When we first bought this house, we noticed the patio all right--it was originally a cement driveway leading to what had once been a garage. Even though the former owners had converted the garage to a room with French doors and had painted the cement driveway, and even though there was a view of the mountains, it was cold when we moved in and the patio was full of fallen leaves. I dutifully swept it during the winter, and we bundled up and sat outside to watch the sunsets reflected on the mountains. It was nice, but we had no idea just what a wonderful living space it would be when the weather warmed up.
Now it's a spot to drink coffee and read the morning paper. A place to watch the light change on the mountains. A cool and shady place under the big trees.
A place to plant flowers and to think about replacing that chain link fence with a low adobe wall. Who knows? The cyclone fence keeps the dogs in and doesn't block the view. Perhaps we'll just plant some flowering vines to climb along it. A wisteria?
It's a lovely place to read in the afternoons, to play with the dogs, and to just sit in the shade and think, perhaps planning some future outdoor exercise adventures.