You Okay, Captain? (Safely Installing a Fire-Pit-Type Patio Table)


I’ve balanced a steak in chimichurri sauce on my lap, while teetering on the edge of a wily wicker chair for the last time. We just bought sturdier furniture for the backyard, and it only took about two to three weeks to figure out what we wanted.

Over the past two to three weeks, Nate took me on a tour of websites and catalogs, and I pretty much liked everything I saw. He’d pause on a patio set, and I’d say, “Get it,” and then he’d measure the concrete slab in the backyard and say, “It won’t fit.” And it would go on and on and on like this. Shouting, “If it doesn’t fit, make it!” didn’t help.

Eventually, we settled on something that had one of those fire-pit-type-things in the middle of the table, and I had to hold onto the wall to steady myself, I was so excited. I hadn’t even considered getting something like that for the backyard, but here it was, in our price range, and I was like, “Get it!” and Nate was like, “It fits!” And that’s how we acquired a patio set that now required a propane tank to rev it up to the next level—which brings me to my safety tips for installing:

–The entire furniture set is heavy. The website will say that the heaviest piece is “only” 75 pounds, but the movers, who are young and quite capable, will strain under the weight of just the two smaller chairs that come with the set. Make sure you sign up for delivery to save your back. Costco was a great option in that respect.

–Secure the propane tank inside the drawer that is just below the table. You might want a fresh new propane tank, but Nate said we had an old one in the BBQ grill that he could just take from there and hook up to table. However, I imagined scenarios in which Nate would erupt into flames, so while I was cooking dinner, I interrupted Alex’s corn-chip snacking by asking him to check on his dad to make sure he wouldn’t catch fire.

Alex: But I’m eating.

Me: Can you please just check on him?

Alex (sticking his head out the window to shout at Nate): You okay, captain?

Nate: Why wouldn’t I be okay? I’m fine.

And he was. The captain of the patio set had steadily steered the propane tank to the belly of the ship.

So we ate pizza at the patio table, flames dancing, birds flying high overhead, evergreen trees tall in the distance, and not one drop of tomato sauce on my lap.

Your Turn: Do you enjoy eating outside when the weather gets nice? What’s your favorite thing to eat outside?

19 thoughts on “You Okay, Captain? (Safely Installing a Fire-Pit-Type Patio Table)

  1. Fire pits have been banned in our area, and gas is on the way out. Soon to do something similar, we will likely need an electric heat source and perhaps a monitor and speakers to make it look and sound like fire…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Alas, we do not have actual heat outside. The fire in the table is not very big–just atmospheric, but some neighbors have heat lamps, so they can be outside, even during the winter. Could that be our next step? Who knows? Might be fun–or expensive. Have to think on that one.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. We don’t eat outside because the black flies would eat us before we could finish our meal. We had the deck made into a three-season porch a few years after we bought the house. Fighting black flies is a losing proposition.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, yes–that would be unbearable. In Ohio, the mosquitoes were awful, but Washington state has been quite pleasant–it does get a little buggy, but not too bad. Sounds like you’ve got an ideal solution 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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