Retirement Activities: Enjoying Your Deck

Great Retirement Activity: Fix up your deck or patio to spend some time enjoying the outdoors.

I know, there are many cliques’ about enjoying the outdoors in your retirement.  The oldest one is about sitting in your rocking chair on your front porch and watching the world go by.  Then there’s the one about stopping to smell the roses.  Well as it turns out, I think there is something to that.

First of all, you finally have the time to spend enjoying the outdoors without being rushed.  Then there’s something refreshing and relaxing about enjoying nature.

There are many wonderful national parks like Yellowstone, Yosemite,  Zion, Smoky Mountain and many others that you will find a good percentage of the visitors are retirees enjoying themselves.  There is even a National Parks Golden Age Passport for those of us age 62 or older. The Golden Age Passport is a lifetime entrance pass to national parks, monuments, historic sites, recreation areas, and national wildlife refuges that charge an entrance fee.  State parks and local parks are nice to visit too.

But today I would to talk about another place to enjoy nature: your deck or patio.  Almost everyone has one and they can be a great place to enjoy fresh air, experience early morning and sunsets, birds and small animals, smells, flowers and trees and all kinds of sounds.

We visited some friends who are renovating a home in Big Canoe, a resort community in the North Georgia mountain and loved their deck and screened porch. See top photo. Talk about wildlife!  We saw turkeys, birds, squirrels and the day before our visit there was a bear seen from the deck.

So lately I decided to fix up our deck a little and spend more time enjoying the outdoors.  First up I ordered some privacy screens off Ebay and put them up on both sides of the deck.  That’s one way to enjoy the deck is to do little projects yourself to fix it up and customize it like you want it.  It takes time but you are outside the whole time.

Next I picked up four patio chairs to replace those ones we have had a long time.

I researched the internet for deck plants and picked up a couple.  Got a plant caddy for the larger one so I can move it to the sun and back to the sitting area when I want to.

Got a bird feeder and installed it on a deck pole with a nice blue bird on top.  I got one with an extended arm that hangs out away from the deck so seeds will not mess things up.

In addition to my large natural gas grill, I have one of  the kettle charcoal types too.  It takes longer but nothing like the real thing.

I am refinishing my old patio chairs and putting them in a seating group at the other end of the deck.  Now one area is always in sun and the other in shade depending on time of day.

Projects still to come are:

I filled the woodpecker holes, hammered down the nails, then used the rest of the wood filler to cover nail holes and some bad knot holes.   This means I will need to stain the deck, but hey I am going to take my time.

A gate at the top of the stairs will be nice so I have been researching that on the Internet.  A gate will serve a few purposes like child safety when the great nephews and nieces visit.  Plus Coke our cat enjoys the deck too where she can sniff the air and watch the birds, but once in a while she decides to make a run for the stairs.  She doesn’t get too far because she only has 3 legs and I can catch her quickly, but I am hoping a gate may keep her on the deck.

I am sure other things will come to mind to keep me busy on the deck but I am learning to stop and take it all in with a fruit juice or cup of coffee in my hand while I learn to “stop and smell the roses”.  Maybe it’s time to venture out to your own deck or patio then do some Internet browsing to see how to improve and enjoy your deck or patio.

Originally posted 2012-07-29 11:17:43.

Author: Robert Fowler

Robert Fowler is President of Retirement Media Inc. Check out Robert's blog at