Column: Outdoor spaces for friends, and more

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Outdoor living spaces can create intimate settings for conversations and bonding between friends and family. (Submitted photo)

Outdoor living spaces can create intimate settings for conversations and bonding between friends and family. (Submitted photo)

I’m reminded of how valuable incredible outdoor living spaces can be. A recent autumn dinner party had a dozen of us gathered on our back patio completely lost in the moment and having a blast. We laughed. We danced, ate and drank until midnight. We re-lived great stories and made a few new ones.

GLUE

The glue that encouraged the gathering, besides being great friends, was the outdoor living space. We had barely launched inside when the cool evening and fresh air tugged at our outdoorsy nature and hustled the cheerful (meaning loud) gang outside. The gas fueled stone fire feature was lightly stoked with just enough seasoned wood to offer a few crackles and drifting fragrance. It deemed the chill irrelevant and sparked the night with personality.

INTIMATE SPACES & STORIES

As the evening matured and the volume escalated, small groups wandered off to different areas of the patio to have more intimate conversations and catch up on each other’s lives. A few escaped to the lower patio while others remained around the grill counter or patio table. New careers were discussed, we caught up on the kids and celebrated that cancer’s butt had been kicked. Amen.

The value of outdoor living only grows with the rapid consumption of social media devices, binge watching television and back-to-back football games. All of which I am guilty of. Perhaps you, too.

Outdoor living … heals. Or it at least has the capacity to. It heals stale marriages, broken friendships and depressed souls. Friendships are nourished. Forgotten neighbors, neglected siblings and parents would love to stop by.

Why not invite them over for a healthy, fun, outdoor living experience?


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