If you could pick one place in the world that you love most, where would you choose? Are you a chef who loves standing in the kitchen, a frilly apron tied around your waist while you experiment with a new recipe? Or are you a beach bum and think there is nothing more delicious in the world than the feeling of moist sand squishing between your bare toes? Perhaps you love that favorite barstool at the local pub, and you relish the musty smell of the bar, the stale peanuts and the constant chatter among patrons.
For me, that place is on my third floor deck overlooking the lake. I love to start the day with a cup of freshly brewed coffee and a good book, my feet propped against the green railing. During the summer when the weather is warm and sticky, you can hear woodpeckers drilling against tree trunks and the rhythmic footsteps of joggers as they huff and puff up the hill in front of my building.
If I look up from the pages of my novel-of-the-week, I can see hummingbirds hovering in midair, stopping for sweet nectar from the feeder. Fishermen, complete with tackle boxes and poles, walk towards the water with hopes of making an early catch.
Evenings on my deck are just as blissful. Friends and family gather, worn from the activities of the day and recline in the wicker chairs. Usually someone is at the grill, cooking something delicious for dinner. My dog wanders from person to person, hoping to get a scratch behind his ears or a leftover cracker.
Through the outside speakers, the local oldies station plays some foot-tapping beat from the seventies. Once the sun goes down, the twinkle lights come on, looking magical against the inky black sky.
This is my Real-Life Happy Place. When I am stressed, upset or even bored, I close my eyes and transport myself there. It’s peaceful, comfortable and full of family and friends. Sometimes we all just need to close our eyes, take a few deep breaths, and pretend that we are somewhere else before we can come back and face reality.