I can't tell you how good it feels to be back on my back patio. Now with the beautiful warm weather, I can sit out here without being bundled up like the little Michelin Man, running the hungry propane heaters at full blast.
While most people refer to Mesquite as paradise, and it is, our backyard is a little slice of heaven to us. We've filled it over the 11 years we've lived here with oleanders, rose bushes, a chaste tree, flowering vines, and lots of flower beds and pots.
We love our little oasis so much we even bought a television and hung it on the wall so we don't have to stay inside for our entertainment. Sometimes, the blather of the latest news headlines go unnoticed as Scotty and I hash over the day's happenings and offer each other the realization that together we are one.
He complains about how many birdie putts he missed in that morning's golf game or revels in the satisfaction of straightening out his drives.
When it's my turn, he gets to hear me rant about the latest injustice committed by someone or a blow-by-blow account of the recent Water Board meeting.
Gee, which one would you rather listen to? Yeah, I'm going with the golf game myself.
It's the little things you fall back in love with over and over.
Slowly over the years, we've expanded the footprint of the original concrete, creating even more patio space. I've convinced Scotty that we could ease the furniture crowding if we added just one more little section - you know, for when we have friends over.
How well is that "overcrowding" thing working? Every time he relents and we add more space, of course I have to fill it up with more seating. Hey, I can't have it looking bare, ya know.
I guess it's just one of those little things between a husband and wife, man versus woman, Mars battling Venus.
A couple months ago, I got aggravated with having to run into the house every time the phone rang. So I hopped on the Web and bought a new wireless phone system with four stations.
There. Now, I had a phone in the garage, one in my office, a third one in the living room, and, you guessed it, one on the patio. No more running for me.
Just yesterday I discovered that when you pick up the wireless phone on the patio, walk around the house yakking, and plop that device down just anywhere, you'd better get your track shoes on.
I set the answering machine to spring into action after four rings. Do you know it takes about five rings for me to jump out of my patio rocker, run in the house, look for one of the handhelds, and discover they're all laying side by side in the garage?
By then, the person calling gave up.
It's the little things that make you sigh.
One of the most relaxing activities for me on the back patio is watching the lizards play on the block walls, the rocks surrounding the flower beds, and the big stone planter along the back.
I watch one of the cuties scurrying up and down the wall and it reminds me of me running to and from meeting after meeting.
I delight in watching them chase each other up and down the wall, through the rocks, from tree to bush. I'm not sure how they communicate with one another. But when I see them in a head-to-head stand-off, I can just imagine they're arguing about where to put the 'tent.'
I guess you have to follow City Council meetings to get that joke.
It's the little things that make you laugh.
In the evenings, I love to sit in the rocker with the fire pit blazing and watch the stars. It's the perfect time to let my mind wander away through the flickering flames and imagine 'what-if.'
I use the quiet cover of night to reflect back on the day and re-ground myself in some semblance of sanity.
Other times I use the black stillness to visit with my two brothers and seek their sage advice. That may sound strange to those who realize the boys have passed on but to me it's a connectedness that I treasure and count on. They help me focus back on the big picture and remind me to sometimes 'let it go.'
It's the little things that make you cry.
So now, after the long cold winter, my world is once again complete.
And soon, as the mornings lose their chill, I'll be able to wake the sun with a shared cup of coffee, watching the hummingbirds slurp their breakfast from the flowering vines.
I'm back on my back patio.