As I write this, I’m sitting on my deck at a table with my husband. Train’s “Hey, Soul Sister” is on Pandora,” and I’ve given it a thumbs up. Pandora is still learning me, and maybe I led her astray when I added Floyd Cramer. Once in a while, his melodious piano playing soothes, but it’s a sunny Saturday, I live in suburbia, and we need something to drown out the sound of weed whackers. It allows us to pretend we’re the only ones here.
The neighbor dogs must be in because I don’t hear them. They bark shrilly if they see us sitting on our deck. Sometimes, if I say, “Hush Hoppy, hush Snowball, they will quiet down -- at least until Smitty Kitty appears. He likes to enrage the yip yaps by sitting at the corner of the yard, just inside our fence in their full view. Slowly, he’ll groom, washing ears and face, tail swishing in rhythm with their canine protests.
It’s a rare August day in the Blue Ridge Mountains – low humidity, a light breeze, sky as blue as the ridge line that surrounds my house. This is good tomato growing weather, and the garden has been bountiful. From inside my house, the scent of my fresh picked San Marzano tomatoes drying slowly in a low oven wafts out. It’s sweet and savory at the same time. I will pack them in extra virgin olive oil for future salads and pizzas. I’ve already put up a jar to take to my dear friend, Carol, tomorrow. These, now drying, I will keep.
Later today, we’ll fill the air with the scent of steak teriyaki, grilled to perfection on a bright blue Weber. Sauté the fresh wild mushroom mix we bought at this morning’s farmer’s market, roast corn shared from a co-worker’s garden. Simple pleasures – we want what we have.