Feb 25, 2010

Urban Campfire

Where we live really isn't as bad as you may think. (If you're well-armed. . . ) For the most part, there is little blog-worthy stuff going on, and the cold seems to suppress out-of-doors chicanery. Pepper Dog and I go for nice walks around the neighborhood, and there's a large amount of geese and ducks in the retention ponds for her to menace; she loves to give the fat lazy birds their life-saving exercise.

One lovely thing besides living next door to your two most-favorite people is that my son bought a fire pit for enjoying the cold nights out-of-doors. We've plenty of wood from the pecan trees and other wild growth so stocking a good bonfire in the portable pit is no problem. The pit migrated to our yard for practical reasons, i.e., it's much closer to the hot tub and the liquor cabinet, and shared dinners usually happen at our place. So a crisp night out under the stars happens infrequently, but often enough to make it a ritual of sorts in our back yard.

My son breaks out a pipe, the JR has a cigar, we girls have a nice libation and the talk turns quiet as the fire burns low. Last Sunday it was a mandated crab-and-shrimp boil with elotes and Fat Tire beer. The JR cooked it all up (!) and we ate it all up, but while we were preparing the food I asked my darling DIL if they had any hungry college orphans in their circle of friends that would like to join us. So two more joined our tribe for the night.

It made for a wonderful evening with their friend Jared reading aloud Flannery O'Conner's story about being owned by peacocks. We all agreed that "peabiddy" was a word we should like to work into a conversation as soon as possible. DIL read selections from Wodehouse and I read selections from Velociworld, just to round out the mood. And reading Vman aloud (without blushing? impossible!) to the uninitiated is a real treat; to hear the college kids say, "who IS that?" The quiet one, John sat and listened stoically, and then piped up with the most hilarious, laconic quips that slayed us all. He would then snap silent again with no follow-up or engagement. You can't reproduce that sum effect in writing, it was too perfect!

So living here is a fine representation of the good with the not-so-good. Campfires and gunshots. Quiet streets and long-time residents interrupted by thumping low-riders and shout-outs. Like much of life, we're not meant to be perfectly happy here on earth. But every now and then, if you have a small community of good folks, it's pretty close to Heaven.

It'll do for now.


Doux said...

Rolling out the Landman HeatWave, parking it tight to the flag poles in the front yard ......... beautiful. Don't burn much wood, prefer the pressed paper. Less mess, no tending. Fire it up, three hours later - shows over, good night. Cigars, blended whiskey ahhhh Sometimes extend invitations, sometimes see what the fire attracts. Fire in the front yard never fails to get a neighbor or two out, walkers and folks driving by, stop and say Hey. When you've lived in the same place as long as I have, you know everybody, everybody knows you. The pit was an impulse buy coupla years ago when I visited a Cabelas retail outlet. As of 01/01/2010, fire pits were regulated, relegated to illegal status. Getting a fire - that's how I say it, Hey Bubba, I'm getting a fire tonight, c'mon on over - has been a three year tradition on Christmas Night. So many folks stopped by this past Christmas Night, I was forced to burn two pressed paper logs, went whole hog! Of course the person was there who could not help themselves, broached the fast approaching illegal status of pits. Conversation ender. A hush fell, all eyes were on me, the soon to be felonious sociopath. "Well, ah, um, uh, best bring the TAC Team with 'em plan to put this pit out." ;~)

leeann said...

Envious. That's all I'm gonna say.
No, wait, another thing to say... about time you had a nice environ. :) You were due.

patti said...

That sounds so lovely. And a Pepper Dog to boot :)

The Sanity Inspector said...

Good insights. Life's a checkerboard, with light and dark squares adjacent. Nicely captured moment.

Jean said...

peabiddy...peabiddy. I like it.

I also like the Inspector's "life's a checkerboard..." comment.
Quite right.

Still, you sound content and that is a very nice thing, dear.

dick said...

You're trying to suck the poor soul from his well earned blog vacation, aren't you? :)

Joan of Argghh! said...

Oh yeah, Dick. A slack-a-lanche is just the thing to rouse his blogging spirits. . . all 10 of my readers are sure to make an impact!!

Warren said...

If the cold has suppressed the chicanery, has it had a similar effect on the tomfoolery and the shenanigans?

LauraB said...

DO keep up the V-man elocution evenings! The young could learn so much more from his scribblings than a semester of nonsense.

Glad to know you're doing your part for the hope and change, my friend!