An August Evening

by John C. Westervelt

After seemingly endless days that have stayed hot well into the night, a cool one has finally come along. After finishing my supper, I decide to go outside to pull weeds from the iris bed.

As dusk begins to fill the sky, I stop my work and sit sideways on the bench beside the redwood picnic table on the patio. I push my back up against the brick wall seeking its warmth. The cool air feels good; still I cross my arms and clasped them with my hands to warm myself.

My relaxed mind stirs memories of summers past. Eleven years ago this month I became a widower. My memories this evening are about earlier times.

On almost every summer night, after the children were grown, Nelda and I would move to the patio lounge chairs after supper with coffee, dessert, and the newspaper. Soon after this became a habit, I built a small redwood bench to hold my coffee and dessert, while Nelda used the bench on which I am sitting tonight.

Nelda and I would exchange sections of the newspaper until the light of dusk dimmed. I donít remember much conversation, just a quiet sharing of spirits. Throughout the year there were activities, such as Little Theatre, that were billed as entertainment. I was never better entertained than I was on those summer evenings with the paper, coffee, dessert, and a companion.

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