Thursday, August 02, 2018

Porch Night With a Side of Nostalgia

When I first started gardening, many, many moons ago, the children were always happy to assist me, and, together, we made numerous garden discoveries, including; the random Praying Mantis, several large toads, a handful of tiny frogs, a Walking Stick, and, once, a pink-bellied salamander that delighted the Man-Cub in ways that I cannot express.

The first time I noticed lady bugs for sale at the local nursery, I decided that a Lady Bug release would be a fun experience to have with the kids, and, thus began a tradition that continued until just a few years back.

The annual bug release is one of the things that I have missed the most since the kids grew up. Last week, however, we hosted Mama Jill’s family for a BBQ Porch Night, and, while they were here, I introduced Tessa’s two-year old son, AJ to the experience; he was a bit hesitant at first, but, once he saw his mom handling the tiny beetles, he was willing to take a go at it, and, he did great!

So, now I have a tiny army of lady beetles, eating aphids and other no-seeums that have been gnawing away on my basil and sweet potatoes (everything else seems to be untouched, including the yellow zucchini and butternut squash, which I liberally doused with Neem oil following the discovery of those damn squash bugs a while back), and, I got to watch how excited AJ got, which, is all the entertainment I require for an evening.

Well, almost.

I was also quite entertained by the company on the porch. It was the first Porch Night that Mama Jill has been able to attend all summer; she is a Wildland Fire Services dispatcher, and, has been quite busy. Her most recent posting was on the Front Range and it lasted for well over a month, during which we kept in touch via text messages and Snapchat, but, that’s not really the same as having her just down the road and available for impromptu bitch sessions on the porch.

Because she knows me so well, on her way home, she stopped by her favorite winery and picked up a bottle of Viognier for me as well as a set of wineglasses and an awesome board to serve cheese on at the next Porch Night, which, means that I now have no choice but to forgive her for her long absence.

Well played, friend. Well played.

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