Well, I’m heading out for a few days to watch my second oldest granddaughter graduate from high school. Good Lord, someone’s definitely logged some time on her pilot log. I love visiting my daughter and her family and as a bonus my son and his brood will be present as well. It will be a high-spirited rite of passage weekend with all in attendance. Makes me happy in my heart. The downside of this visit is that they will be hosting a houseful of guests in a somewhat limited space. This is not new to me, I’ve slept on the couch a time or two and as I’m prone to waking up in the wee hours of the morning and reading for an hour or so, it works for me.
Their house is an interesting place. During the day it’s a daycare with twenty young spirits under the age of five running rampant with chalk, markers, full pants, and God knows what else. They are taught, guided, fed, and entertained by my daughter and her staff. In my mind she should be knighted. Truly, twenty or so full diapers in a day would push me into therapy and most probably end in addiction. Late in the evening the atmosphere changes under their roof. The specters that seem to have run rampant in the house since my daughter and her husband bought it, tend to show themselves after the sun has moved beneath the horizon and shadows have replaced daylight in the nooks and crevices of the downstairs rooms. In recent years these eerie occurences seem to have lessened and almost disappeared, but for a while I didn’t have a restful night on that couch without feeling that I had company of the unseen and uninvited sort.
To add to the ambience of an evening on their couch they share space with a very large and extremely affectionate golden lab answering to the name of Baron. Baron enjoys sleeping in the family room alongside the couch. Aside from snoring like an asthmatic rhino, he also participates in a rather irritating habit of passing gas at will, and often chooses to climb up on the couch with the expectation that you will be pleased to have the company.
This brought me to mind of the days when I used to ferry my children from one organized activity to another. My son played soccer and our big old station wagon provided transportation for the players on many occasions. The general population often included my daughter and her friends and our assorted animals so it was rarely a quiet and reflective ride home after a long day at work. On one particular day I had picked up my son and some of his teammates and then collected my daughter and one of her friends. It was late spring, and although warm, not hot enough for the air conditioning so I lowered the tailgate window to allow some air to circulate through the otherwise sweat, perfume, dog kibble breath imbued atmosphere inhabiting the car. The two canines in place were Barnaby our three-year old golden retriever, and Sushi our Shih Shu. Barnaby moved into the back of the station wagon to take advantage of letting his jowls blow freely in the wind coming through the open window. It was basically unbridled chaos.
Feeling slightly distracted the light at an approaching intersection turned yellow. I reacted quickly by stepping on the brakes bringing us to a rather abrupt stop. While waiting for the light to again turn green I commented to my son, who was in the front seat next to me, that the dog wandering aimlessly around in the center of the intersection not only was in danger of getting hit but looked almost like a twin of Barnaby our golden retriever. As if a light had gone on concurrently in the skulls of all the occupants of the car, all heads turned toward the back to find just the small dog occupying that space. It seemed that when I slammed on the brakes the sudden movement must have propelled Barnaby out of the open tailgate window like a bullet exiting a chamber.
Barnaby, as I’ve said in previous blogs, would never have been mistaken for the sharpest pencil in the box, so often found himself in untenable situations. We tried yelling his name out the window to no avail. Thankfully, with no opposing traffic it was apparent he was not in immediate danger of being hit, and seeming to tire of the whole process, he just chose instead to lie down in the center of the intersection and take a nap. Jeez.
Once the light turned green I pulled to the right hand side of the road and signalling to the other cars, made my way to the center of the intersection and grabbed my dog’s collar maneuvering him back into the vehicle making sure the tailgate window was only open enough for his snout to peek out.
At any rate, I’m heading out this afternoon. We’re having a menu chocked full of my favorite things. I’m manning the potato salad line, and the hosts are providing hamburgers, hot dogs, devilled eggs and desserts. Yum. Unfortunately, the weather is just refusing to cooperate this Memorial Day. Yesterday, we actually had three tornadoes in the area and hail the size of quarters. Just a weird year.
Hope you have a great holiday. Try these on the grill.
Grilled Cajun Burgers
1 lb. ground beef
3 green onions, chopped fine
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped fine
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1 egg, beaten
1 Tbsp. Cajun seasoning
1 Tbsp. yellow mustard
In large mixing bowl combine all burger ingredients except ground beef. After well mixed crumble beef over top and mix well with your hands being careful not to overmix. Form into four burgers.
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 green onions, chopped fine
1/2 tsp. garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp. Creole mustard
1/2 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/8 tsp. salt
Dash of Worcestershire sauce
Combine all ingredients in small mixing bowl until well blended. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Cook burgers over medium heat on covered grill until cooked the way you like it. I spray grill with non-stick cooking spray. Grill rolls cut side down until toasted. Serve with sauce. Serves 4.