When you’re a certified indoor person and avoid the sun like a vampire, it’s a challenge to have children who love (and need) to play outside.
Even with my collection of oversized hats, sunglasses and tubes of fancy sunscreen, I’m all about sitting in the shade. I don’t like to feel hot, I’m prone to heatstroke, and working as a drugstore cosmetician in high school and university left me extremely paranoid about sunburns.
I wanted a spot where I could sit outside our house semi-comfortably to supervise the kids in their little pool. A large umbrella seemed like the obvious solution. But we live on top of a very windy hill, and umbrellas are a joke. (Well, and a weapon, since they’re likely to catapult through the air whenever the wind picks up.)
My next thought was a retractable awning attached to the house to cover our (very small) back deck. But those started at $500 and the majority were several thousand dollars (yikes), plus there was a good chance the wind would destroy it anyway.
“I just need some kind of little roof,” I whined to my handy husband on a particularly sunny day. “Just something to cover me. We could almost just . . .” I paused, looking at the picnic table sitting in the backyard. “We could just put a roof on the table! …”