Creating an Outdoor Retreat

Everyone knows that I always have a book in my hand. I can be seen walking erratically while reading a few pages to keep on schedule. They gossip together that I need an outdoor retreat where I can actually sit down for a while. They worry that I will stumble and fall or bump into an innocent person. It is nice that they want to help me out. What do they have in mind? A friend who is a welder tells me that she was asked to make a metal bench like one she has on her patio. It will be given to me on an upcoming birthday. It isn’t going to be a surprise, but now that I know I can make room for it. I love the idea of reading outside on pleasant days when the air isn’t too cool or too warm—but just right. If it is too hot, I will fall asleep in the middle of even a good book. If it is cold, I can grab a terry blanket that I often use at the beach.

As a welder, my friend makes the coolest projects for herself and family and to sell. She is a staple at the local crafts fairs. You meander through the booths and displays looking at handmade textiles, artworks, metal sculptures and fabricated benches and chairs. The latter are where my friend shines. Her work is exquisite. She gets some of the ideas online from Rate My Welder or their Facebook page. I am so excited to be the next owner of one of her special items. Each one is unique and she takes custom orders. I am happy to get what she designs. I know how good her bench looks on her patio and I have the perfect place in mind.

As soon as my new bench, expertly welded, arrived I tried it out immediately. I sat in the yard and admired the beauty of nature around me. I have always been involved in gardening and every season has its blooming flowers. I became relaxed and in the mood to read. But then I am always in the mood for a new book. I supply my friends and family with my leftovers. I love that the books change hands. I know they, too, pass them on.

To add to the pleasurable outdoor experience, my friend crafted a fabric cushion that ties on and is removable to wash. It adds just the right element of comfort. It is hand dyed and also looks colorful and festive. The adorned bench beckons me when I am idle inside my house. It draws me to its decorative presence. I love it so much that I have asked my friend to make a companion table so I can place soft drinks and snacks right beside me as I read. I am so lucky to have a talented friend. I don’t see myself wielding a welding machine. She laughs when I balk at her offers to teach me her trade. But reading is really my thing.