Sunday, April 5, 2015

The Sandbox

Spring is here, it is slowly warming up a bit. Our deck, which Ken has named “The Sandbox” awaits us.  It is the place where the neighborhood “kids” (mostly grownups) and our family hang out and enjoy some beverages, share food and stories and lots of laughter.

The Sandbox was an extravagance last year during the midst of Ken’s recovery. While he was off he coordinated getting estimates, making the plans for its size and location, and picking out the material to be used.

He chose durable composite for the flooring and vinyl railings. There is no maintenance to it other than cleaning.

We bought Amish made chairs which are constructed from recycled material, mostly milk jugs, again with no maintenance. After we are gone, our children will have to fight over who gets that furniture because it is so durable it will last for a very long time.


He chose a coordinating Sun Seeker awning to protect us from the sun when it is too hot.


We spent many hours enjoying The Sandbox last year and we can’t wait to get back out there. The sun has been deceiving lately, making us think it is warm when in reality the temperature is still too cold to endure much time outside. I know the time is drawing near when we will be able to enjoy the Sandbox because the birds are flocking back to our feeders, placed strategically for our viewing while on the deck. The songbirds are starting to get their color back and the seed is going down quickly. The suet has finally thawed enough that the birds are enjoying it again. We will be making several trips to Tractor Supply to keep those feeders stocked.

It is amazing how much we look forward to the relaxation and fellowship with others on our deck after a day’s work. Also, stunning is the sky which seems so close at night, the moon moving and maneuvering into place, and all the stars we can see. Amongst the stars we are amazed at how many planes are in our sky, right over our head. Inevitably, while sitting out there during the summer, it seems a small plane will zoom overhead. It has become a standing joke that he is watching us. Most likely he wants to join us in the Sandbox.

I do my best, with lots of coaxing from Ken, to keep the flowers alive and blooming. I didn’t do well with the plants I put in the natural pots. They turned brown easily and just didn’t produce. I moved them to the flower bed beside the house and they did somewhat better.


The potted plants also were not as stunning as I had hoped.

Someday, maybe, I will get that green thumb I always wish I had! Ken bought a hibiscus plant for the deck last year which thrived beautifully and bloomed all summer with deep rose colored flowers. It is now hibernating in our basement, the leaves dried up and falling off. I see new growth at its tips and hope it produces as beautiful once it is outside.

Now that Ken has his strength back, I am looking forward to the grill getting a good workout. He is a great grill master demanding only the best from himself. He will be out there tomorrow smoking stuffed peppers and making smoked mac and cheese. What a great meal to come home to after work!
Now I really can’t wait to get out there in the Sandbox! Let's kick up some sand!