This is truly porch-sitting weather

Published 5:40 am Thursday, August 17, 2006

By Staff
What wonderful weather!
Cloudless skies. Bright sunshine. Cooler temperatures. Lower humidity. This is truly porch-sitting time.
Last Friday evening we had dinner with friends on Helena Street. I really hate going there! Everything is so perfect! Not a weed in sight. Not a stem or blossom out of place. No flies (God forbid!). The herb garden is graciously tended.
Even the numerous birdhouses are clean as a whistle (there are bird tenants, too) -no bird poop in sight. And the food is always wonderful!
As I was sitting there, drinking in the copacetic ambiance, I relaxed and the lyrics to "What a Wonderful World" came to mind.
No, I didn't break into song (the orchestra was on vacation!) – I sat there with a silly grin on my face, just taking it all in.
For that evening, all seemed right with the world, even though everything was not right.
No guns were firing. We didn't have to duck into a bomb shelter. There was more food served than we possibly could consume. We didn't even talk politics.
Now I feel rather guilty for that indulgence. The (temporary) cease-fire in the Middle East abates my guilt slightly.
At least for a short time the Israeli and Hezbollah soldiers could hear birds singing and cows lowing rather than missiles exploding and mortar fire racketing.
Meanwhile, back on the porch and moving to the backyard – we continue to enjoy the weather, especially in the late afternoon and early evening.
Sitting on the garden bench, chatting, watching the fish and frogs, bantering with the grandchildren, talking about the day's events, is a privilege. And then it all stops! My wife, the leader of the garden patrol, spies a weed!
Horrors! I can feel this happen before the weed does and I grab wine glasses and cheese plates to prevent spills and breakage. Once Naomi has drawn a bead, the errant plant stands no chance of survival.
Up it comes – roots and all. Then the eagle eye surveys the next grid of lawn and garden. More death and destruction follow. I must confess that I have a green thumb. And the rule of that thumb is, "If it's green, let it grow."
We constantly battle over the wandering Jew vine. I like it -the little blue flowers are cute. And the vine is GREEN. Unfortunately, the garden patrol disagrees with me. Up come the roots! More wilting and finally death!
With some coaxing, the garden patrol returns to the bench and sits a spell. Last night I confessed that I purposely plant weed seeds so she will have something to huff and puff about. She didn't like that very much.
During the social hour after church Sunday, the leader of St. Paul's garden committee announced that a garden-friendly tree is being sought for the (cloister) garden.
Several suggestions were made. Out on the sidewalk afterwards, my friend Alan suggested some kind of pear tree (he couldn't even remember the exact name of it!) probably to recreate the unfortunate scene in the Garden of Eden. I suggested that a Hawthorn – thorns and all – would be lovely (what does that say about me?).
Denise, Nancy, and Naomi-also active participants in the tree discussion – commented that we don't have to sit on a porch to have a disagreement (all in good fun) – the church steps will do just fine, thank you very much. Stay tuned to this column – I'm sure you'll learn of the committee's decision.