To The Deck!

How fortunate am I to live in a house that has a deck? Real fortunate. I like the deck a lot, though I don’t take advantage of it as often as I should. About eight feet above ground level and attached to the rear of my abode, it extends fully from one end of the house to the other. From the deck I have an assortment of scenes to look at, including partial views of man-made stuff on nearby properties: brickwork, garage doors, sheds, recycling bins, etc. But who cares about any of that? Manufactured items I damn well would look at carefully, though, if they were there, are swimming pools and hot tubs. But only if gorgeous girls were occupying them. Some day, after I’ve bit the dust, a pool or hot tub or two undoubtedly will appear, and gorgeous girls will put them to good use. Shit! Bad timing on my part.

Luckily, I have worthy viewing options. For instance, when on the deck in daylight I sometimes gaze at the sky and at the trees in my backyard and on other lots, all the while listening to the birdies do their chirping thing. That’s one of my go-to ways of trying to become one with Nature. And, you know, sipping on coffee, and grooving to human music in addition to the avian variety, tends to make that combination of activities even better. Which is why, after plopping my ass down on a deck chair, I had a swell time one recent Saturday morning.

Ah yes, the trees. The deciduous ones are voluminous right now here in Pennsylvania, where summer is in full swing. As I admired a collection of trees from the deck, their leaves as green as green can be, I nearly rose from my chair and bowed down to them. Trees project a majestic aura. I don’t take them for granted.

The skies were wonderful too. A dreamy shade of blue, with strands of clouds lolling about, they put me at ease. What’s more, though we were in the midst of a heat wave, the early morning temps hadn’t yet gone haywire. I was as comfortable as I’d be on a crisp autumn day.

In need of caffeine, I wasted no time saying hello to my mug of coffee. As I did so, I tuned in to the birdsong. Although I didn’t spot any of our feathered friends, it was obvious they were out there in abundance, because an a cappella opus, consisting of trills and staccato bursts, bounced energetically through the air. Now, I’m a f*cking dope when it comes to birds. I can identify only a handful by sight and only one species (crows) by sound. Nonetheless, I dig the music they compose. Who doesn’t?

Amazingly, typical neighborhood noises were absent or minimal during the 40 minutes I sat outside. Human voices (belonging to kids in a house opposite mine) didn’t arrive until the 30-minute mark. Motor vehicle growls and screeches were few. And not a single canine bark rang out. What? How was that possible? There are a million dogs in my immediate neighborhood, and they ain’t famed for being quiet.

Anyway, as it turned out, bird calls were not the primary sounds to reach my ears, because I decided after a few minutes on the deck that the scenario I was part of might reach a higher level if recorded music were added to it. I was proven correct when I dialed up some SiriusXM satellite-radio channels on my smart phone. Nearly all of the songs I heard hit the spot, two in particular: Goodbye Mr. Blue, by folk-rock star Father John Misty, and Chill On Cold, by little-known blues and soul singer BIGLLOU Johnson. They were released in 2022 and 2021, respectively. Goodbye Mr. Blue is a moody contemplation on a failed relationship. Chill On Cold talks about a lady whom guys would be wise to avoid. I think it’s cooler than cool, and that BIGLLOU deserves to become popular as hell one day.

That’s a wrap, ladies and gents. Here are the tunes. Till next time!

140 thoughts on “To The Deck!

  1. johnlmalone August 9, 2022 / 12:37 am

    I have spent many happy hours over many many days at my daughter’s place sitting on the deck, reading stories to my grandkids or just chatting, patting dear old Max, the lab and looking out over over the hood with all its gardens. You are a lucky man, Neil 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lynette d'Arty-Cross August 9, 2022 / 12:46 am

    A wonderful post, Neil. I love our deck, as well, and during this summer I have often done the same – listening to music while enjoying the sights from my perch. Cheers.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Basia Korzeniowska August 9, 2022 / 2:26 am

    How nice to hear from you again. The sound of crows is very distinctive. But raucous. Look out for blackbirds. Blackbirds singing in the dead of night….

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger August 9, 2022 / 11:20 am

      Hi. Our house’s previous owners had the deck built. The deck is a big reason why we bought this house.

      Like

  4. swabby429 August 9, 2022 / 5:58 am

    My dad’s house had a nice redwood deck. One year, he decided to enclose it. Then it was no longer a deck, but a sunroom which was far too hot for comfort. Meantime, enjoy your deck because decks are wonderful things.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. JOYCE HAMILTON August 9, 2022 / 7:38 am

    Beautiful picture painted of you sitting on your deck. I enjoy doing the same on my back patio. It Is even more secluded now that my neighbor put up a high fence. I am surrounded by bushes,trees, beautiful sky and singing birds. It is my peaceful relaxing area. I do have a visitor that comes and jumps on my lap while sitting on my lounge chair. That is Parker….my neighbor’s cat. I enjoyed your music as usual.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger August 9, 2022 / 11:25 am

      Hello, Denise. Right, trees are fabulous beings. There are trillions of them in the world, and additional trillions of them would be welcomed.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Paddy Tobin August 9, 2022 / 8:48 am

    Peculiarly, although we spend the greater part of most days outside in the garden, we don’t sit outside to any great extent. Dinner in the evening is the most regular outside sitting with us.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Paddy Tobin August 9, 2022 / 2:36 pm

        Yet, I feel to be in nature I have to leave the garden and go off to woodlands, mountains or seasides. The search for wildflowers is my favourite “being in nature” pastime.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. iglengel August 9, 2022 / 9:21 am

    Sounds like my kind of morning. Unless the breeze is blowing, and the temperature is bearable, we tend to sit inside looking over the lake which is outside our back window. It is very enjoyable to sit there while having my coffee watching and listening to the various waterfowl, birds, and sometimes get a glimpse of Gary the Gator (we named him) who is about 4 feet or larger by now as he meanders down the lake or comes up into the marshy area at the end of our back lawn. Ah, the joys of being retired! Have a great day.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Jacqui Murray August 9, 2022 / 10:16 am

    I have a back deck very much like that. There’s a flock of blackbirds/crows that settle into the trees behind the house every day around 4. A thousand of them I think! Noisy but pleasant.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Laurie Graves August 9, 2022 / 10:37 am

    Decks and patios are two of the finest things humans ever came up with. Love sitting on our patio, and if I had a deck, I’d feel the same way. Enjoy, enjoy!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger August 9, 2022 / 1:18 pm

      “Decks and patios are two of the finest things humans ever came up with.” — I never thought about that. And I have to say you’re right!

      Like

  10. Fran Johns August 9, 2022 / 11:34 am

    Your deck is right up there with my 7th floor balcony looking out at the fog rolling across the San Bruno mountains. Hmmm. Blog idea, thanks. Further: considering the news of the day, this was very fine music to read the New York Times to. (Unfortunately, indoors.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger August 9, 2022 / 1:24 pm

      I can picture the views you have from your balcony. View-wise, and in many other ways, San Francisco is top-notch.

      Like

  11. Anonymous August 9, 2022 / 12:01 pm

    Love my deck too – and I have the good fortune of looking at the blue expanse of a pool…I recently ordered a CD of birdcalls of endangered birds from the Australian bush. Nirvana…

    Liked by 1 person

  12. vprofy August 9, 2022 / 12:11 pm

    We haven’t gone to the NJ shore once this year. Did spend several days in Chincoteague and headed for Cape Cod for rest of August. So . . Most mornings I sat on our back deck, reading, writing, thinking, watching and listening to birds. And then it would hit 90 degrees and I retreated inside.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger August 9, 2022 / 1:28 pm

      Greetings, Vincent. You are a true deck aficionado. As for Cape Cod, have a great time. My wife and I plan to go there later this year.

      Like

  13. talebender August 9, 2022 / 12:28 pm

    Love that you’re able to appreciate the sorts of things in life that often go unnoticed. By writing about them, you grant us the same pleasures.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Sandy August 9, 2022 / 1:23 pm

    We bought our first house based on the large deck that ran the entire length of the back. Except for one day of the year, we had very quiet neighbors … but maybe I should write a post about that 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  15. JT Twissel August 9, 2022 / 1:48 pm

    I used to love to hear the children playing in the yard next to mine but then they grew up. This time of year it’s the weedwackers I hear from my deck!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger August 9, 2022 / 3:48 pm

      Somehow I didn’t hear any lawn equipment during the time on the deck that I wrote about. It was a rare lull.

      Like

  16. Rosaliene Bacchus August 9, 2022 / 2:26 pm

    Lucky you to have an eight-foot-high deck in your backyard where you can chill out 🙂 I enjoyed Misty’s “Goodby Mr. Blue.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger August 9, 2022 / 3:51 pm

      In past years my favorite time to go on the deck was late dusk. I’d sit there listening to music and watch the skies grow dark. Haven’t done that so far in 2022.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Helen Devries August 9, 2022 / 2:33 pm

    We have an undercover balcony facing out over the valley to the mountains some forty miles away… a great place to watch the birds on the trees on the downward slope – planted to provide them with food – and just relax in the peace. I’ll try the music later, when the dogs are sleeping, not getting annoyed with me because their meal is late.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger August 9, 2022 / 4:39 pm

      Hi. It’s true. And I’m very appreciative of that. Thanks for stopping by. Enjoy the rest of the week.

      Like

  18. tylerus August 9, 2022 / 5:00 pm

    Sounds lovely . . . living in the heart of the city with concrete all around, it’s hard to imagine life on a deck. I’ll just have to live vicariously. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger August 9, 2022 / 5:52 pm

      Hey there, Tyler. I live in a town not too far from Philadelphia, but not in the city itself. Still, my town has plenty of concrete, just like Philly!

      Like

  19. Eileen Clark August 9, 2022 / 6:06 pm

    Hello, I could not survive if I had no decks, I’m in a wheelchair and do all my gardening in large pots. I enjoyed your post, thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. candidkay August 9, 2022 / 6:34 pm

    Coffee, birdsong, a deck–yep, check to all of them. But I also usually add a good book or the NYT Sunday crossword.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger August 9, 2022 / 10:06 pm

      Hi. I like your additions. Do you subscribe to the paper edition of the Times, or do you print the crossword from the internet?

      Liked by 1 person

      • candidkay August 10, 2022 / 8:07 am

        So, I try to be mindful of the environment but nothing beats a paper version of the New York Times once a week. One of my Sunday treats.

        Liked by 1 person

  21. ellie894 August 9, 2022 / 10:07 pm

    A beautiful writing of a beautiful morning and thanks for the cool new tunes! Enjoy your morning coffee 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  22. lookingforthehigherself August 9, 2022 / 11:03 pm

    So lucky indeed to have a deck and being able to breathe in the nature around you! Its so healing and wholesome.. I live amongst concrete jungle and construction so this view of greenery and wood is sweet!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger August 10, 2022 / 7:22 am

      Hi. As I type this reply I’m sitting at a computer that is in a room a few feet from the deck. I’m looking out at the deck and listening to the birds chirp.

      Liked by 1 person

  23. eden baylee August 9, 2022 / 11:15 pm

    Homes with decks became even more sought after during the pandemic. You’re very lucky to have access to the outdoors!

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Pazlo August 10, 2022 / 2:55 am

    Here’s to many more such contented hours, on your deck or otherwise.
    I don’t have a deck, but I have a wellcap for the hand pump and put a couple chairs on it.
    My favorite time to sit there, however, is at the end of a snowshoe walk on a sunny winter day.
    Thanks for the track shares!
    Spreading new music is a real challenge these days.

    Be well,

    Paz

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger August 10, 2022 / 7:27 am

      Hi, Paz. I’m always glad to hear from you. Here’s to decks and to wellcaps! They provide us with good places to contemplate what’s going on.

      Liked by 1 person

  25. shoreacres August 10, 2022 / 7:24 am

    I’ve never had a deck, but I’ve found over the years that a porch can serve the same purpose, even though porches often are a little less isolated. It’s the sitting, looking, and listening that counts, no matter where it’s done! Your description of the experience is great.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger August 10, 2022 / 9:02 am

      Morning, Linda. I walked in from the deck a few minutes ago. I was out there reading a book. And drinking coffee too, almost needless to say. Have an excellent day!

      Like

  26. snakesinthegrass2014 August 10, 2022 / 10:01 am

    Now you make me feel guilty — we never use our deck! You’ve motivated me to go out there and do some cleaning and sit there for my own a cappella opus. Well done. – Marty

    Liked by 2 people

  27. sniderjerry August 10, 2022 / 1:14 pm

    Hey there Neil, When George Burns asked Gracie Allen, “How is your brother doing in the navy?’ She said, “Not so well. Whenever they say all hands on deck, somebody steps on his.” Rimshot!
    Have a great deck day. Jerry

    Liked by 1 person

  28. selizabryangmailcom August 10, 2022 / 2:47 pm

    It’s the little things that matter. Your deck, a cup of coffee, and relative peace.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger August 10, 2022 / 4:20 pm

      Stacey, your summation is spot-on. Changing the subject — I’m pretty sure that you like sci-fi. If so, here’s a recommendation. Katla, a limited series on Netflix. I liked it a lot, even though sci-fi isn’t my thing ordinarily. See ya!

      Liked by 1 person

      • selizabryangmailcom August 11, 2022 / 2:52 pm

        Good memory!
        I will DEFINITELY take a gander at it. Thanks!

        Liked by 1 person

  29. adguru101 August 10, 2022 / 4:52 pm

    Great post, Neil, there is nothing quite like a deck and good coffee. We’re fortunate to have them as well! Alisa

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger August 10, 2022 / 7:51 pm

      Hey there, Alisa. Decks and coffee are a match made in heaven! Have a good week, and thanks for adding your thoughts.

      Like

  30. Ann Coleman August 10, 2022 / 9:54 pm

    I am so jealous of your deck! All we have is a patio, which our dog believes is his own personal toilet…….

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Americaoncoffee August 11, 2022 / 5:40 am

    Hi Neil! You paint a comfy picture of of words with vision and feelings. Just like you, I am grateful for the Summer months, enjoying nature and its creatures. A cold brew is always on my morning menu. Your music….👌 best regards.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. andrewcferguson August 11, 2022 / 2:12 pm

    Great contemplation on the simple pleasures, Neil. And although I was aware of Father John Misty and his work, I hadn’t heard that one – and thanks for the introduction to Big Llou Johnson!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger August 11, 2022 / 4:22 pm

      I’ve read that Big Llou has done a lot of voiceover work for TV commercials. That’s probably how he makes a living.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Anonymous August 27, 2022 / 4:17 pm

        Neil.. in addition to my voice over work.. I’ve also had a few small acting roles in some big movies and host blues festivals… everywhere! You’re spot on tho… the Voice Over business keeps the roof over our heads and the doggs at bay! HOWEVER… I really would LLUV to TOUR with a 10 piece band.. performing the tunes from the album BIGMAN! If anyone knows of someone.. Much appreciated!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Yeah, Another Blogger August 27, 2022 / 10:45 pm

          Hi, BIGLLOU. I hope a tour comes together for you. And if the tour brings you to Philly, I’ll be there!

          Like

    • BIGLLOU August 27, 2022 / 3:52 pm

      INDEED… Thanks Neil! Thanks to you too Andrew! This is my 2nd album in 9 years. The first one “They Call Me Big LLou” won the prestigious “Blues Music Award” for Best New Artist. I can be heard daily on BB KIngs BluesVille on SiriusXM as the voice inbetween the records. I’ve had that gig since the station’s inception. Thanks to Bill Wax who chose me as the voice and encouraged me to record my first blues album. Find out more at http://www.bigllou.com Much Appreciated!

      Liked by 2 people

  33. Cindy August 11, 2022 / 2:30 pm

    Totally agree with you on the deck! I couldn’t live in the city without a (relatively) quiet outside space to relax, read, ruminate, and revere the small wonders of nature—bees, butterflies, grasshoppers, birds, and squirrels—attracted to our plants and flowers. Like music (as you’ve often written), nature everywhere nourishes!

    Liked by 1 person

  34. George August 12, 2022 / 2:07 am

    Now I’m craving a coffee on your deck, listening to birdsong and Father John Misty!

    Liked by 1 person

  35. annieasksyou August 12, 2022 / 12:46 pm

    Ah, the birdies and trees! I don’t drink coffee, and it’s been too hot to sit on our deck, but I do love looking at those fauna and flora. Sadly, our street’s gorgeous trees, ancient oaks that bowed toward each other, forming a natural canopy mid-street and were a huge factor in our buying our home one November day lo, those many years ago, have all been removed after storms knocked down several of them. The town is planning to replace them, but the days of large trees seem to be another casualty of global weirding. I miss them.

    Liked by 1 person

  36. fauquetmichel August 12, 2022 / 1:27 pm

    You are blessed to have a deck to let wander your mind in contempling nature around .
    I know what you mean as my pleasure is to sit in the garden leaving my eyes warranding about the trees and the sky i the silence only troubled by birds soongs . Very inspiring.
    In friendship
    Michel

    Liked by 1 person

  37. Ally Bean August 12, 2022 / 2:57 pm

    I get your love affair with your deck. I love ours, too– even if the poor old dear is on her last legs right now. Be that as it may, gazing into nature while sitting on it is good for the soul.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger August 12, 2022 / 4:38 pm

      Hi, Ally. It’s great to have an outdoor refuge. I lived in Philly for many years, in buildings without decks, balconies or patios. So, I’m appreciative of the deck I have now, here in the burbs.

      Liked by 1 person

  38. tanjabrittonwriter August 12, 2022 / 5:57 pm

    I’m glad you get to enjoy your deck from time to time, Neil. I also like to sit on ours in the morning, watch the sun come up behind the neighbors’ tress, and listen to birdsong, and observe our feathered friends visiting our feeders for their breakfast. It’s a very peaceful way to start the day.

    Liked by 1 person

      • tanjabrittonwriter August 12, 2022 / 11:07 pm

        And a good evening to you, Neil. I had to check my eBird record. It seems that the current count in the yard is 111 different birds. That includes birds that fly above the property and don’t land, such as pelicans, cormorants, and herons.
        Now lest you consider that number high, the highest nationwide number for yard species in 292, in New Jersey! No doubt, being close to the coast brings a lot more different birds.

        Liked by 1 person

  39. Kim Smith August 12, 2022 / 10:27 pm

    I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve added new music to my playlists based on your recommendations! As soon as I started listening to “Chill on Cold,” I knew that Big Llou was going to become a part of my life. Thanks for that! Now if I only had a deck….

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger August 13, 2022 / 7:13 am

      Hi, Kim. It’s good that Llou is getting some airplay on SiriusXM, and maybe elsewhere. Chill On Cold is a great recording.

      Like

      • BIGLLOU August 27, 2022 / 4:07 pm

        NEIL!!! Man I can’t tell you how nice it was to see you blog mention our tune “Chill on Cold”.. Thanks for listening to BB Kings Bluesville too! I’m the voice you hear in between the songs.. as well has counting down the top 15 blues tunes on the Rack of Blues show.. and more. I also derive great joy from sitting on my deck/suburban balcony, watching the hummingbirds drink from the endless supply of nectar I provide. Check me out at http://www.bigllou.com I’d LLUV to send you a signed CD as well. Keep on discovering… my fellow blues lover and baby boomer! ShuckyDucky!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Yeah, Another Blogger August 27, 2022 / 10:42 pm

          Hi. It’s a pleasure to hear from you. I really appreciate your offer of a CD, but I’m reluctant to make my address public here. I hope you understand. Neil

          Like

    • BIGLLOU August 27, 2022 / 4:00 pm

      Oh WOW Kim! You seriously brought a tear to my eye and a big ole smile.. still stuck on my face.. knowing that our song “Chill on Cold” moved you so. Find out more about my music, movies, voice over work & the good we try to provide with “BIGLLOU Blues Hall of Fame Tribute Jam”.. held annually in Memphis after the Blues Hall of Fame Induction ceremony. Find out more at bigllou.com

      Liked by 1 person

  40. rkrontheroad August 13, 2022 / 1:40 pm

    You have a knack for finding interesting music I never would have heard otherwise! Enjoy that deck time while the weather lasts.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger August 13, 2022 / 3:58 pm

      Greetings, Ruth. I was out there this morning for a short while, reading a book and sipping at coffee. The deck and I have become pretty close friends. See ya!

      Liked by 1 person

  41. viewfromoverthehill August 13, 2022 / 7:44 pm

    Ah, you’re probably on your deck while your dear one is fixing dinner for you. I have a lovely balcony that looks out on the mountains. Its gorgeous out there right now, but I have to fix myself dinner. Darn! (Hey, why can’t I ‘like’ this post? I do like it. Cheers, Muriel

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger August 13, 2022 / 11:49 pm

      To have views of mountains from your balcony is an excellent situation. You live in a beautiful area. It kind of has it all.

      Like

  42. viewfromoverthehill August 14, 2022 / 12:50 am

    Yes, it IS beautiful here… I was teasing you. I’m glad you have a deck to enjoy. Things like that make life worthwhile.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s