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Tommy Druen: My wife is a genius

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By Tommy Druen

My wife, Erin, is a genius.

I could really stop this column right there. Nothing more needs to be said. Game. Set. Match. And, those of you reading this who know her are wondering how I couldn't have recognized that sooner, be not troubled. Truth be told, it's something I've been aware of for more than 22 years. It's just that a recent decision of hers illustrated the point even more.

About two weeks ago, I came home from work and saw two cardboard packages at my front door. This was not surprising. While the economy may be taking a dip, I assure you the Druen household keeps Amazon in the black. (An aside, but one of my wife's other genius ideas was to sign us up for a standard Amazon monthly delivery of toilet paper. Since that day, we've yet to run out. And as my dad has said, it never goes bad and you'll need it until you leave these earthly bounds!)

These boxes were different though.

They were large. And as we opened them, it was the wicker table and chairs that I had forgotten she had talked about ordering. I remember questioning whether they would look right on our porch beforehand, but not that the purchase had been made.

The good news was the "some assembly required" wasn't that complicated. The bad news is that I have a brain that finds putting together a 7+ Lego set to be difficult. No hyperbole. I struggled figuring out the directions on the set my daughter received for her birthday. Seriously, putting words along WITH the pictures is not a bad idea, toy companies!

As I tightened the final screw and flipped the table and chairs over, I sat down. It was a hot evening and I was now tired, physically and mentally. Shortly after, my daughter brought me a glass of water. And I sat there. No phone. No television. No radio. Nothing. It was purely serene.

Having paid attention in my high school chemistry class, of course I knew that you can't rely on one lab result though. A hypothesis needs to be tested at least three times before you attempt to extrapolate any conclusions. So, the next night I grabbed myself a glass of water, as well as a book, and went out to the front porch again. Same result, as it has been each and every evening for the past two weeks.

To be honest, this has surprised me a bit. See, I'm the person that hates summer. Oh, sure there are some great aspects to it. It's baseball season. There's extra daylight. And a random ice cream trip doesn't seem inappropriate. Yet, while those are perks, they can't begin to make up for the oppressive heat, relentless itching of bug bites, and excessive sweating. As my family would quickly attest, these do not make for my most pleasant of attitudes.

The table and chairs are magical though. Each evening that I've sat there, the heat has not been too bad and the bugs seem to have gone elsewhere. I've left my phone in the house and gone equipped with nothing more than my water and a book. And it's been relaxing.

Sometimes, the plan has altered after being there. The spontaneous Uno game has occurred. There have been Frisbee lessons. Friends have visited. And, of course, plenty of conversations, be they with my wife, kids, or even Bella, the cat that likes to curl up on one of the chairs beside me.

I feel like I'm noticing more of my surroundings. I wave to neighbors as they drive by. I was able to go help out when I saw two cars have a minor traffic accident. And, as the sun gets low, I'm greeted by a chorus of treefrogs up high and bullfrogs down at the pond, while the fireflies illuminate the entire front yard.

There truly does seem to be something to shutting off all the outside distractions of life. British essayist Pico Iyer has said, "In an age of movement, nothing is more critical than stillness." I may have come late to that philosophy, but it is one into which I'm putting increasing stock.

Forgive me if I don't dread the first killing frost of the year, but just maybe I won't wake up each morning wishing it come sooner. All thanks to a table and chairs . . . and my genius wife.

Tommy Druen is a native of Metcalfe County, with roots in Adair County going back to the 18th century. He presently lives in Georgetown, Kentucky and can be reached at

This story was posted on 2022-07-01 09:40:01
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