"Summer Evenings"



Our day is filled with heat at this time of year. It commands our attention and makes our work harder. As we toil, we daydream not about love or success, but things as mundane as shade and a cool drink.

But though the oppressive heat weighs on our brains and taxes our bodies, it is the price we pay for being allowed to spend time outdoors … and it has its one singular consolation: our summer evenings.

When the sun goes down in summer, it’s romantic enough to hug a cactus.

The recipe is simple; keep the earth warm, but just bring out the stars and a soft breeze that cools the skin. Mix this with a fulmination of little night varmint sounds of peeping and chirping and croaking. And guitars. Whether we play them ourselves or just turn on the radio, it is a setting that is perfect for guitars. Villalobos, Fernando Sor, Tarrega, Randy Travis, Doc Watson, Steve Cormier.

We sit in brick-paved patios with something cool and someone sweet and relax and talk about dreams, because on evenings like this, anything is possible. On nights like this, it’s difficult to decide whether remembering evenings like this in the past is better than anticipating those to come. All we really know is that it sure is nice to be here right now.

Tonight I’m going to see if I can remember all the words to “Little Joe the Wrangler” and find out if my guitar is still in tune.

 

Brought to you by The Backpocket Guide to Hunting Elk, by Slim Randles. Check it out at www.amazon.com.



 

Newspaper columnist Slim Randles, who writes the weekly Home Country column, took home two New Mexico Book Awards in 2011. His advice book for young people, “A Cowboy’s Guide to Growing Up Right,” took first place in the self-help category, and “Sweetgrass Mornings” won in the biography/memoirs category. Randles lives and works in Albuquerque. Home Country reaches 3 million hometown newspaper readers each week

Slim Randles learned mule packing from Gene Burkhart and Slim Nivens. He learned mustanging and wild burro catching from Hap Pierce. He learned horse shoeing from Rocky Earick. He learned horse training from Dick Johnson and Joe Cabral. He learned humility from the mules of the eastern High Sierra. Randles lives in Albuquerque.

Randles has written newspaper stories, magazine articles and book, both fiction and nonfiction. His column appeared in New Mexico Magazine for many years and was a popular columnist for the Anchorage Daily News and the Albuquerque Journal, and now writes a nationally syndicated column, “Home Country,” which appears in several hundred newspapers across the country.

 

  Huntington Beach News


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