Posts Tagged ‘contentment’

My Blue Heaven, Pt. 2

June 16, 2014

I am not a handy person. I’m more of an idea man.


But after four years, it was time.


Time to claim my yard and create my own personal Blue Heaven.


I have always loved sitting out back, usually on the top step of the porch.


But. I rarely went down the steps into the yard.


It’s uneven, ugly—grass won’t grow in parts, and the patio area was too small for much of anything beyond a chair.


A. Chair.



So I planned. I planned a budget, and a strategy.


I raked and dug and broke the earth with my bare hands. I broke rocks until my arms were sore, my back ached and my hands bled.


I shoveled and leveled and laid each piece of the patio down, one tile at a time.





I built, I assembled.




And then, I finished.




Sure, there are tweaks to be made, plants to be planted, a grill to assemble still, but by and large, it’s finished.


And as I sit out here, in my own private bar patio, coffee house, living room and office—My Blue Heaven—writing this rather bland post about Doing It Myself, I feel proud of what I made.


I am content with where I am—A satisfied man.


My Blue Heaven, Pt. 1

June 11, 2014

I acknowledge the fact that I’ve written very little as of late.


This is for two primary reasons:


I’m in the process of curating and revising a book of short stories, essays and poems for a Fall 2014 release. This takes time not to write, but to review what I’ve already done, to coordinate with my editor and designer…




The main reason, is my reaction to the most current mental funk, manual labor.


I’ve lived here for four years now. Every nice day I spend the majority of it out back, sitting on my porch, top step.


I write, drink, and play out there. I watch my dogs at their happiest.


But I never leave that porch, save to take the trash out to the alley.


So I decided to fix that.


I love my backyard. It has no trees, but the neighbors do, and that gives me shade, and my dogs room to run and romp and play.


So this month has been spent digging, raking, tilling, laying down patio and assembling things.


I’m not finished, but I’ve done enough now to sit out here on a couch, typing this blog as Daisy chases lightning bugs and Deuces sits next to me for the ear scritches.


Stay tuned. You know I like to share.



Fondly: Lightning, Bourbon and Neko Case.

July 24, 2010


I sat on the back porch and watched the lightning strobe behind clouds off in the distance. It was silent, save for the sad crooning of Neko Case floating out through the kitchen door. Yes, I was indeed air conditioning the neighborhood. I could, in fact, feel the occasional waft of cool air pulse out with the music, as if someone had opened the freezer as I walked past.

I took a drink, lit a cigarette and looked around. The lightning was everywhere—it surrounded me, illuminating the clouds for a brief moment before fading out. I had never seen this much lightning over the city.

There was no thunder.

No breeze picking up—just lightning, bourbon and Neko Case. I was supposed to be on my way to my favorite bar, where everybody knew my name, and all my friends would be drinking, smoking and having a ball. I was already dressed for it, but there was no hurry. I took a drink and wondered if this was heat lightning.

I looked to his right, where my dog lay. I gave him a scritch behind the ear and shared a moment of contentment.

When I was younger, I once sat silently in a parking lot with my best friends in the world, watching heat lightning explode over a cornfield in Iowa. There was neither wind nor thunder then either.

The heavens never cried—they merely shined.

All around me, the lightning pulsed through the sky like electric veins.

Then, in the distance, thunder rolled low and heavy like a bowling ball headed for a strike as the wind began to pick up.

Rain would follow soon.