Habitat for Humanity does not normally include garages with the homes they help build with qualified families. But Habitat was founded in the south where garages are a rather needless entity. Our local director said once, “This is Minnesota. Are you kidding me?” The chapter that she leads includes garages for its people. I mean, really…we want these people to be able to start their cars so they can get to their jobs. Three cheers for Kathy Kalhammer.

This morning as Bernie and I sat enjoying breakfast in our screened porch, I thought, “This, too, should be a requirement in Minnesota houses.” We have winter’s cold, but we have summer mosquitoes. And the nice weather of late spring to early fall is precious because it composes such a short time of the year. We should be eating and sleeping and recreating outside to take in as much as we can before it all ends.

I thought about Guatemala as we ate. I mentioned it to Bernie and he remembered with me the various places we stayed and how each place had an area open to the outdoors. The weather is temperate all year round and mosquitoes are rare, so they can have these open spaces as part of their homes. It was glorious to be there with our team members, eating fresh fruit for breakfast and listening to a parrot lecturing us from the branch that extended over our table. The particular place I think of was a hotel, which consisted of about six bedrooms clustered around this open area. There was enough roof over the gathering space so that we could move the table under it when the rains came. Sitting there the drumming of the rain on the floor made it almost impossible for us to hear one another…that was an experience in itself.

It is raining in Minnesota right now and Bernie and I felt a special peace as we ate eggs scrambled with vegetables from our garden. Such abundance – of food and memories.