Last weekend, Fred did his annual ritual of putting the deck to bed for winter. Smaller furniture is stored in the garage. The larger furniture – the tall periwinkle tables he built a few years ago and the dining table and chairs – are all clustered under a heavy brown tarp in the farthest corner of the deck, all held in place with bungee cords. Lots and lots of bungee cords.
Fred is an interesting man for many reasons. First of all, he always thinks ahead. Before bunching any of the furniture together in that farthest corner, he washes each piece, especially those periwinkle tables. He doesn’t want staining, and he’d like to uncover them next spring and not have to wash or paint them before putting them in place. But I know my husband – he will insist on putting on “just one coat” of periwinkle paint to freshen them up next March.
Second, my dear hubby tends to do things right. Extension cords are always wrapped in such a way so they are easily unwrapped when needed. He builds things to last forever. There are 27 footings under our 900 square foot deck. 27.
And last, but not least, he makes sure that even in the depths of winter, we still have some opportunities to enjoy our outdoor haven. The firepit and wood are brought up to the upper deck so that we can still enjoy a glass of wine around the fire should the weather be unseasonably warm. We’ve been known to polish off a few bottles with neighbors as late as the weekend after Thanksgiving (neighbors, you know who you are…). And who doesn’t want a grilled steak occasionally, especially in January? The grill was hauled up to the upper level, too, and that deck will be shoveled to make sure it is accessible throughout the coming months.
Best of all, Fredo has our deck chairs and mushroom heater positioned close to the door to our dining room, ready for a cup of coffee or cocktails and a cigar. Just for the two of us, should the mood hit or the weather cooperate.
It did last Saturday night. The night sky was gorgeous, and the propane tank full. Winter, we’re ready for you!