Saturday, July 17, 2010

Cigars and Citronella

Last evening was one of the few evenings we have been able to sit out on the deck.

We have had a run of very hot and humid weather. Just watering the flowers, as the sun is going down, results in sweat just dripping everywhere on my body. Very, very miserable.

I would not have made it as a pioneer or old settler in the Midwest during the Summer. Those pioneer women who cooked meals, tended gardens, raised children, had babies, and helped their husbands to tame the country in this sweltering heat, were some of the strongest women in the world. I'm not so sure I would have made it.

Tonight was a respite. A short thunderstorm moved through the area. It provided just enough relief to enjoy the veranda by lowering the humidity and temperature.

We had gone out for dinner later than usual because we were mesmerized by the storm clouds. The clouds were so high and so beautiful we couldn't stop looking at them. Many times in the Summer, here in the Midwest, thunderstorms just form. In one hour it can go from totally cloudless to a thunderstorm billowing 50,000 feet into the sky. Then, after the sun goes down, there is nothing but stars in the sky. Last evening was one of those times.

After the storm had passed, we went to get a bite for dinner. It was about eight o'clock and the crowds were starting to thin out. I enjoyed a delicious white sangria before dinner, sitting there, with my sweetie. We each talked about our day and enjoyed being together. You would think, after thirty eight years of marriage we would have grown tired of each other. Quite the contrary.

By the time we left the restaurant, the temperature had dropped a few degrees and the humidity had dropped many percentage points. When we got home the veranda was calling us. I watered the hanging baskets with flowers, the pots of herbs, and the tropicals. Saw a neighbor walking her dog and chatted a bit. It had turned into a comfortable evening.

As the dark set in, I lit a citronella candle and a couple of little tea lights. The veranda had that welcoming, cozy glow. Jim came out with a cigar and asked if I wanted a little one. When he buys cigars, he also gets these little vanilla cigars not much bigger than my pinkie finger, just for me. Once in a while, a little cigar is just the right thing.

We sat there in the flickering light smoking our cigars and listening to George, the resident bull frog. George has been bellowing for a mate all summer. The chirping birds of the day were replaced by the symphony of tree frogs, crickets, cicadas, and George.

The smell of vanilla cigars and citronella candles finished our day. Summer in the Midwest.