I love outdoor grilling, and I love enjoying my tiny patio garden; but more than anything in the world I love watching lightning bugs in the summertime. I grew up in California where lightning bugs only exist as blinking twinkle lights on the Pirates of the Carribean Disneyland ride in Anaheim. When I first moved to Kentucky for graduate school, and saw these tiny, magical, blinking wonders in real life, I became that kid who stares out the window waiting for a rainbow to appear on a rainy day. Just to clarify my retarded metaphor, the rainy day is all year long and the rainbow is firefly season.
So, needless to say, when I finally moved into an apartment with a patio overlooking an open field full of fireflies, I wanted to spend every possible second I could on the patio (preferably with a glass of wine) watching the fireflies. Every evening this summer, I have tried to set up my meal plan to include grilling so that every possible second can indeed, be spent outside watching the fireflies (and occasionally burning the burgers). It became quickly evident that I needed some patio furniture, and it became quickly evident that I am a poor, pathetic graduate student who cannot afford patio furniture ($150 for a wooden bench, are you kidding me Lowe's?). So I did what any 27-year-old girl would do, I batted my eyelashes at my boyfriend and asked if he wanted to go in halfsies on a patio bench so that we could sit by the grill at twilight with a glass of wine watching fireflies. It was all going to be so romantic...
As it turns out, my handsome, wonderful, brilliant boyfriend had an even better idea. He built me a 3 ft and a 6 ft garden bench for the patio using his own wonderful, crafty, manly hands! Want to know what was even better about our newly dubbed "benches made with love?" They were "benches made with love that only cost $45 (including paint)!"
Here is the Do-It-Yourself video we found online (can you hear the universal groan from boyfriends/husbands across the land as their girlfriend/wife clicks the link then bats her eyelashes?).
Last night we sat on the benches and chatted while he grilled dinner and the dog trampled the ever-loving-life out of my tomatoes. It was all very bohemian and lovely, and exactly the romantic moment that I originally envisioned.
(Also, I'm not supposed to tell you this, but when we set them all up and I squealed in appreciation, he told me, "I know they aren't really fancy, but they will always be the benches I built you when we were too poor to buy them in grad school." Commence swooning ladies, this man is my man and I love him to pieces.)