Evening on the veranda


THIS EVENING I sat atop a rocker just after sunset, alone, inhaling the night air, something I did more often years ago before they invented Netflix and the internet.

This photo was shot 14 years ago, but it hasn’t changed to any appreciable degree.

It was fairly quiet, and there was a slight breeze which excited a couple of the wind chimes, so I had musical accompaniment, a fine thing especially when it’s soft.

It was the hour of bats, but I saw none. Maybe I had sat too late, or maybe it’s just not that time of year. I lose track, as I lose track of lots of things.

It’s a good place to sit at all hours, but especially evenings or nights. If there are bats heading out for their nocturnal meal, that’s just gravy for me or a dessert of sorts.

I should do this more often. That’s what I said to myself.

I hope I remember.

19 thoughts on “Evening on the veranda

  1. Ahhh, the joy of being able to just enjoy life. I don’t understand why some people choose to be so tightly strung.


    1. Kris: I don’t think people choose to be tightly strung so much as life simply happens. You can choose, however, to retire earlier, but even that can be a challenge, or impossible if you want to stay above the Rio Bravo.

      But I don’t like the word retirement. It conjures up images of old people dozing on park benches. Just stop working for pay. There, that’s nicer.


      1. I agree to a point, I guess that I don’t see life as a competition. That’s the hole that people sometimes fall into, more, more, more. I wanted enough to get out of that life, and it doesn’t take as much as most people think. We have much more than we need, and live very well.
        The view of life from someone who paid the bills monthly in person while living in Mexico, because I found it entertaining.

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    1. Ray: I should do more of it. I think I will. I’m usually alone at that hour because my wife is at the gym till a bit later, or just downtown jawing with her sister or holding babies, or something like that. It all provides free time for me.


  2. I grew up in a city that was pejoratively known as God’s waiting room and the city of green benches also known as St. Petersburg, Florida. I even played shuffleboard and went fishing with the old folks. I’ve always had a positive connotation for the word retirement. I enjoyed hearing them talk about their life experiences. They were all born in the late 1800s.


    1. Andrés: My grandparents were born in the late 1800s, so you must have had those buddies when you were a little bitty boy. But as for me, I remain at odds with the “retirement” word. Maybe it’s because I am in it.


    1. Peggy: It’s even better when you’re actually sitting there. I think I may try to make that shot again. The original was done with a dinky camera sitting on a tripod. I used no flash, just the two overhead lights. It turned out well. My current camera is far better. I’d just have to pay attention to being out there at the right moment.


  3. Retirement or being set free of the obligation to show your face at specified hours of the day. I prefer the latter. And sitting close to a bat roost in the evenings on our screened porch at our Canadian cottage opened a whole new interest for me. Bats are so unappreciated by the majority.

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    1. Carole: I too am a bat man, and have been since long before I moved to Mexico. We’ve touched on this issue before. I once installed a professionally made bat roost on the side of a tree in my backyard in Houston. The bats paid me no mind whatsoever. Not one bat ever moved in. Here, however, bats are quite fond of the roof tiles in our veranda. It required no effort on my part whatsoever! Sometimes you just have to let nature take its own course.


      1. The two or three that got into the house gave us practice in catching and releasing. We also had some intrusions in Belize. One was the tiniest (microbat?) I had encountered. Pretty neat.


  4. I like the word retired over unemployed but I agree that it does conjure up a bunch of old deaf people playing shuffleboard. Life has certainly sped up since the 60-70s. There are more distractions and time wasters than ever. When we lived in the bush trying to homestead (22 years) we had lots of free time to just sit around, enjoy looking at trees, the garden and wildlife. The rabbit ears picked up only two channels and sometimes a snowy third. No internet, no video games, no restaurants and not a lot of money but we were happy. Never bored. Now that we’re in the city we have to be more careful about getting caught in the ‘web’ as I call it. There are so many more ways to spend (waste) one’s time and I value free time highly. After all, it’s all we’ve got and as I age it just seems to go by faster.
    Enjoy your quiet time.


    1. Brent: You sound like an old hippie! No matter. As for preferring retired to unemployed, the latter implies you’re looking for work and haven’t found it yet. Retired is just retired. Perhaps a good neutral term would be deadbeat. Yeah, that’s it. I’m a deadbeat.

      We can be deadbeats together. Or maybe vagabonds. Even better.


      1. I like vagabonds rather than deadbeats which implies we’re lazy when in fact we’re just redirecting our energies to loftier goals. And I guess we did fall into that hippie category for a while. I had long hair and grew pot which incidentally didn’t lead to harder drugs (gateway theory) but led instead to gardening! Today the hair’s almost gone, and I don’t need to grow pot anymore. If I need any I can buy some just about anywhere or get it delivered if I feel especially lazy. Have a great day, fellow vagabond.


        1. Brent: Puffing pot is far more likely to lead to gardening than it is to harder drugs. I haven’t puffed any pot since 1998, just once because I was in the same room with it in Oakland, California, and before that, it was decades. I’d like to get some delivered here, but that’s not likely. Oh, well. Have a good day yourself.


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