Made in the shade

Nine years ago we were shopping for a house. It was slow going due to our conflicting spacial requirements, budgetary limits, and geographical preference, but there were a few houses our realtor showed us. I remember seeing this house the first time and thinking I might be home. There wasn’t anything fancy about the house. In fact, it was (and is) pretty ordinary. It was on the small side of three bedrooms, with a yard to match. The grass was sparse, the landscaping was a little out of control, and oddly enough… it looked like the garage door had been sealed shut with caulking compound.

It was what was all around the house that caught my eye: shade. Almost all of the front yard and roof appeared to be in the shade. On top of that there was a covered front porch, which is somewhat unusual for suburban Florida – around these parts anyway. The inside of the house matched the outside… it was small, but we confirmed the reason for the garage door being sealed shut: it had been converted into a large family room.

I thought it was just about perfect. Although I would be dissuaded from that notion relatively quickly (after closing), it has served us well. Today was one of those days I felt really good about our decision.

It was a pretty typical Florida summer day, the temperature around 90 degrees and pretty humid. The sun was out most of the day and there was little wind. The kids wanted to do some playing outside, and I was just sick enough of being cooped up to brave the heat and join them. Knowing that we would be in the shade was the dealmaker. We all spent the entire time on the newly obtained swing set/slide/sandbox (made possible by the generosity of friends) – positioned strategically under the big tree in the backyard. The combination of the shade, the slight breeze, and the kids having fun together was so unexpectedly blissful… it was just the thing I needed on my last day off (before returning to work tomorrow).

Give the gift of words.