high-minded drivel

high-minded (adjective) - refined; cultured; particularly civilized. drivel (noun) - senseless talk; nonsense.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

For best results, read while sitting outside in the evening

Have you hosta?
Tonight's post is brought to you from the front porch of the house, where I'm sitting out in the cool of the evening with a light rain coming down on the multitude of hostas planted alongside our house.  Some of the hostas have pointy leaves, some have rounder leaves, and some have leaves with a whitish border around the green interior.  Being shade-loving plants, the hostas are really "in their element" on the side of the house, where they get a limited amount of sun but a full dose of any rain that falls, as they are now.  I pronounce the word "hosta" with the h-sound, much like I pronounce the word "huge" with the h-sound.  Some folks like to pronounce the word "huge" like "yuge," leaving off the h.  I expect these same people pronounce the word "hosta" like "ahsta."  Although I am definitely not a proponent of leaving off the h-sound in any word, I would take it as a compliment if someone came by the house and said "Boy, those are some yuge ahstas you 'ave there!"

As I was discussing with Jen recently, sitting out on the porch is one of the simple pleasures in life.  Porches are for bare feet, and cups of coffee or tea, perhaps a book, and watching critters when the opportunity arises.  Much like the hostas on the side of the house, I feel like I'm in my element on the porch.  It's a place to read, write, and think, not to mention go about in bare feet, drink coffee, and watch critters.  I feel I excel at doing all of these things.

My affinity for sitting out on the porch can probably be traced to my middle school and high school years.  When we moved to our last house in East Liverpool, Nate and I helped Dad build a porch on the house (our help mostly consisted of drilling pilot holes for screws).  It was technically off the back of the house, although our house was bordered by perpendicular streets, so you could see the road from the back.  There were shrubberies around the porch that Mom had planted, and as we'd sit out on the porch in the evening we'd say hello to people walking the neighborhood, who would sometimes comment on how nice the shrubberies looked.  Much coffee was consumed.

There wasn't a rail around our porch, just some vertical sections of lattice on both ends, so you could exit the porch from any of the three sides not butted up against the house.  There were stairs on one side, but it was a low porch, so it was easy to hop off one of the other sides.  If you were being respectful of Mom's shrubbery beds, you would leap off the porch over the shrubbery beds rather than merely hopping down into them when exiting the porch from one of the non-stair sides.  One morning I came out onto the porch with the intent of getting the morning mail from our mailbox across the street.  The most direct path from the porch to the mailbox was through/over one of the shrubbery beds, so with a yawn and a stretch I took two swift steps before gathering myself and leaping over the shrubbery bed.  I can recall the moment today, slow-motion style, of my eyes widening slightly mid-air as they fell upon the fresh rabbit carcass, intestines strewn along the ground, that was directly in line with my trajectory.  A garbled "Geeyah!" was emitted as I adjusted my landing to avoid the rabbit and, without really looking, proceeded across the street to get the mail.  The return journey naturally led to the other side of the porch and up the stairs, because you didn't typically jump back onto the porch the way you had exited, rabbit or no rabbit.  Back on the porch, I took a closer look at the grisly spectacle.  Clearly a hawk had done the dirty work, and had not been so kind as to clean up the mess.  A shovel and 15 minutes took care of the nastiness instead, and despite his untimely death, the rabbit was given some dignity in burial, laid to rest/decompose beneath the shrubbery bed.

A cup of coffee, some shrubberies round about, and a
gentle breeze is all you need
A porch experience can be enhanced by the presence of a wind chime.  A finely crafted wind chime both looks good and sounds good.  It is an interesting porch element in that it provides both a visual and an auditory "decoration."  A wide variety of wind chime sounds are available, and personally, I find almost all of them pleasing.  A wind chime can sound woody, tinny, tinkly, or many other "ees" depending on the material used.  I suppose they could even sound boney if, for example, you are a porch-sitting, coffee-drinking hawk that likes crafting wind chimes from the bones of vanquished rabbits.   A porch-sitting hawk would listen to the sound of its rabbit bone wind chime very intellectually, not just sitting back and enjoying the sound, but rather admiring the quality of the tone and craftsmanship.

To call something a deck seems to imply expansiveness or even grandeur, and to call something a stoop seems to imply a confined space that really isn't all that comfortable or relaxing.  A porch can be very nice, yet still inviting.  A porch that is worn in is a good thing.  A porch is a place you can be at peace for a time because it is a place that prompts pause.  It is a place to slow down.  Interestingly, it is a place where cloudy conditions are welcome, because they are often paralleled by clarity of mind.

1 comment:

  1. You wrote this whole post without a "hosta la vista" joke???