Bringing the Outside In -- Suburban Style


The kitten enjoys our inside out spot.

It has been quite a while since I have written about our new home. Seven months in and to quote White Sox announcer Ken Harrelson, there are "ducks on the pond." Also swans, geese, herons and one prehistoric looking, pterodactyl-like creature. We have mastered the local walking and running trails and measured out our Sunday morning hike to breakfast in downtown Deerfield. Does a five-mile march cancel out an order of french toast and bacon?

We have also discovered the gem of the house. Projecting off the side of the kitchen and reaching out toward the pond is our new sanctuary. Call it a "Three Seasons Room" or a covered porch, it is tranquil, breeze cooled, and until winter comes, the best spot to curl up with a weekend-morning cup of tea or a before-dinner magazine. We each have our own corner to lounge in, and the kitten loves it as much as we do. She patiently waits each morning for one of us to open the door so she can settle under one of the sunlit chairs.

It is not a big space; Barb says her one regret with the house is that we didn't make this room large enough for a kitchen table. But with jalousied windows, a high pitched roof, and rustic timbers, it truly brings the outside in. And I love that. Despite going out for a run or two every week, nightly walks around the neighborhood "loop," and even going to a few ballgames in the last month, I am an indoor type of guy.

Going with us to a restaurant that features outside seating? Sorry, but I will tell the hostess we would prefer that indoor table in the corner. Sure, I will go to a concert at Wrigley or Soldier Field, but aren't the sound and sight lines better at the United Center? And no need to watch Brant Miller or Tom Skilling for their over-excited weather forecasts. Rain won't dampen an indoor concert.

The lounge chairs on our outdoor deck? I haven't used them once. Buy a sexy convertible? No interest for me. Yeah, the wind in your face can be cool, but who needs the bugs and the exhaust fumes? And the road noise makes it really hard to listen to my latest audiobook. Especially when it's the latest spy thriller and the narrator is expounding in a poorly done Eastern European accent.

So yeah, I am an inside guy. But the Three Seasons Room lets me enjoy the summer and still bring a hint of the outdoors in. All in all, I am a happy camper--as long as I am "camping in!"


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