When the heat came sneaking in and smothered, Grandma would suggest “pop and some cards on the porch”. I always loved to sit on the front porch, probably because we didn’t have one. The fact that it was located on the second floor was also a bonus. It gave one the affordance of being eye to eye with the occasional squirrel, a unique experience for me. Our front “porch” could, more aptly, be referred to as a “stoop”. So, any opportunity to be out there on it was welcomed.
I would sweep it off and grandma would get our “stuff” ready. She would call me back through the apartment to the kitchen through to the utility room where I would collect two avocado green lawn chairs (think 1970s). Then, she would remove two Libbey glasses in a deep, transparent royal blue with light blue, opaque flowers adorning their sides, from her open, above-the-sink cabinet. She would pop the cap off of a cold RC and divide it between two heavily iced glasses.
The porch was a narrow one and by the time you put two chairs and a TV tray out there, not much else would fit. It didn’t matter. We would sit and play canasta for hours, or so it seemed. In retrospect, she had to be bored out of her mind because, Canasta- for two? Seriously? I, however, improved my skills and learned new ones. She frequently stopped and advised a different play than the one I had just made. She was good enough to let me pick up my wayward card and rethink my next move. I won, a lot. Or, at least I thought I won. It felt good to beat Grandma. She was pretty much an expert at Rummy, 21, 31, Eucre, Canasta, etc. If it was a card game, she could play it. And, she would win.
When the RC was gone and the condensation had puddled at the base of the glass, we would make our way back in to the ever so slightly cooler apartment. The big box fan was positioned right at the end of the couch and so we shared that space in the slight coolness of the city night.