home: evening idyll

On a personal level encroaching global warming has been a terrific boon, unveiling my perpetually overcast, fogbound hometown.  In days of yore you could usually rely on nice-ish weather in the fall, with a few weeks of non-consecutive pleasantness strewn haphazardly across the rest of the calendar.  All else was gray.  Sure, a five minute drive inland would deliver you to the land of eternal sunshine, but that was small consolation to my car-free younger self.

It is so improved fog has become a novelty, like a white tiger.  The pervasive overcast has nearly inverted, from a reliable 9-10 months a year to maybe one or two...although in the five years since moving back we've had only one prolonged stretch of cloud cover.

But even by vastly upgraded modern standards Monday night was perfection, a Vermeer of a summer evening.

Having returned from work and sampled the back yard there was nothing to do except mix up a large margarita, lug the BBQ out into the garden & fire it up.  Another measure of how far & fast Fuss has come- last grilling season igniting the Weber necessitated standing vigilant guard, Fuss' muscular obsession with open flame perpetually threatening to piledrive pencil-necked caution into the canvas.  Now there is equilibrium, the fascination tinged with proper respect.  Result: he contented himself with throwing bits of hardwood charcoal at the lit chimney from a safe distance while I relaxed with my drink, able to keep just one eye on him instead of both, along with all my other organs & limbs.
"Hey Dada!" he called, observing the coals, "little wrinkles of fire are coming out!"
And when the wind shifted the smoke column, he raced to the other side, informing me "I ran right by before the smoke could change its mind!"

I grilled bratwurst & two baguettes and we dined at our little metal folding table.  Fuss eschewed the sausages but consumed bread with gusto, pausing only to drop crumbs onto a carpet of ants revealed by the Wife's earlier weeding.

"Dada, I'm sharing my bread with the ants.  I'm sharing it with them for the winter."

After, it became so still that when a Loon flew overhead we all heard the distinct WHOOSH....WHOOOSH....WHOOSH of its wings like it had flown past at head level rather than several yards above the treetops.  One of those nights when the surf sounds like its breaking a few streets over.

I like it better when these things sneak up on you.  Planning a BBQ during a patch of nice weather is fun, but the planning leeches away some of the wonder of being compelled to the grill by an atmospheric miracle.

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