It’s pleasant right now. The sun is shining, it’s a lovely 72 degrees F., the birds are singing and the sheep aren’t “yelling” at me as I sit on the screen porch to write this post and eat my dinner. I have spent more time dining al fresco in the last six years than I have my entire life prior to then. I blame the Europeans in my life.
It had been my experience up to meeting and getting to know so many people who were from Europe that meals were had indoors at the dining table unless you were at a picnic or camping. Offered the option of dining on the patio at a restaurant? No thank you! I’ll be eating among the civilized folks in the safety of the small indoors. Then we had the winter of 2012-2014. It finally ended last month after having a six month grip on us here in Wisconsin. Inquiries about meals out with friends began with, “…somewhere with a patio would be nice.” Indeed!
When an entire population is forced to spend so much time in the small and narrow indoors for fear of hypothermia and frost bite, the first opportunity to get outside and relax is seized upon with fervor. Such was the situation this spring. We were thrust from freezing temperatures to those in the 80’s and I promised myself that after the long, and seemingly never-ending winter, I would not complain about the heat. And so far I haven’t felt the need or desire to.
And so it seems to go with my friends from Europe. They’re mostly from Sweden (from the Arctic Circle to the southern tip of the country) where long winters are spent drinking* and as soon as the winter shows a hint of turning nice – they head outside. When I was in Croatia – dining happened outside. So then it seemed that Mr. Muse and I caught the al fresco bug and actually started to use our screened porch for spending time outside somewhat safely protected from mosquitoes.
It’s pleasant right now. The birds are singing. A woodpecker is hammering on a fencepost, announcing it’s territory. The sheep are bedded down under a white pine and my dinner is done. I’m enjoying my gin and tonic on the screened porch under the influence of Europeans.
*Never attempt to out-drink a Swede.