But I have never, not once, seen anybody out on their balcony or their patio. As I was standing out on my balcony this morning, with my cup of coffee, in my bathrobe, I was looking at the opposite balcony, and wondering why not. The house next door, though very well cared for and tidily kept, seems to be deserted -- no lights, never any lights on in there. I have yet to see the smallest sign of life over there. And no one has ever been out on their balcony, though I have, once or twice, seen someone in the paved area between the patios and the creek. Just the other day I saw someone out there smoking. Must have been a visitor, sez I, since you wouldn't move to a house that did not allow smoking, not if you smoked. Would you? Perhaps you would, though, if it were part of a quitting-smoking-package-deal you had made with yourself.
Well -- after we get through winter and move on into spring and summer, I'm sure I will see more people outside. But so far I have had absolute privacy as I stand and sip and gaze out over the water, speckled as it was this morning with rain, or full of ducks and geese and the occasional heron.