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An extra room has magically been added to your home overnight. The catch: if you add more than three items to it, it disappears. How do you use it?

I’d love to come down the stairs one morning and see that a screened-in back porch or gazebo has been added to my house. In the heat we have in this area, it wouldn’t always be habitable — sometimes nothing else but air-conditioned comfort will do.

Yet on many days, with a large ceiling fan (1) moving the air about in gentle streams, it would be very inviting. I’d add a big glider (2) — I haven’t sat in one of those for years — and enjoy watching the day roll by, or reading, or even napping. Doesn’t it sound relaxing already? I can’t decide if I’d like one of those old-fashioned metal gliders from the 50’s or one of the plush cushioned ones they sell these days.

A large padded bench/footstool (3) that opens would be useful so I can store books and pillows and Sudoku books (can I take those out there or am I breaking the rules?).

I have great memories of having a back porch when I was a child. It really started to feel like summer when we decided it was time to hose it down, clean all the furniture, and start playing out there. In those days air conditioning was rare in homes and so lounging on a shady back porch and playing in water were two of the best ways to keep cool. And yes, it does get quite hot in Ohio in the summer.

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