Monday, April 04, 2011

Front porches and a bit of trivia

Brrrr! It was cold in North Texas this morning. We've been spoiled by days in the upper 80s, after a real cold spell. Last night guests and I ate on the porch and enjoyed the balmy temperatures. Gale-force winds (well, almost) were blowing but the porch is open to a breeze but sheltered from the strong winds by the house next door. I love the openness of the porch, the chance to stare at all the old trees that line my street, and the opportunity to exchange greetings with neighbors.
When I was a kid on the South Side of Chicago we had a screened-in porch. It was wooden, an obvious addition to the house, in contrast to my concrete-and-brick porch that was clearly built as part of the house. But we lived on that screened-in porch all summer--ate three meals a day there (as I recall on a card table--fancy we weren't). On hot nights, Mom and I slept out there, she on the porch swing and me on a cot. She had  rigged a waist-high curtain so that no one would know I was sleeping practically on the sidewalk, and I was always cautioned not to talk when we heard people go by. After all this was Hyde Park on the South Side--in the 1950s a changing neighborhood. My aunt who lived two doors down had her purse snatched as she got out of the car one night--laugh was the robber got her Bible. She always said she hoped he read it. But caution was warranted, and we were cautious. That's another nice thing about my porch here in Fort Worth--I feel safe openly entertaining guests and eating out there. No, I'm not about to sleep there, but I have fond memories of those hot sticky nights in Chicago (before a/c) when we took advantage of every breeze.
Milestone day: I got a check from Amazon for sales of the books I've posted. Not a big check, mind you--it might buy me a fancier lunch than I usually get but that's all. But still it was a nice surprise and spurs me on to pursue the rights to some of the rest of my novels so I can post them. They say the more books you have on Amazon and Smashwords, the more your sales increase. And "they" say you make more money selling a novel at 99 cents than at $2.99, though I haven't yet figured out how to get Kindle to accept that lower price.
And an adventure I'm proud of: I went to the Star Cafe tonight, by myself, to a political fund-raiser. I don't much like to drive to the North Side alone, and I sure don't like to go to cocktail parties where I don't know anybody. But I wanted to support Betty and Don who were giving this fund-raiser, so I geared myself up, went, found people I knew, had some wine, and talked politics--came away with new knowledge and a new idea about who to vote for as mayor. Former mayor Ken Barr was there, and he seconded Jim Lane's words that the city doesn't need a mayor who needs "on-the-job training." A bonus: I came home with dinner rolls and tenderloin in my purse. So I feel good that I supported Betty and Don, I stretched the edges of my circle, and I had a good dinner. Win, win!

No comments: