Monday, October 6, 2014

One-and-a-Half Season Room
Those of you who've been reading this blog for a while have heard me wax poetic (often) about screened-in porches. I choose our lodgings at the beach based on whether or not the place has a screened-in patio. We've returned to the same condo complex for nearly a decade in large part because of the screened-in patios that are attached to every unit.

For the past several years, we've been turning our back patio at home into a one-and-a-half season (late spring through early fall) screened-in patio. Someday, it may become an addition to the house, but for now, enclosed in mesh screening and furnished with table and chairs and comfy love seat, it's an outdoor room that works as long as the weather plays nice. It gets heavy usage on summer evenings and summer mornings, but in truth, I've been neglecting it lately. In the fall, my allergies make it less fun to sit outside, and when I'm stubborn enough to go outside anyway, I usually go back inside with a headache.

But last Saturday, I discovered a benefit of our one-and-a-half season room that I hadn't previously considered. By mid afternoon, I'd checked a few things off my list, but my writing sprint wasn't one of them. Since a trip to Starbucks wasn't one of them either, I thought I'd see if a change in scenery and downsizing to a laptop and a notepad (away from all distractions) could nudge me into action.

My favorite Starbucks was quiet when I arrived, and I worked on getting my Internet connection set up and going through some emails (procrastinating) to warm up. Unfortunately, the quiet didn't last long, and since I'd chosen a table near the comfy chairs (where those who gathered should have been forced to read the blog about coffee shop etiquette that I posted on my Facebook page that same morning), work was not happening.

So I went home.

At home, things were quiet downstairs. Upstairs, my daughter was cleaning her room (read: playing music that traveled through the ceiling into nearly every room of the house). Never one to interrupt a teenager cleaning her room unbidden, I moved on.
And retreated to the patio. It took several trips for me to gather the necessary items for fall writing (iced tea, laptop. sweatshirt, fleece blanket, phone with timer), but once I was settled in, I no longer had to listen to conversations about tattoos (pro from the daughter, con from the older woman with her at Starbucks), information blaring from a laptop speaker several tables away, or even the ambient noises coming from behind the counter where the baristas were making drinks.

And, at home on my patio that's not attached to the house, I re-discovered one of the most wonderful things about my one-and-a-half season room.

It's a safe distance away from teenage musical selections.

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