By Caitlin Kelly
Is here, on our suburban New York, small town balcony.
After three full months of isolation, this is now our extra room and my outdoor office and a break from so much life lived safely only inside our apartment.
We face northwest, facing the Hudson River from its eastern side.
Those white things in the distance that look like sails — that’s the new Tappan Zee Bridge.
The light is gorgeous, and we can see the sunrise reflected in the many windows of the houses on the western side as the rising sun hits them.
I call it the “ruby moment.”
We’re on the top floor, 6th floor, with only the sky above us — and plenty of (noisy!) helicopters and jets, as we are on the flight path to the local county airport.
Sometimes we hear the very distinctive thud-thud-thud of a twin-rotor CH-47 Chinook, a $38.5 million military helicopter moving along the Hudson on its way to West Point, the military academy just north of us.
Before he left for good, my first husband built a sturdy bench on the balcony that serves both as comfortable seating (with custom-made cushions) and storage for potting soil, paint supplies and tools. We repaint it every year to freshen it up.
And the area is blessed with quite a few good plant nurseries, so we budget for a blast of gorgeous color every summer.
I love how dramatic this view is — ever-changing. We see rain and snowstorms long before they arrive
We’re literally at tree-top level, with dragonflies and bumblebees and songbirds coming to visit — there’s a daily chorus of birdsong every morning around 4:30 a.m.
I can’t wait to set out lanterns and invite friends back for summer meals here, lounging against all the blue and white and yellow and green pillows we’ve accumulated.
Our winding, narrow street slows down traffic, and we don’t get a lot of it, which also keeps it quiet. There is only one remaining house, and the rest are low-level condominiums or co-op apartment buildings, so our terrific view has never changed and never will.