They hear a variety of birds singing as well as crickets chirping. Retreating to the patio helps them unwind from hectic schedules.
"You appreciate the sounds," Pat said. "When you are coming and going, you don't stop long enough to listen. I feel the breeze. There are so many things we take for granted."
They enjoy having coffee on the patio in the morning and unwinding there in the evening.
"We come out here every night until it gets so cold that we can't," Dena said.
Sometimes they nod off to sleep in the peaceful setting.
Betty Ireland and husband Sam Haddad have lived in a nearly 100-year-old home in South Hills since 1980. The existing deck had become old and perhaps unsafe. About five years ago, they decided to expand a back deck and add screens all the way around.
"I don't know what took us so long to do it," Ireland said. "I have to have a place to get outside in a covered environment."
The deck is high off the ground with a magnificent view of the city when the leaves are off the gigantic trees. There was already one door leading onto the deck, but they had the builder add a second. With doors leading from the kitchen as well as the living room, there is a circular pattern for guests to mingle. When the grandchildren are there, they love building forts and playing dolls on the screened deck.
The deck is about 21 feet by 9 feet in size with two overhead fans hung from a slanted pine ceiling. There are also hook-ups for a radio or television. Ireland prefers the quiet when she can see and hear the cardinals and bluebirds.
It's even a nice getaway during cold weather to bundle up in a blanket and sip coffee.
Contact writer Charlotte Ferrell Smith at charlo...@dailymail.com or 304-348-1246.
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