This is my morning. Every morning. I begin each day on the terrace with my coffee and my phone for a morning email check in with a friend–“ready?”– who lives many states away. Whichever of us is awake first sends the first email and cybercup.
But there’s a new and important difference to this little tableau. Can you guess what it is? Until yesterday morning, I didn’t have a real grown up sized chair, or this cute table. That’s right, for the past seven years I have woken up anywhere between four and six AM, gone onto the terrace, and sat down with my coffee and phone, pretty much on the floor, no table.
What do I mean by pretty much on the floor? This.
Yes, I’d been using the low-slung reject beach chair–rejected for the beach because the back can’t be adjusted/reclined. Why, Mrs Fringe, wasn’t your butt cold sitting on that in the winter months? Yes, yes it was. Mrs Fringe, didn’t that aggravate your back over the past year, when you’ve been dealing with the back pain from Satan? Yes, yes it did. When I first moved into this apartment, a little patio set went on the list. But yanno, the list is long, and things like a real outside chair for myself fall way down to the bottom of the list of needs and wants that never stops growing. We’re still waiting for an official *go* on the larger apartment, but it seems like it is going to come through, and this would push a patio set that much further down the list. Because budget.
Initially, I didn’t really mind. First of all, how could I complain when I actually had an apartment with a terrace? And you all know how much I love the beach, so I would sit in my little chair, close my eyes, and pretend I was on a beautiful beach somewhere else.
When Mr Smitholini first saw this, years ago, he laughed and told me he was going to bring me the sandbox from when his kids were younger, so I could really live the dream. Not a bad thought, really. It became a running joke, every time I spoke with Mrs Smitholini on the phone, every time they came to visit. They don’t come very often. Let’s face it, driving and parking in the city sucks, we are 8000 people and creatures in a two bedroom apartment, and their family of seven squished around the dining room table in addition to my family of five creates an, ummm, cozy dinner. They have a spacious and beautiful home in the suburbs, so it’s more frequent that we go to visit at their house.
Until about two weeks ago, it had been a couple of years since they were here. Life, work, twelve people’s schedules…not so easy to coordinate. But then they were here, in dress clothes because they came over after a family function. Mr Smitholini wanted to sit on the terrace to have his cigar, and I, the hostess with the mostest, offered him the beach chair. He was a good sport about it, Mrs Smitholini and I sat on the ground, but, ummm, suit + beach chair + middle aged bodies + middle of Manhattan = not so fun. We went to visit them two days ago, and Mrs Smitholini had this present for me.
A real, grown-up patio set. Two (matching!) chairs and a table. One of her kiddos even put it together for me before we got there. Squee! It isn’t just the furniture that’s a gift, the past two mornings have been a gift to my back, as I settled with my coffee and phone, watching the sun rise.
I don’t consider myself an outdoorsy gal, but I need to start my days like this. Sun, rain, or snow, I have to be outside. My beach house will remain a fantasy, but I figure out what I can to get my imagination there with the pesky reality of my body being here in the city. Time on the terrace, forever friends, and soon I hope, another little slice of the ocean in a glass box.
So here I sit, on a grown-up chair, like a real person on the terrace. My laptop even fits comfortably on the table, coffee cup to the side. Are you ready for coffee?