I would love to entertain on my porch more... (translate that any!) I have a cool deck with a wonderful seating area, kind of cluncky table and cheap chairs, lots of clutter, a wonderful chiminea, and absolutely no flair for outside entertaining. But I love to dream.. Most of these pictures come from a little shop called Through The Country Door, which has a online ship and a cute catalog. Just dreaming a little about the days when I was little and my grandparents entertained outside in the evenings. Sure, there were mosquitos, bugs, and chiggers, but it was cooler, they had no air conditioning inside, and the late night frogs were always singing us to sleep. They had a green glider kind of like the one above, and they had metal shell shaped chairs in the grass. My grandfather sat with his yellow billed straw hat with the little green sunglasses slit on the front brim.... and the stories would grow wings. I listened a lot, but always we wish we could do that more when there's no way to hear those stories any more. Haying, black snake stories, who's related to who and how.... just the time of day tales that old men enjoy swapping. Finally my gramma would bring out the prize: a glass of iced Double Cola and a box of Russel Stover chocolates. Around went the box, and woe to me if I chose wrong. Some of those candies were nasty! My favorite was VERY tricky: dark chocolate outside and pink chewy inside.... if I was unlucky, I got caramel, or some kind of hideous orange creme. Bleauh! and no trading, pinching, nibbling, or second chances allowed. Her glasses were tall, large, with pastel polka dots all over. I usually got a little Mary Mary How does your Garden Grow juice glass full of wonderful pop. We didn't have it ever at home... too expensive or just not on my mom's list. She still won't tell me. Sometimes late at night my other grandparents in Excello called us on the phone to come up and have watermelon in the yard. Cousins spit seeds, gathered lady bugs, lightning bugs, and if we were brave, little monkey toed tree frogs. My jars always ended up tipped over and empty. I hated to hurt any of those critters. In the spot of my mind reserved for horror, I remember some cousins from Texas who mutilated the lightning bugs and made rings. I threw a hissy fit as only the princess pea could throw, and my dad had to make me sit by him on the swing for the rest of the night. No tag or midnight croquet for me that night. But a fit I had, and I remember feeling better after I screamed my little lungs out at that group of kids.... I wonder if they ever think of their wild, stomping Missouri cousin? Probably not.