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A View from My Back Deck

Posted Jun 16 2008 6:12pm

During our first summer in our home, the hubby built me a beautiful deck off the back of our house, just off of our sliding glass doors. He first built a front deck and a side deck – completely solo – and by the time he got to working on the back deck I was thinking he should open his own business. I wanted a deck to sun myself on during the summer. A deck where I could grill burgers and steaks. A deck where we could entertain friends and partake in family dinners around a patio table and chairs.

Of course the building of the deck didn’t come without incident. I came home from work one day and was getting changed into my workout clothes. I heard the hubby yell for my help. With no time to throw on my sports bra, I ran outside in just a tank top and shorts. He was screaming bloody murder for me to hurry. I’m not good with dimensions, but our back deck is many, many feet off the ground. He was building cross posts to hold the deck beams in place. He needed me to stand on one side of the deck, holding very heavy pieces of wood while he stood on the other and somehow tried to mark their locations at the same time. Oboe, just months old, was playing in the back yard near our ravine.

While holding the posts, sweating and wiggling in discomfort, I saw Oboe walk up to us. He was wheezing and his eye had swelled up like Mike Tyson’s after a fight. “Oh my God!”I shouted, startling the hubby so much that he dropped the end of one of his pieces of lumber. That caused my two pieces to slam together, grabbing my fingers in the process. Blood went everywhere! I didn’t even look down to see how damaged my hand was, I was more concerned with the pup. I was a new puppy-mom and this was our first emergency. We all know I’m not good in emergencies. It was apparent he was having some sort of allergic reaction. The snoop that he is, we guessed he had gotten bitten by some critter that didn’t like Oboe poking around its home.

I threw the pup into the car, grabbed my keys, and off I flew to the Vet’s office. Only once I made it the two miles down our hill did I realize three things: (1) I was dressed in a white tank top without a bra, (2) I had no shoes on, and (3) I was covered in blood – my hands, shirt, face, and even my feet had drops of blood on them.  Even the credit card I grabbed from the countertop had bloody fingerprints on it. 

I arrived at the Vet’s office, carried Oboe into the waiting room (he was still small at that point) and the team came rushing to my side.“Where is he bleeding?”they all shouted. I replied,“He’s not bleeding,I am.” “Did he bite you?”“No, but I think something bit him!”“But then why areyoubleeding?” Long story ladies; just take care of my wheezing dog that looks worse than the elephant man.  It turns out he was indeed suffering from an allergic reaction to something and hours later slept soundly filled with Benadryl as if nothing ever happened in the first place. I, on the other hand, was mortified and certainly the talk of our little country town for days.

I’ll never forget that story and each time I’m out on my back deck, looking at my acres of land and that ravine, I giggle while reminiscing. 

I was worried that this year I wouldn’t be able to enjoy the deck as much, with all the heat sensitivity issues possibly facing me now that I’m a person with M.S. So, I wasn’t really looking forward to plopping myself onto that deck despite the hours and hours of work and even a little blood and sweat and tears that went into building it. Then the hubby had what he calls a “Storm in Brain” (throw in a Caveman accent here). He built the most beautiful gazebo on my deck, to shelter me from the sun’s rays and to provide a distinctly cooler outdoor summer experience for all of us. Of course the gazebo comes with netting so he doesn’t have to fear the little fruit flies and other bugs any longer and we shared our first true outdoor dinner (yes in over ten years) together the other evening.  I bought a relaxing anti-gravity lounger, perfect for my ever-aching legs, and even for his ever-aching back. We filled the gazebo and surrounding area with flowers and candles and a fire pit for cool summer evening warmth. We’re living in a darn Martha Stewart catalog for goodness sake! 

Perhaps Martha could start marketing her gazebos and patio furniture to the otherDory’s of the world. There’s more than 400,000 of us. She’d make a mint. 



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