At last! The redneck deck has been torn off the back of the house and post holes dug for the new deck and roof that, hopefully, we will enjoy all summer long.
In case you don’t remember me writing about this, our redneck deck was a small porch my husband built with castoff wooden pallets, a temporary structure until we had the time and money (mostly the money) to build a real deck with real wood. We had to replace the first redneck deck, as wooden pallets are not made to weather the winters we have in these parts. More than that, they weren’t made to be recycled.
I’d hoped when the first redneck deck needed to be replaced that we’d be able to build a real deck, and I even prayed for new wood. The very next day, my husband brought home the “new wood”—new, heavier pallets, which lasted a lot longer than the first set. A lot longer than I’d wanted them to.
But we enjoyed our redneck deck. My husband built a roof over it (temporary, of course) so we could relax on our canvas chairs in the evenings after supper. Then we started having supper on what we dubbed “the veranda,” using an old coffee table covered with a pillowcase.
For all its memories, though, I won’t miss the redneck deck. It served its purpose, and I’m more than ready for a real deck—a nice deck—that will extend the length of the house. I’m looking forward to family get-togethers and sitting out on the deck (perhaps on real patio furniture) and not feel cramped.
But the redneck deck came with its lessons.
One, that everything in life is temporary. Even if I have the deck I’ve longed for, it, too, would be temporary. This is a lesson God began to teach me when we first moved into the concrete cubicle we would make a home—that first week we moved into the unfinished basement when an early snowstorm had me huffing and puffing and complaining that everything was temporary. It would take four years before we moved the bedrooms upstairs and another 20 before we moved the kitchen upstairs and put on the siding.
Two, that I don’t have to have things exactly the way I want to be happy. What gave me joy was the time Dean and I spent together on that redneck deck, talking, dreaming, playing a few hands of gin rummy (and me complaining when I lost), watching the deer in the woods behind the house, and listening to Pirate games on the radio.
And, finally, I learned to focus on what I have, not what I don’t have, and, like St. Paul writes, to be content in whatever condition I find myself (Philippians 4:11).
Thank you, Lord, for the lessons of the redneck deck. Thank you for meeting all my needs, for blessing me with wants, and for teaching me the difference between them. Amen.
Special-Tea: Read Philippians 4:10-13