Good morning all:

Wisdom Of The Week:

“Possessions are usually diminished by possession.” — Friedrich Nietzsche

Even with the A/C cranking away I woke up hot after going to bed after midnight and then sleeping for barely five hours. Yes, we’re experiencing our normal hot, sticky, muggy mid-August weather pattern, and this should not occur during the month of June. The better news is that for the first time in memory I am in no hurry for my morning coffee. This is because I still taste the BenRiach single cask strength Scotch Whisky from last night—it’s the new love in my life. More on that a bit later.

This week it’s been ‘people appreciation’ week. All the highlight events of the week have revolved around people. I guess that is how it should be.

A couple of days ago little brother Art, sis-in-law Jolene, and their brood of three spent the day with us. In the state for a wedding, and having come across from Murrieta California, they felt it was just too opportune not to make time for a visit.

Talking some time back he and I agreed it was a wonderful time for all the cousins to also re-acquaint and therefore this quickly turned into a deck party/dinner for eighteen. Marcia swung into high gear by creating what seemed like a small van load of Shish Kebabs. I managed to load the grill up a few times over. Hint, for desert there are few things which will beat grilled pineapple drizzled with Canadian Maple Syrup.

Their two oldest are studying on Track and Field scholarships and had to get their runs in. The site of choice was our nearby Spring Grove cemetery. Aside from being the nation’s second largest cemetery it is also a leading world-class arboretum. Rolling hills, lakes and small forests all interconnected by miles of paved paths circling around and about made for the perfect place to put in their miles.

It is amazing what kids spot. They, of course, managed a visit by the graveside of my parents, their grandparents. More importantly they took note of special statues put up in honor of differing groups; babies who died shortly after birth, Civil War casualties and veterans, even a small special cove with a statute of thanks for those who gave their bodies to medical science.

By the end of the evening little Vai was absolutely over stimulated with all the attention she received. Right before they left I saw daddy Tevita holding her and laughing away. Here was Vai, sounding like a Gatling gun; “da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da”—breath— “da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da”, and over, and over. I think she must have slept well.

Last night was our neighborhood progressive “Pub Crawl”. House #1 was a beer tasting with a focus on locally produced beers, hot dogs, and about 20 toppings. My favorite was the grilled hot peppers. House #2 was Sangria on the front porch. Marcia took note that even the evening breezes didn’t slow down my ability to sweat profusely. House #3 was a back-yard event complete with pumping salsa music. Of course the drink of choice was the Mojito complete with a live mint plant with leaves for the picking.

Then came house #4, a poolside Scotch whisky tasting. While bag-pipe music was playing, our hosts, dressed in their respective clan kilts, led us through a discussion of five differing whiskies; two blends and three single malts cask strength varieties.

I have always loved a Glenlivit served “neat”. However, last night I was introduced to a new world. First was a very light, almost cooling, 12 year old The Balvenie Doublewood, which I think great for summertime. But then! Then I was introduced to a 1994 BenRiach. As a child I have some very vague memories of my early days in the Netherlands when, on occasion, our living room stove would be fired by peat that had been carved from some local bogs rather than the normal shovel of coal. Fresh peat has a very distinct smell. This drink immediately transported me back to those days with the smell of that fresh peat and the taste of licorice and spices. It was stunning. It was wonderful!

I love my Scotch

Couple all of this surrounded by neighbors and friends and you have one of those “seldom” type of evenings.

Make it a great week-end, especially you fathers. Then make the rest of the week equally great. And Nick—please don’t go camping, comprende?



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