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The Best Thing

Posted by on Jan 13, 2014

If I posted a survey on this site and asked everyone to tell me the best thing about cigars, I’d venture to guess I’d receive a wealth of different responses.  The tastes, the varieties, the different regions, the drink pairings, the food pairings, all the things there are to learn about, the collectible aspect, aging, accessories, and the list goes on and on.

However, I can tell you 100% beyond the shadow of a doubt what the absolute best thing about cigars is:  their versatility.

photo1.jpgThere is not an emotion, life event, or state of being that can’t be enhanced, improved, or made more bearable with the addition of a cigar and a glass of your favorite drink.  During times of joy, cigars are there to heighten the occasion.  Whether its weddings, births, bachelor parties, or birthdays.

On Christmas Eve, after Santa has come and done his business, I always sit out back with the best cigar I have in my humidor at the time, and think of all the ways my life has been blessed, and all the ways I hope to improve myself in the coming year.  This year, I invited a neighbor to do the same with me for the first time.  Cigars are an integral part of how we celebrate and remember.  I’ve had three Padron Serie 1926s in my life.  One was the day I found out my wife was pregnant with our third child.  One was the day I got a new job, and one was with a good friend I hadn’t seen in a long time.  Though I could probably manage to smoke them more often, I’ve purposefully abstained and reserved them for special occasions.  When I am getting ready to place flame to foot on one of these cigars, I know I am about to, or already experiencing something that I wish to remember for the rest of my life.

photo2.jpgConversely, cigars also help us through the difficult times in our lives.  My neighbor and best friend, Javier, lost his father this week.  It’s a pain I can’t imagine, but which I regrettably know I too shall feel one day.  On Wednesday night we sat on my deck around the fire pit, lit cigars, toasted his dad and listened to him tell stories of this great man who had filled his life with so much joy.  Javier’s father loved throwing massive neighborhood barbeques in his native Argentina, where the children would play until well after dark and the men would sit around, just as we were, enjoying their smokes and drinks.  I told Javier that I am looking forward to many years with him doing just that.   Would Javier and I have had these moments without cigars?  Maybe.  But cigars make it easy.  By giving us something to come together over, cigars give us a reason to gather for these bonding moments that tie us into a community.

Cigars are the perfect social activity.  They allow us to gather and share a common experience.  Whether it’s a loud event, or a subdued affair, cigars bring us all to the table.

But their versatility also makes them the perfect solitary activity as well.  When I am searching for answers in the dark moments of life and seeking the face of God, my back porch with a cigar and a glass of bourbon is an excellent place to start looking.

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Nate

My name is Nate, and I currently live in Howard County, Maryland. I enjoy the finer things, be it golf, cigars, liquor, travel, guns, or my beautiful wife. I have a pretty awesome office job working for the federal government, and making a very respectable salary. However, in my heart, I’m still the same salt-of-the-Earth country boy who grew up in Middletown and Oley Valley, Pennsylvania. I spent five years in Marine Corps intelligence after high school, and have been in federal service since 2006.

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12 Comments

  1. Excellent article Nate!
    I make same as you for Christmas or New year day for celebration or in evening after a tough day for relax and give me inspiration to move on…
    The best cigars I had were always with friends around a great bottle of wine or spirit

  2. A cigar’s versatility, now that’s something I wouldn’t have picked but now do realize it’s array of uses. I just had my first Padron 1926 this year after my in-laws renewed their vows. Man that was something special and I am talking about the cigar.

  3. This reminds me of the good ol days when there were many friends of mine who either smoked cigars or would hang out while the rest of us did. We would meet every Sunday evening on my porch and have cigars and great conversations.

    Unfortunately, life events have moved several of them away or made them too busy to keep it up. There are still a couple of us left, and that is better than none. But I still miss the good ol days!

    • I host something similar every Thursday night. I hold it every week, and it’s usually just me and Javier, but whoever can make it is welcome. The important thing is to have it there when the wayward ones come around, so its like coming home for them.

      My mother-in-law does something similar with dinner every Sunday. There’s 20+ people invited every week. She used to cancel if people couldn’t make it, but now its on every week no matter what. Sometimes there are 30, sometimes there are 4. But if you know that its there, there door is always open to you.

    • You nostalgic animal you!

      • I’m turning 31 next week, and I’ve moved 44 times. Trying to hold onto my past and memories has always been very important to me. When you move around so much, especially as a kid, it’s very easy to feel like you’ll forget or be forgotten. My wife hates it because it makes me a bit of a pack rat!

  4. BTW, if anyone lives in the Laurel area of Maryland and would like to set up a herf, let me know!

  5. Nate, another great piece. Thank you.

  6. For real, this is solid. I am a year and a half into cigars. I have made new friends and I am well on my way to learning how to slow down and celebrate life, and a cigar allows just that. Plus a nice dark rum doesn’t hurt either.

    • Well said

    • Thanks man. It’s definitely a way to take a time out and appreciate things that otherwise tend to speed by.

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