The beach is my ultimate happy place but of course I work full time so it's not like I could go there and stay until I feel better. Not to mention that our temperatures have been around 15 degrees below normal for a couple of weeks, so it's definitely not beach weather.
When we bought our house 5 years ago, we told people that we had the next best thing to a condo - very little outside maintenance required but still a small piece of property and a home not connected to anyone else. When I say our property is small, I mean SMALL. I think the total size of our plot is 1/10th of an acre. When you pull into my long narrow driveway, you are driving towards the garage. To the left of the garage and behind the house is what used to be a small yard. The owners before us decided to dig up the yard from the edge of the house to the back of the propery, pour cement and fence it in. Which means that the only grass yard we have is a tiny strip in the front and and an even smaller strip down the side. It's just enough to give Mr. Helen something to do with a weed wacker and let me have a couple of flowering bushes that wouldn't otherwise grow in a pot.
Around a year after we bought the house, we decided to have the cement resurfaced giving the patio a much nicer more "patio-y" look. Each year that we've lived here I've decorated it, increasing the number of pots a bit more. While our season is short, pretty much from last frost to first frost, I keep it decorated and try to have something growing. Next to the beach, it has become a favorite place and each winter as I look out my kitchen window I can't wait to create my oasis...my little piece of calm and quiet. I know it's hard to believe that I can have that when I live in a neighborhood where my neighbors are in spitting distance, but something about that fence and the pots of flowers and veggies make it so.
We're finally having some decent weather today and I'll be looking for stress relief so I'll be heading out there this evening after work, I'm sure. If you're ever in the neighborhood, you're welcome to join me.