Saturday, August 22, 2009

Front porch delights, Part 62

This morning, I almost ruined the front porch.

As per usual, around sunrise I was enjoying the first cup of coffee as the sun began to warm us up. The early light bathed over the treetops first and then washed down to the people on the ground. Thanks.

Delicious stillness. Always. Thanks again.

Gradually, the critters come to life. Birds want attention first. Some singing, some tap-tapping the bark for bugs. A new pair of wrens park sideways on the way up the maple.

Relaxing made easy.

That’s when my genius bulb went dim. What a perfect place, I thought, to pay bills.

Wrong. No sooner had I written a couple of checks than I realized something was really out of synch. It was like smoking grapevine out behind the barn – I was doing something wrong in a very pretty place.

The front porch is our sanctuary. Here, we can escape from the daily duties and sorting pills. So I packed everything – bills, stamps, calculator, etc – back into the house. The Mystery Woman said she would teach me how to pay bills on-line.

Fortunately, the older we get, the fewer bills we have.

Where was I? Oh yes, one more cup of coffee and back to the porch.

The wrens might miss me.


The South Plainsman said...

Do you have an extra bedroom? I might come join you next summer.

That porch sounds like a place I would really like.

The company, too.

Ken Martin said...

Sounds absolutely lovely, George, as we back in Austin face yet another 100-degree or hotter day.

The lakes are drying up. Barton Springs flow is down to 15 cubic feet per second, approaching the all-time low flow of 9 CFS in the drought of record in 1956, and the endangered Barton Springs salamanders are dying off.

Severe water restrictions start Monday so we can water once a week before 10am or after 7pm.

Restaurants must serve water only when asked. Usually the weather begins to cool off after Labor Day, but this year, who knows.

Enjoy what you have, but I don't need to tell you that, now do I?

The South Plainsman said...

Ken, I lived in Austin a total of 19 years, and was down there a couple of weeks ago. It was terrible.

I also remember 1956. It really seems worse now than then, but at my age memories often grow dim.

I also remember that year Texas only won one game (by i point!). I am looking for 14-0 this season.

And also praying for rain.

Anonymous said...

When I was teaching, I used to ruin Sunday nights by doing the same thing (bill paying). Learned to do that on Friday so the whole weekend was an escape up to the last minute.

Ken Martin said...

South Plainsman, recall that in 1956 that few homes had air conditioning. We had a couple of swamp coolers, that trickled water through a mat, and had big drum fans to blow the moist air into the home. Far better than nothing, of course, but certainly not the precise, temperature-controlled heating we have these days.

The South Plainsman said...

I remember the evaporative coolers that wouldn't really work in Austin very well.

Until 1951, we lived in a house on the cliffs above Shoal Creek between 24th and 29th Streets, and I slept on a screened in porch on the second floor during warm weather because we had no air conditioning at all except a window unit in my parent's bedroom.

How sweet the occasional breezes were on hot nights.

I was in West Texas in 1956 and came back to Austin in 1957.

I think at that age the heat didn't bother so much as it does now. We were more used to it.

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