Temperate nights

Welcome to this week’s Reno News & Review.

I remember the moment back in 1984 that I decided Reno was my home. It was an October evening, just like the October evenings we’ve had of late. I was sitting on a bar’s upstairs deck—I think it might have been Snowshoes over on Wonder Street where the original Silver Peak Brewery is. I was wearing a blue pullover knit sweater, the color of blue of the cloudless Nevada skies. I remember the sweater had two white stripes on one arm, three on the other. I bought it at a “seconds” store, and I always figured it was the mismatched stripes that made it a second.

I don’t remember if that particular October evening way back when followed a frost. I was living in an apartment on Washington Street then, and I wasn’t gardening.

This year, however, I was racing to finish my harvest before the frost got it. On Tuesday, I bagged up my ripe peppers, tomatoes, eggplants, and summer and winter squash. My kitchen counter looks like a food bomb hit it. (And wouldn’t a food bomb be a cool way to spread the word of democracy and win other country’s hearts and minds?) I’ve got piles of food that I’m going to dry or freeze or store in the coolness of my garage for later eating.

I can’t tell you how many times since that long ago October that I’ve regretted the decision to hang in Reno—the “if only I’d.” But those doubts were a long time ago. These days, I’m rediscovering the city. I’m getting out to neighborhoods I’ve never been to. I’m trying not to get killed on the roundabouts—the use of which is still a mystery to people who live on them (like the poor sucker Sunday who made a right turn off the roundabout from the inside line and almost hit me).

But these days, as I sit on the patio of a coffee shop well after dark but wearing only a cotton coat, I’m reminded of how the weather kept me here in those days long past. And I’m glad it did.