- I can see all sorts of stuff: a giant swath of sky; lots of roofs; our (ever-encroaching) willow tree; that big old gnarled tree a block away; a little sliver of Claiborne Ave. with its busy-bee cars and trucks and things that go; clouds stacking up out over the Gulf; bikes and people criss-crossing at the corner; birds, birds, birds.
- I can hear all sorts of stuff: birds, birds, birds; cars and trucks and things that go; voices from all around: quiet conversations, loud conversations; music: thumping bass from cars, tejano from around the corner, some kid practicing trumpet; the collective thrum of the city.
- It's outside, but it's secluded; open, but private; a quiet place for looking out onto the busy world.
- It's perfect for sitting; reading; drinking coffee; drinking cocktails; hanging out with my daughters, with my wife; watching the weather; photographing the weather; composing blog musings; doing nothing at all.
- It's "my" place (a balcony of one's own), not in any official sense, just that I'm the one who uses it. Others come and go, drop in for visits: the girls putter for a bit; Sarah will sit with me on nice evenings. But it's my touchstone, where I greet each morning (weather permitting), often where I end the day; it's conformed to me, arrayed to my use. (The one other family member with an equal claim is Pearl. She's an indoor cat, and the balcony is her slice of outdoor freedom. As I sit and muse, she scampers and scurries: on the rail, up the divider, along the gutter; stares with quivering excitement at the just-out-of-reach birds, at the dogs and people and other cats below; runs back inside, back out again, back in again, back out again; sniffs each leaf of each potted plant...)
- It's five convenient feet from my bed.
* I'm pretty sure I've chattered on about this before. Indulge me.