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.