Stop taking the backyard for granted – Texas Monthly

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I have officially crossed the bar of two months of living and all my meals at home with my parents in Dallas. As is the case throughout Texas, restaurants here are allowed to open, but since my parents are part of a high-risk group, I still don’t feel comfortable walking into an establishment.

So, still at home for the moment, we’re constantly trying to think of ways to reinvent our dining experience and stay excited, even though it’s the third time this week that we’ve eaten dal chawal. One of the most effective ways to do this is by leaning in our backyard.

We are very privileged to have a backyard, with patio furniture and a swimming pool. I remember when we moved into this house in 2000, I felt like I had won the lottery when I saw it had its own swimming pool. These days the ability to sit outside suddenly seems like a huge luxury, especially when I hear from my friends in Brooklyn that even walking around the block can be stressful, given the density of the city. . And considering how nervous the pandemic has returned to me about confined spaces, the backyard somehow feels better than the boundaries of our house. I don’t think I’ve ever spent so much time in our garden in my life as I do today.

For happy hour, my mom and I now have our drinks in the cove behind our house, where just closing my eyes and listening to the lapping of the water makes me feel more at peace than anything else. . I eat chopped mango while dipping my feet in the pool. And it took a pandemic, but we eventually dusted off the table outside so we could enjoy at least a few meals a week there. The other night my dad decided to set up the landscaping for a Saturday night dinner. He placed white tablecloths and candles on the dining tables and for a makeshift minibar with whiskey and ice cream. He lit the citronella torches that haven’t been touched since last summer, and we put our Thai takeaways on serving plates. My mom set the mood with instrumental guitar music. We could have eaten anything, and I would have been happy.

The backyard also allows us to have one or two neighbors who stop to say hello from a distance, since they can enter from the outside. When you have been living and hanging out exclusively with the same two people for more than two months, even if they are two people you love dearly, seeing another human being face to face (or at least with a mask, at least a distance of six feet) gives the impression of inhaling the fresh mountain air.

Back in New York, the idea of ​​a private outdoor space seems laughable (unless you count the roof of my building, which requires a treacherous climb up a ladder). Here in Dallas, I even started taking a few phone calls from the front lawn, just so I could sit in the grass and smell the fresh flowers on the trees. With that said, to all Texans reading this: don’t take any part of your outdoor space for granted if you have it! Now is the time to embrace her and eat as many alfresco meals as you can, before the weather gets extremely hot. Other than my parents, my garden is what I will miss the most when I return to Brooklyn.

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