(“Barstools” audio version)

Wood. Metal. Worn. New. Swiveling. Sturdy. Padded. Plain. We have sat on so many barstools you and I.

Sometimes we drink. Sometimes we plan. Sometimes we do both.

There were the barstools in the eastern Caribbean. We were on a beach walk and what started as a drizzle turned into an afternoon storm. We sought shelter in the first place we saw. It was a local bar and, as we shook our hair like wet dogs, we heard the bartender say, “When it rains, we pour, man.”

There were the barstools in Spain. After walking miles upon miles along the Camino, our feet had given up but our thirst had not. I drank vino blanco. You drank a cerveza. And we both ate tapas.

Our family sits on our barstools. Gathered around the kitchen counter, we eat meals there. We play Uno there. And we have family meetings there.

There are times we also sit alone. You with your morning paper. Our oldest daughter Ransom with her homework or latest project. Our middle daughter Ruth Love with her green eyes watching me cook. And our youngest daughter Camellia with her glass of milk.

Sometimes I sit there by myself. Looking out to our backyard where, depending on the wind, tide and boat traffic, ripples or waves flow by like industrious ants. Occasionally, wildlife disrupts the surface. A dolphin’s fin playing peek-a-boo, or a stingray belly flops, or a pelican kerplunks.

I sit on one of our barstools now as I write to you. Our dog is at my feet. There are crumbs on the counter. My morning tea is still too hot to drink.

The sun just came up but you and our three daughters are not yet awake. It amazes me how quiet our house can be and I listen to the silence as if it is an important news broadcast.

I think about what barstools we will sit in next. What barstools our daughters will sit in. Wood. Metal. Worn. New. Swiveling. Sturdy. Padded. Plain. I would sit anywhere with you.

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