• Gabriel Donio

Where’s your favorite spot to just sit and relax?


Sitting outside is a great way to relax. (Courtesy Photo)

Mine’s on our big front porch.


Our house dates to 1914, and its front porch is excellent.


To tell you the truth, I like the front porch more than the backyard. It’s covered, has plenty of seating, including some chairs of the rocking variety. During the day it’s a great spot to people watch, as there is plenty of activity in our neighborhood.


At night, it’s well-lit and peaceful.


During a rainstorm, the porch is just about perfect. The rain falls on three sides of us, making a pleasant sound while we sit and read or just relax.


My mother paid me a nice compliment some years ago. She said I could be happy just reading a book or listening to a baseball game on the radio while I sat on my porch.


She was right. I don’t need to be constantly entertained with big events, the latest hot restaurant or some big trip (although I can be persuaded).


Give me a good “spot” like that front porch of ours anytime.


Where’s your favorite spot? It could be inside your house, outside in the backyard or by the swimming pool if you have one.


Here’s my email address: donio@hammontongazette.com—and the phone number is (609) 704-1940. The mailing address is The Hammonton Gazette, P.O. Box 1228, Hammonton, NJ 08037.


Longtime readers of this space know that I like to ask the people who read The Gazette what they think about different topics. It’s my version of crowdsourcing. I always enjoy reading people’s answers, like our recent list of “Hammonton Things That Aren’t There Anymore.”


So, where’s your spot to sit and relax at your house? Describe it in detail when you send in your response. If it’s a big old overstuffed chair in your den or TV room, tell us all about it. Is it fabric or leather? How old’s the chair? If it’s that same seat at the kitchen table you’ve had for 30 years, I want to hear about the room around it—what’s the table and chairs made from? What’s the light look like overhead? Is there a bay window in the kitchen? Set the scene for the spot that lets you unwind after a long day.


What floor do you relax on in your house? Are you upstairs, downstairs or down in your finished basement? Do you have one of those home theaters to help you unwind? Do you have a second kitchen down there?


We don’t talk about relaxing—and where we relax—nearly enough. Sometimes it’s because we don’t make enough time to relax. We had a couple of nice wooden Adirondack chairs in our backyard on either side of a firepit for years. A friend of ours once said:


“It would be nice if I ever saw you sitting in them.”


Good point. I still don’t relax nearly enough, but I do relax more now than I ever have. After the last two-and-a-half years, I think we’ve all earned a little rest and relaxation, don’t you?


It’s important to take time away from responsibilities when you can. Listening to that ballgame on the front porch can be fun and enriching for the soul at the same time. Again, where is the spot inside or outside your home where you feel that way? Next to the grill? On a patio? Shooting hoops in the driveway?


I’ll even give you another option. Maybe your favorite place to relax isn’t in your home at all. Maybe it’s a different place—a park area, a restaurant or coffee shop?


The other day I was talking about “third places”—places located outside of work (or in the case of kids, school) or home where people can relax and be themselves. Think of going down to Hammonton Lake Park, or sitting in a pew at a local church, or the Hammonton Branch of the Atlantic County Library, or the Hammonton Swim Club, or sitting on a beach at the Jersey Shore or hiking up in the Poconos or stopping by any of our many local restaurants and stores, or ones that are located out of town.


Where do you go to relax? Do you go during the day or at night? Do you go by yourself or with other people?


Most importantly, whether it’s your own home or a “third place” how does taking some time for yourself and sitting in that perfect spot that’s all your own make you feel?


My guess is that answer will be nearly universal: I’ll bet it makes you feel incredibly good.



Gabriel J. Donio is the publisher of The Hammonton Gazette.