When I was a kid, living on the island of Okinawa with my family, and a typhoon was heading our way we would have to spend several days and nights inside our small house and ride out the storm.
At the time I had five brothers and sisters. Ever spend several days and nights inside a small house with five brothers and sisters riding out a typhoon?
In those days there was only one English speaking TV station on the island. It was an Armed Forces TV station and normally came on at 3 p.m. and went off at 10:30 p.m. On Friday and Saturday night the station would broadcast until midnight.
In addition to the Armed Forces TV station, we could occasionally get a Japanese TV station that pretty much aired Sumo wrestling all day long.
It was basically the NFL Network but instead of large men in football equipment, it featured large men in diapers.
So, lets review. Stuck inside a small house with my five brothers and sisters, riding out a typhoon with nothing to watch but an Armed Forces TV station and a Sumo wrestling station. And I was too young to drink beer!
I still have nightmares.
Things could always be worse, I guess is what I’m saying.
It’s late Wednesday afternoon and, as I was on Tuesday, I’m sitting outside on our three-season porch, listening to Jimmy Buffett’s radio station and typing this column.
I really don’t think I need to refer to our porch as a three-season porch, by the way. My wife calls it a three-season porch and says I should do the same. When we first bought our house the porch was a “screened-in porch”. But we redid it and put in windows so my wife told me I should call it a three-season porch.
Me: Why can’t I just call it a porch?
Me: I see.
If I had to guess, I would say the three seasons our three-season porch encompasses would be: Baseball. Football and early basketball.
But that’s just my guess.
My wife is spending most of the afternoon doing work-related stuff and our 22-year-old daughter Emma is up in her room doing school and internship-related work.
Our afternoons tend to be sort of quiet. The three of us don’t purposely avoid each other it’s just we have different ways to occupy our time. My wife and Emma have important stuff to do and I have…well, I’m sure I have something to do…I’m just not sure what it is.
I probably should start trying to figure that out.
In a couple of hours, things will pick up here. Sometime after 5 p.m. the three of us will take our dog Caicos for a walk. I think we take Caicos on a walk more for our sakes than for Caicos’. Lately, I’m starting to get the idea that Caicos is getting tired of our walks. We tend to take longer walks than Caicos is used to so, about halfway through, she begins to drag her four feet.
The only thing that keeps Caicos going is the promise of dog treats when we get home.
The walks are nice. My wife talks about work while Emma and I ignore her. Sometimes Emma and I make fun of my wife on our walks.
But that’s okay. My wife doesn’t mind when Emma and I make fun of her.
As far as we know.
Shortly after 6 p.m., when we come back from our walk, I give Caicos her treats, then I open a bottle of wine and pour three glasses. My wife, Emma and I then take our wine onto the three-season porch. Sometimes we talk. Sometimes we read. Sometimes we just sit there and sip our wine.
Then about 7 p.m. Emma and I start dinner while my wife does some work-related stuff, watches CNN and worries.
While Emma and I cook we make fun of my wife.
“What’s it like to sip wine and cook with your daughter?” some of you are asking.
To some of you asking that I say, “It’s neat, is what it is.”
After dinner, my wife and Emma will stream some movie they will love and I will hate. And I will go into the other room and either read, or maybe check out ESPN.
But if I do, they better not be airing Sumo wrestling.