paulo. I love eating all that meat.

    • katry Says:

      Bob,
      Some of the older houses don’t have cellars. Our house didn’t. It had a small space under the house big enough for a freezer, and that was it. My house has a huge cellar above ground with four regular size windows. Because of where the tops of the windows are in the back, the original small deck is one step lower than the new deck.

      Because of how high my deck is, the bugs aren’t so bad so none of us mind eating out there. Nights are usually cool enough to be outside. It would be sinful to waste the summer sitting inside here.

      I hope you enjoyed your dinner! I love our local Brazilian grill.


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