Looking on the Patio

When we bought this house in 1991 it had a couple features that I thought were desirable – a real fireplace, a half bath close to the kitchen, Venetian blinds that were INSIDE the glass of the sliding door, an inground gas grill, and most importantly a bonafide patio! One of the first purchases we made was a picnic table for the patio. We held get togethers and birthday parties that revolved around that picnic table. We grilled out and ate on the patio during spring, summer, and fall until the weather no longer cooperated.

Over time things wore out and had to be replaced. The inground grill became obsolete and we couldn’t get replacement parts. It was eventually scrapped. The fireplace was a total disaster (which resulted in Sparky using a snow shovel to fling a burning log into the snow as the house filled with smoke). It is entirely for show and hasn’t been used since the second disaster, a replay of the first (see above). Which brings me to the patio.

The picnic table takes up most of the space on the patio. It is a massive table easily seating 8 adults. It is made of solid wood and weighs a ton (not literally). The last time it was off the patio was when the across the street neighbor wanted to borrow it for a big party 20 yrs ago. It took 4 adult men in their prime to lift and carry it to their backyard. Every other year Sparky would apply a coat of Thompson’s Water-seal. It has been over 10 years now since its last treatment. It is still solid and holding up well(drat). When we had children at home it was great to eat outside – less mess and easier clean up… We haven’t eaten out there in a very long time. I keep thinking that one of these days the table will rot and fall apart. After 29 years that hasn’t happened. Perhaps this coming spring I’ll advertise and find it a new home – if Sparky will let me….

64 thoughts on “Looking on the Patio

  1. Aw, happy memories with that table though Val. As for your fireplace, could it be that the chimney was capped? We wish we had one here and could install a log burner like we had in the cottage.

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    1. Hi Di. The chimney is fine but the damper sticks. We had it fixed but the second time it happened we were told that they’d have to do a major repair… so we opted to make it decorative… My mother had a gas insert and she loved it. Kept her very toasty…

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    1. The picnic table is hardly portable and if I wanted I could dance on it! Our neighbors have lived across the street almost as long as we have lived in this house – they as not just neighbors but friends….

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  2. Ha~! Just this past weekend I was telling my friend down the road, who was having similar problems as yours, and I just had to have the HVAC man over to the tune of over 1K, it was my opinion that after 20 years you just tear the house down and start over~! You change your car more often for similar reasons don’t you~? He agreed but for financial reasons, we both will continue to “patch up”~!

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    1. Maybe you change your car often but we tend to keep them until they are old enough to buy alcohol (21)… We tend to love the houses and keep them for generations…. ❀

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  3. I just moved in May, and I have embraced my patio with the same fervor as you describe. It’s only me, but I enjoy it so much. What limits my time on the patio is extreme heat, and mosquitos (dratted blood suckers). They love me while ignoring my sister (GAH!). I have a small table, but a generous bench that stores things. I have no ideas to share for your table, other than asking Sparky if he has things he’d like to have on the patio (a padded lounge chair?) that the table would impede.

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        1. Then make him chop the wood, carry the wood, and stomp on and sweep up the bugs that crawl out when the wood warms up inside!! Not to mention gather the ashes and haul them outside. I’ll hope he has the opportunity to gain first hand experience at someone else’s house with their fireplace!

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  4. So many memories must be inscribed on this solid wood! Sometimes we hang on to things for their emotional value, sometimes it is practical to get rid of stuff which is no longer required. But you certainly have this post to remember it if you are able to convince Sparky to let it go. πŸ™‚

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  5. What kind of wood does that table have, Val ? To last all these years and be still perfect, I wonder if it is black walnut. I have a black walnut dining table in the house, since 1971. The lines are simple and neat, as are the chairs. If your wood is black walnut, I would cherish it. We paid eleven hundred dollars for the table and six chairs in ’71, and at that time it was considered very expensive. They do not make black walnut furniture any more apparently. I had someone appraise it just for the heck, and was quoted $7K just for the table. Every one who knows furniture, keeps remarking about the solid wood. I think you probably have something similar, or better. Check it out before you let it go.

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    1. Your dining room table is beautiful (and wonderful for a large gathering)!! The picnic table is pressure treated redwood so not very valuable… but it is durable and sturdy!

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  6. What a great table it’s been! Something of value for certain. Houses are not always what we expect. I hear differing opinions about fireplaces. I sometimes romanticized the idea of having one but realize I’d need a butler to take care of the mess if I ever had one! Peace& smiles

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  7. It’s funny how our needs change, isn’t it? We have a storm door in the back that has mini blinds inside it, and loved it until the glass became cloudy. Now we have to see if they still sell those doors, as we’d like to replace it.

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  8. We brought our patio set up from New York when we moved. It lasted a good long while even then before we finally had to get rid of it because the metal welding was falling apart. We got a set of outdoor seating for the deck and it’s okay but I really liked having a table. We’re going to enlarge the decks and I’ll add a new table & chairs set out there when we do.

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