May 29, 2012 · 6 comments

I had a nightmare last night — you likely know the flavor: I was back in undergraduate school, standing in the office of the art department. Trying to explain to the department head my predicament: I had forgotten about two of my classes for an entire semester, and finals were starting the next day.

This classic anxiety dream has nothing to do with anything but the fact that today I started life again, after a lovely 5-day respite. We went with friends to their house at Lake Michigan, joining mutual friends from North Carolina whom we’ve not seen together in years. In short, it was so lovely, in that delightfully relaxing way you can be with old friends, that my subconscious then equated re-entry into normal life with a blind-taking of college finals.

We did a lot of this:

All of those meals, so low-key, no-stress, without pretense, and remarkably, even shockingly, tasty. I had my very first bite of deep-fried asparagus, I’m told a local specialty, and completely addictive (in case you’re wondering, yes, I cheated).

And also my first beer-can chicken.

(Sorry for the blur there, my hands were shaking at the prospect of having a Bud Light can on my blog. Here’s a better one:)

Cheap beer or not, this was hands-down the best chicken I’ve ever had. No joke. It rocked my poultry world (though I refuse to admit that the Bud Light had anything to do with that, other than provide moisture).

To balance out the alcohol universe, we drank some really. Good. Wine.

In case the parents were too close to having all the fun, my kids got to have their own version of vacation treats: canned whipped cream, hosed in copious amounts (with my maternal hands tied behind my back) on top of a warm strawberry-rhubarb pie.

(No, the wine was not hers — she chose the canned whipped cream instead. Silly, silly girl.)

Not to mention s’more-making:

We nibbled on smoked meats and cheeses, imported from our beloved local shop.

And speaking of smoked, we did that to a pork butt and some lamb.

Some of us smoked other things too.

And when dinner was over, we caught the sunset from the top of a dune. A few of us caught air as well.

Final verdict? Totally worth a panicky discussion in the art department office during the wee hours of this morning.


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Sonja Inman May 30, 2012 at 9:02 am

Thanks for putting into words (& pictures) the best weekend I’ve had in a long time!!! It was fun seeing the guys relax together, too. Is that the MB effect? And, the food was truly scrumptious….

SMITH BITES May 30, 2012 at 9:09 am

i crave these kinds of vacations – and i love Michigan; gorgeous looking house too – wow!

Rebekah May 30, 2012 at 9:25 am

ohhhhh…i have been longing to go back there (if the sheer number of h’s on the end of that “oh” didn’t make that obvious). :) beautiful, peaceful place!

i’ve been meaning to try beer can chicken, too. looks delish. (glad you cheated, too.)

Amy May 30, 2012 at 10:24 am

Your 8-yo eating that pie reminds me of when she was a baby. Remember when you would feed her and she’d open her mouth so wide it looked like her head might split in two, presumably to get the spoon in her mouth quicker?

In other news, I love the lamp over the dinner table.

Dad May 31, 2012 at 9:54 am

Over the years and even within the last couple of months I have had a similar dream of being in school and realizing at the end of the semester that I had overlooked going to a class. I have no idea why I dream that and I would be completely frustrated as to how I let it happen! Waking and realizing that school is behind me is a relief! hmmmm.

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