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The Umbrella Wars

July 18, 2020

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Closed umbrellas are creepy and depressing. Am I the only one that thinks this way?

I often wonder.

When it comes to naming my favorite season, I have not been shy.

It's summer, folks.

Always summer.

Hands down.

I don't even have to think about it.

Patio Set With Red Umbrella

From the time I was small, I've been a steadfast fan.

Sure, the other seasons have a few redeeming qualities...fleeting moments, I enjoy.

Like the earthy colors of fall, the first snowfall in winter and the sight of tulips in spring.

But really, they all pale in comparison to summer.

Maybe it's because I live on an island and from June to September the entire place seems to glisten.

It's filled with fireflies and the smell of warm salt air. Unbelievably vibrant pink sunsets. Drippy ice cream cones on the dock, hot sand under my feet and vibrantly colored blooms that fill the world outside my home.

From October to May, it's pretty gray out there, so when summer rolls around, I'm not shy about adding to what Mother Nature has going on.

Especially in the backyard.

I can see it clearly from my kitchen all day long, so I'm pretty particular about the view.

I pick pillows that make me smile, plant bright flowers - lots of red, as you can imagine - and anchor it all with three large crimson umbrellas that are placed on the patio and around the pool.

Chairs with red cushions and red umbrella by pool

Gosh, I love the drama they add.

Even when my gardening thumbs fail me, which is most of the time, those umbrellas manage to make the garden look so alive.

Inviting and exciting.

Well. When they're open.


Unfortunately, they're not open all the time.

And that's bad.

Because closed umbrellas do not look the same as open ones. Not even a little and that that's a fact that my husband does not seem to comprehend.

The banter starts in spring.

Can you please open the umbrellas when you go out in the mornings?

Why do I need to open them? We're not even sitting outside today.

Because, I rebut, they just look better that way.

For who? We're not seeing anyone. And no one's going to see them.

I will. And I like the way they look when they're open.

Two chaise lounges with red umbrella by pool

You would think that would be enough. And yet. He walks in and out all morning long without even a nod in their direction.

When questioned about his noncompliance, I get the usual list of excuses.

I didn't go that way.

Or...It's not sunny. There's no shortage of replies.

What if it storms?

Who's going to close them tonight?

They don't look any different opened or closed.

And his failsafe...I forgot.
It's like talking to him about buying the right colored tissues boxes all over again.

He just doesn't get it.

Or, more likely, doesn't want to.

So by summer, I give up.

And go out and open them myself.

Which leads to his counter attack. The early close.

Somehow he can't manage to open them on his way to the mailbox or the fish pond at the crack of dawn, but he can make a special trip outside at 4 or 5pm to crank those suckers down.

Why are closing my umbrellas?

We're done for day.

Says who?? They sun doesn't set until after 8. And I don't want to look at them closed.
I know he thinks I'm crazy, but I can assure you, I'm not. Closed umbrellas are simply not the same as open ones.

Not even a little.

Maybe it's my designer's eye or the fact that I've grown up on a touristy umbrella filled island...but open vs closed? Open wins every time.

Patio Set on Concrete Patio

Open umbrellas are like flowers in bloom...they say come in, we're having a party! Enjoy the color, the music and stay for a while under my lovely shaded area.

Closed umbrellas are not nearly as friendly.

Closed Red Market Umbrellas By The Pool

You know what they say? Closed for business. The end.

Open, they are a fabulous island resort with tropical drinks and vacation vibes.

Closed, they're an abandoned, depressing beach motel, vacated for the season with empty rooms and cloudy skies.

Sometimes, there's even creepy music.

Black And White Photo Of Closed Umbrellas

Nope. That's not summer.

That's fall people and fall is not welcome here in summer.

Does my husband get this?

Clearly he does not.

But that's ok.

It's a short season.

And one I don't want to spend at war.


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  1. I have found that husbands don't get a lot of things! Truth! LOLOL I love your red umbrellas and I would have them open too!

    1. So funny, Susan! I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one who sees the beauty in open! ☺️

  2. Lol! I have this exact conversation with my hubby...except it’s about putting the chair cushions out each day. He questions why. I just think our deck is so much prettier with them out...even when no one but me looks at them! Enjoy your umbrellas! ;)

    1. Donnamae, I hear you!! We have that same conversation about those cushions, too!! And the one about the pillows! I guess these guys just aren't as focused on the pretty as we are. So happy to hear I'm not alone!! Enjoy your deck!

  3. I do love an open unbrella. And ours has lights inside for evening. But we have had a couple of swift coming storms over the years, and have had umbrellas take flight, hit our gutters and dented them. So ours stay closed unless we are using them. Same with cushions. Inside unless we are using them. It rains here every afternoon during the summer.

    1. Oh Penny, I can see why you wouldn’t leave them up. We do get some wicked storms here, but thankfully they’re few and far between! Enjoy the weekend!

  4. I’ve never thought about it but I agree. The open umbrella does look much more inviting. I am going to start opening mine too!

    1. It's all about the little things, Kristin! 😉

  5. I agree completely when they are open happy and pretty closed sad and grumpy,lol!! Have fun under your open pretty umbrella.

    1. Grumpy! I love that, Marlene...and thank you. Outside today under enjoying the shade in the heat.

  6. Kim,
    This was so fun to read. Your home sweet home inside and out is lovely! I love your outdoor decor.

    1. Thank you, Carla! I hope I made you chuckle. xo

  7. I agree, and what a sight your three red umbrellas must be when they're flying high!

    It's the little things that count, right? Like the ugly garden hose left snaking on the ground through the garden for next day's convenience' sake that drives a woman crazy and ruins any possible pictures being taken from the window inside. Oh, that's my husband, not yours.

    Your island paradise sounds lovely in the summer and I understand your wanting to keep your part of it summer pretty!

    1. It really is the little things, Dewena, especially now, trapped here for so many months at a time.

      And funny thing, I’m the one who usually leaves the garden hose in a tangle and HE’S the one who likes it neatly wrapped. I guess we all have our thing! Perhaps you should be looking for a new post from him, entitled Garden Hose Wars!

  8. I am with you the umbrellas need to be open at all times. I love to wake up and look outside on the deck and see the umbrella opened. Saying good morning awaiting your visit. I leave my cushions on the seats too. That is another pet peeve I have. They must stay on the furniture to only be put away when the cold of winter comes to move in. Happy Weekend sweet friend.

    1. Hey Kris! I knew you’d feel the same way! It’s just a little pleasure, especially since we’re home so much more now. And yes, those cushions and pillows must be put out every day, as well. Lucky for me, the girls agree with that one and enjoy the comfy seats so they usually take care of that. They love the sun though, so the umbrella wars go on…Ha!

  9. What a nice read! Thank you. I do want to share a short story brought to mind from your share. When our children were very young (not even school age yet) we took a trip to Memphis. We went out in the evening for some fun in the swimming pool and we were all having a blast and then, all of a sudden, I was freaking out and yelling at my husband to get the kids and get them back into the RV. Hurry, hurry! What a great husband I have, he didn't even question why, he just reacted and we scooped up all of the kids and got to safety! I am pointing outside and saying "what are they, what are they?" You see, we live in the west, we don't have fire flies! I had read a story about them in elementary school and I must have decided they were fictional. I thought they were going to attack the children! Are you giggling? We had so much fun outside (after I got done freaking out) watching the fire flies and enjoying their antics. Hugs

    1. I am giggling, Terri! What a great story!! I'm sure it was terrifying at the time, but in hindsight I image you guys reminisce about it all the time. Those are the moments that make vacation fun! And you know, I never even thought about the fact that fireflies don't live in all parts of the country. Now I need to go read about them. I guess I've always taken them for granted!! Hugs to you, too and thank you for sharing your summertime tale!! That one's a keeper!! ☺️

  10. Oh! Exactly! I am the exact same way and feel that way, too, about the cushions I take in and out (if expecting rain). Sunny day- umbrella up and pillows out! I, too, love summer although Fall is my fav-followed by lazy summer days.
    Your patio area looks great! xo Diana

    1. Thanks Diana, the patio has provided a nice respite. And yes, fall is a close second! xoxo

  11. Oh My!!!
    I get it!
    Our husbands must be twins or at least brothers.
    You are a hoot!

    😊 open ⛱⛱
    😟 closed 🌂

    1. Glad I could make you laugh, Christine!!

  12. Kim, I too like the way the yard looks with the umbrella's open. It looks inviting and like you all want to have fun and relax in the pool and yard. Good luck with the umbrella wars Kim! Enjoy!

    1. Thanks Julie!! I've been showing him the comments and all the votes for my side. Hahaha!

  13. Well, I agree and disagree with you:) I very much agree about OPEN umbrellas! Nothing attractive about a closed one!!! I had fretted and fretted this year because ours had gotten so faded and stained and I couldn't find one I liked. But...BINGO! When we went to the beach couple weeks back we found a great striped one at TUESDAY MORNING. Now I'm umbrella happy. I do NOT agree with you about summer!!! I am not a big fan. Come live in this south GA heat awhile and I don't think you'd be a fan either. HOWEVER! If I got to come live on your island for the summer I would probably LOVE summer!!! I soooo look forward to the cool weather of FALL and even love the WINTER when I can have a fire in the fireplace and wrap up with my soft blankie:) I'm sure if we had harsh winters with lots of snow I wouldn't like it so much. As they say TO EACH HIS/HER OWN! Have a great week...I probably won't because I will probably have to send my "relatively new" laptop off to repairs....#@$%#!!!! Hope they get it back to me quickly because I'll be lost without it.

  14. This is such a cute post, Kim! I'm wondering if the umbrella-thing is a man-thing. Of course, around here, the umbrella doesn't even leave the protection of our enclosed patio until Fall. This AZ summer sun eats umbrellas for a snack! Mine isn't nearly as pretty as yours, but a bright red umbrella would quickly become an ugly pink between Fall & Spring. My hubby hates putting the umbrella into the table spot and opening it, but he will do it...usually with a pouty face. I think your lovely umbrellas and all the pretty flowers make for a beautiful setting. Enjoy your Summer while I yearn for Fall!

  15. Oh I agree, definitely open!! I found the perfect answer to use on my husband, "Because they make me happy!" Good Luck with your husband!

  16. Hi Kim

    I was laughing through this post. You're a great storyteller. Ours is open from morning until about 8. One, fir me and MS. Two for ourpups so they gave shade, spoiled yes just how we love it.


    1. Thanks Cindy! Laughter is the name of the game around here, so your comment made my day. ❤️