A frequently asked question:
4. Why "The Cigar Bar" and "Les Jardins de HIH II"?
Well, with smoking cigars in public places so politically incorrect these days, there has to be a place for those who, like me, enjoy a good (and sometimes, very good) cigar accompanied by an appropriate adult beverage. In addition, this is a place where, hopefully, no one else will be bothered by cigar smoke. Hence, I named the back porch "The Cigar Bar."
However, as with most in life and as mentioned in FAQ #3, there's also a story here!
The truth be told, I would never
smoke a cigar inside HIH II! Cigar smoke (more so, I think, than cigarette
and pipe smoke) "clings" to ceilings and walls as well as furniture fabric and
clothing. Just as those who rail against the smoking of cigars in public
(and also in private) places, I don't want cigar smoke in HIH II bothering me.
So, I will only smoke a cigar out back on The Cigar Bar and only during those seasons
of the year when a good smoke can be enjoyed leisurely. For the most part, I
also will only smoke a cigar during those hours when neighbors aren't at home.
Given my teaching schedule, the most perfect time to enjoy a good smoke is while
reading a good book in the afternoon regaling in the splendor of the cigar bar.
I originally wanted to call the
back porch "Le Cigare Volant," to recall of one of my favorite television
series, Frasier (although I would observe that, as the series and its
characters continued along their merry way and beginning somewhere around the seventh season,
Frasier became increasingly less
humorous and its characters increasingly immoral). Le Cigare Volant
was the favorite restaurant of Frasier and his brother, Niles, where a
reservation for 8:00 p.m. was considered the highest of haut culture in
Seattle. (Hence the episode, aired during the show's first season, was
entitled "Dinner at Eight.")
The subtle joke in all of this is that the phrase "le cigare volant" is a French idiomatic expression denoting "the flying cigar" and connoting a "UFO." That is not what I want to communicate about the back porch. So, I named it simply and, hopefully, aptly, "The Cigar Bar."
As for those "Les Jardins de
HIH II," I spend a goodly amount of time tending to the flora around the
townhouse. The hydrangeas, crepe myrtles, and day lilies are getting
increasingly spectacular each year! I've also been developing a hybrid day
lily, red with yellow, that I hope to interspersed over time with the regular,
yellow day lilies. Pardon the sin of pride, but I do believe the flora is
The hydrangeas adorning The crepe myrtles My efforts at hybrid
the west wall of HIH II that I have been nurturing day lilies
I've traveled to Burtchart Gardens in Victoria, Vancouver Island, Canada, with some good friends, Dr. and Mrs. Stone M. Hallquist of Tulsa, OK. While Les Jardins de HIH II pale in comparison with Burtchart Gardens, I do enjoy watching the flora unfold more spectacularly each year, especially while smoking a good (and sometimes very good) cigar as God's natural law allows all of this to unfold at HIH II. And, best of all, those hydrangeas aren't anything special. My secret? They're leftovers from church after Easter Sunday...the janitor was going toss them into the garbage! All it takes is a little feces (fish emulsion works wonders), water, and aluminum phosphate. And the ground cover, yellow Archangel lamium, is nothing more than several sprigs that a parishioner gave me a few years back and have grown like weeds. I just planted the original plugs and, each spring, the lamium sprouts beautiful little flowers; the lamium has now filled in the bedding on the front and side of HIH II.