Oh and please! Forgive me, but tell me what is the deal with all these screened in porches and faraway gazebos? I’m ever the romantic, have watched The Sound of Music hundreds of times, even sung the songs softly with my son (who was embarassingly loud) while in Salzburg. But I just don’t see the appeal of the gazebo placed a half mile away from the house. No air-conditioning there, no screened in windows to protect from the vicious mosquitos who torture all who venture out of air-conditioned doors. So what’s the deal? I stare at them in wonder, reminded of discarded Greek ruins that riddle the landscape with a sad feeling of a lost glory. Is it the jilted prom queen in every American woman who so yearns for these gazebos that it is the first thing she demands of her unwary husband, immediately after the Hawaii honeymoon? Little does he know. It’s serenades and unending devotion she is really asking for. She’s lost in a Gone with the Wind technocolor movie, the belle Scarlett dancing her toes away, while he is already rehearsing for that final line, “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.” But the gazebos still stand.
Next up on the request list is the screened-in porch. The one that a certain generation remembers as the fun place to be, since that’s where the children were sent to eat when the crowd became too large at the dinner table. But once again, as children, they no doubt lacked the extra bulge or two of fat that makes eating in any type of heat a most unpleasant experience, for I have yet to see these porches, screened-in or otherwise, blessed with the presence of any adult life form. Admittedly, winter cold and wind make half the year impossible while summer heat waves and humidity dash the best of intentions. Are all we Americans chasing a lost past while inventing a newer future, too different to recreate anything like the past we both seek and flee? Questions, questions. Never answers.