Summer is a powerful elixir for most Seattleites. We drink in summer (i.e., July and August) like a tonic that cures the ailments brought on by the previous ten months. We cling to it. We exhaust it. We mourn its loss and revel in its memory.
On one such summer evening, I was enjoying a barbecue with friends in my old neighborhood Green Lake. Hosts John and Beth had assembled us on the front porch of their handsome Victorian for the fine sunset and apparently a little more.
John appointed Becky as our front porch croupier, securing post-its, pens and pocket-change bets. As the sun finally retired to the west side of the Olympics, the show began. John directed all eyes to the chimney across the street. One by one, diminutive creatures squeezed out of a hole in the mortar and took rapid flight in our direction. The crowd cheered, and the counting began. The person coming closest to guessing the number of flying chimney sweeps claims the kitty. The final tally was 21 bats, so my guess of 19 bats was enough to secure the win.
This fall or winter or spring, when the smell of wet wool and damp dogs consumes my truck cab and psyche, and the windows are too fogged up to see if the ferry has docked, loaded or left, I shall revisit the memory of this summer night, a summer night when the winnings exceeded the sum of the wagers. Thank you, John and Beth. (And next summer, same bat time, same bat station?)
Boz assures me, no bats at our house.