Usable Space

When I began working at Meadow Hills as the Residential Supervisor, I promised I wasn’t going to change anything. Except…it started out as a relatively minor Star Goal to have a container garden of some basic herbs and a couple of tomato plants to eat fresh. Then came a long winter, and longer spring of being cooped up in the house due to the pandemic, and the evolution began. At Meadow Hills, our kitchen table is situated in front the sliding glass door leading to a large cement slab of patio with a nice view of the back yard. Last year, we would occasionally dine “al fresco” on the patio table, but there was only the table and four chairs, and not a lot of incentive to spend time out there. Fast forward to spending an inordinate amount of time inside, looking out, and very limited options of places to go and things to do. Before long, the motivation to make a “room” outside took on a life of its own, as we were all very tired of being in inside!

I scrounged up some materials and put together a bird feeder tray so we could bird-watch from inside. A nice start, but then we ought to have a suet feeder, and a bird bath, and why not a hummingbird feeder as well? And we need an umbrella for the table, who wants to eat with the hot sun beating down on them?! Then we need some plants, an indoor/outdoor carpet, and where are we going to sit? We need more chairs! The notion of a nice set of cushy patio lounge chairs was immediately squelched by the sticker shock of seeing how much stores were charging for what I had in mind. So, I punted and put a fresh coat of paint on an old rocking chair I had been storing, and added that to the mix.

The last piece was a glider rocker I had seen at Menard’s that was reasonably priced. I figured putting it together couldn’t be much harder than lugging the box upstairs, but I was wrong. What I assumed would take an hour at most took nearly three times that long, much to the amusement of Daniel, who would walk by every few minutes and ask “Are you still working on that?” Yes, still. But, I finally got it together, and so completed my long term project of making a usable outdoor space for the guys and their families here at Meadow. Now if I could just get the squirrels to quit digging in my plants…maybe we need a dog? Kidding!!! 🙂

Sue Dreher, RS

Meadow Hills

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