We built this deck. Imagined it. Designed it. Bought all of the materials for it. And with the help of a few close friends, we built it. Every joist. Every nail.

When Richard and I first found this house — many, many years ago — we were absolutely blown away by the view. The house needed a little love. It needed to be filled with the love of a family, I suppose, but the view overlooking the river was just magnificent. We could picture ourselves here, watching the sunrise, the sunset, and every precious moment in between, together. Our family had dinner here in the summertime, hosted birthday parties, and watched fireworks. If the world is a stage, then this deck is our box seats.

Now our kids are grown. They have kids of their own, with swimming lessons and gymnastics meets and homework and all of the things that make you crazy when you’re a parent — and that you miss when you’re not doing them any longer.

Richard and I are still here on our deck. Sharing little moments. Listening to the birds between sips of peppermint tea. Reading the headlines to one another as the breeze whips through the branches. Those subtle cues that only people who have forged a life together can comprehend.

If I hadn’t gotten my hearing tested, I’d be missing all of it. I can’t even imagine. When I’m wearing my hearing aids, I’m immersed in the sounds of the world, and Richard and I are at the center of it. Voices are crisper. The rush of the river is more vivid. I feel happier, because we feel closer.

My relationship with my audiologist has made it all a reality. I didn’t really know much about hearing technology before, which is odd — we’ve always been pretty tech savvy. We have smartphones; I use a tablet for reading and chatting with the kids. The more I learned about hearing aids, the more I realized that they’re really just wearable computers. They actually synch with a lot of our electronics. The kids and I can video chat while I’m right here on the deck, and the sound goes directly to my technology.

So many years have passed, and we still have the best seats in the house.