In no small coincidence, I also began the restoration of a patio in the front yard around the same time the likker started showing up on the market shelves, a week or two ago. Originally just a mishmash of flagstones plunked down on the grass, the patio has looked bedraggled for far too many years. It's had good use during that time, however, since I often sit there on pleasant spring/summer/fall days and jaw at the neighbors as they walk by or work in their own front yards. And every once in awhile, my neighbor Julie will join me there for a glass of wine.
Naturally, you can imagine that this behavior might increase now that we have been liberated from the shackles of prohibition. Yes, it has come to this: neighbors sitting around together after the grading is done to commune over an offering of the vine. Even more shocking!--women sitting around in the evening sampling the grape and saying to the menfolk, "Git yer own damn supper."*
That tremble you feel in the earth is the crumbling of our moral foundation.
Julie came over last night to supervise the restoration of what is now being referred to as "the wine patio." Here's a picture:
And here's a picture of her son D, sitting nearby on a boulder in the bicycle arroyo, serenading us with clarinet practice:
Julie, who is a professor from the tribe of History,** has a sister who is a professor in the tribe of Philosophy at a university in Georgia. Her sister recently told Julie that, what with people in the 'hood keeping chickens in their backyards, front yards being converted back to prairie, young children sitting in the middle of arroyos playing musical instruments, and the advent of alcohol in the grocery stores, "Lubbock is the 'new weird'" --a reference, of course, to the long-standing, much-beloved unofficial motto of our capital city, "Keep Austin weird."
D is sporting that very message on his tie-dyed T-shirt, in fact.
Apologies to my neighbors in Austin, but things are a-changing up here in the Hub City--we may be saddling up to give you a run for the money. But that's OK. There's room enough in The Great State for additional weirdness. Witness our state legislature...
While Julie and I were pondering the miracle of this, one of the menfolk came outside with the dogs, asking about that damned supper:
You can see from this that I have a ways to go before the christening of the patio. We'd thought about breaking a bottle of wine over it, but as Julie pointed out, that would involve a mess of glass, so we're going to use boxed wine instead. We may be the new weird, but we're going to be classy about it.
*Actually, to be fair, both of our menfolk routinely share the dinner-making duties.
**I think of my colleagues as neighbors, belonging to tribes in the "village" that is the university, which is in the nation that is The Academy
EDITED: to correct a mistaken musical instrument identity (Thanks, James)