Lately, at night, when the house is quiet, I frequently find myself out here.
A long-time friend and I spent the better part of June refinishing the deck---sanding for hours, laughing a lot, and then staining it one night, racing against the light. Then, we hung new deck lights.
It's my new escape place.
Last week I sat out there talking late with my mom one night, both of us wrapped up in blankets during a fantastic windstorm. We talked above the wind running through the huge trees and laughed, too. She said a one liner that had me in stitches. It felt good to laugh like that.
A couple of nights later, a friend of mine wanted to talk, and she and I stayed out there til almost 1:00. We talked about life and some struggles with her son and his wife, about trying to recognize your best efforts, about being kind to yourself.
I frequently sit out there and play guitar, and have done that with friends too.
Sometimes we're out there talking.
Sometimes the sprinkler is going in the background.
The kids and I have loved reading out there, and ice cream cones.
Or, like last night, when I escaped to the back lawn with a couple of blankets and a pillow and lay there. Eventually I pulled the plugs on the lights, and lay there in the dark. I was feeling really low, and I had some questions for God as I wiped tears from my eyes.
And then, it was punctuated with some encouraging texts from a friend, and some texts that were timely because they made me laugh out loud.
I don't think you need a lot to be happy.
I don't need a big house or lots of money or lots of things.
I need beautiful, peaceful places.
Time for quiet.
People I love.
And maybe some good food.