My Own Private Florida

It’s 80 degrees and sunny; my iced tea is all tea, no ice because the ice melted. I’m wearing shorts, a sleeveless shirt and sunglasses; I may get sunburned on my entire left side today if this keeps up. Really!

Where am I? In a tiny room tacked onto the back of our home here in Northern New Jersey; the room has four large windows: two face South and two face East. I’ve been sitting here at the table working for hours and I’m sweating. No kidding. Sweating!

By now I know I need sunshine to stay even-keeled and happy, and the Northern N.J. weather this winter has been anything but sunny; we’ve had inch after inch of snow, gray days and hours of shoveling.  More snow and ice are scheduled to arrive in the next day or two.

Yesterday, sun was streaming through two large South-facing windows in the tiny room at the back of our house. I walked into the “plant room,” squinted in the bright sunlight, and immediately felt degrees warmer and happier.  As I stood there, I remembered how ten years ago this tiny room was “the breakfast room.” It contained a table and 4 chairs and not much else. It was lovely and functional.

Nothing like two on-the-ball office assistants to keep me company.

A few winters ago, I replaced the table and four chairs with a petite chaise lounge, little side tables and plants, lots of plants. It became “the sunroom.” I spent some lovely sunny winter afternoons sitting in the chaise lounge with a Siamese cat or two for company.

Perhaps the tiny room could serve two purposes this winter, a place to work and a place to think, both tasks done while bathing in sunlight, lovely sunlight. Since I hurt my back shoveling out from the last snowstorm, I enlisted the help of my (reluctant) daughter Tory and my (patient) husband Mike to make an “office” in the sunny space. Mike and Tory carried the old oak plant table out of the tiny room and stored it on our third floor. I relocated some healthy plants to the butler’s pantry and tossed a few unhealthy specimens. Mike and Tory then dismantled a table stored on the third floor and carried the heavy iron base (Mike) and tabletop (Tory) downstairs to the tiny room. Mike reattached the table top to its base while Tory, just a tad grouchy from having carried the tabletop down the two long flights of stairs, returned to the third floor and brought down two iron chairs for me. I rearranged the chaise, table, two chairs, cat climbing pole and two plant stands in the tiny space. With our wireless Internet and printing capabilities I think I’m set!

What do you think?

This room is a bright sunny "office" during the winter months!

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