Thursday, June 15, 2006

A Perfect St. Louis Year

Right now, our alley is bursting in a colorful show of multiple varieties of day lillies in full bloom. They look like a miniature fireworks display, all at waist level. Drive the alley between Loran and Walsh, Clifton and Hampton for the next couple of weeks to see the show. It's a tribute to the former owners of the place...they did good gardening. We're just the maintenance crew.

To find the lillies, look for the yard with a tiny garage numbered "5864". You'll recognize it as the one that looks more like a Bevo neighborhood smokehouse than a place to park a car. How those early 1930s builders ever thought someone could park a car in the tiny brick building is a mystery. Maybe they always thought of it as more of a garden house. Bring scissors and a copy of this post, and feel free to take a few of the lillies home with you to decorate your place.

One of the neat things about St. Louis is the tradition of decorating houses. St. Louis people are so into decorating their personal space, you can even tell there's a St. Louis family when you're on vacation-they're the ones who start out by decorating their campsites. It's great.

Egg Trees in Spring. Patriotic decorations at the Fourth of July. Halloween and fall harvest displays. And then at Christmas it's a total house and yard decorating extravaganza. Maybe some of the tradition is owing to the tradition of Catholicism in St. Louis. We are very into physical displays of our spiritual identity.

So last nite, while under our Target-issue gazebo and gazing out into the wildlife habitate and lush foliage in the backyard, we thought of the perfect way to usher out the looming dog days of summer and send an early invite to our glorious fall weather. We're going to start our yard decorating rite a month early.

As soon as we pass the peak of summer heat, sometime around August 20, we will decorate the perimiter of the back yard with strings of twinkling white lights. The yard decorations will progress with more seasonal flow toward Christmas. Then, sometime after Thanksgiving, in addition to the decorations on the street-facing side of the house, we will put up multi-colored lighting on the trees and structures facing out to the alley neighbors.

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