Today, being July 3rd, I was running around the kitchen, up to my elbows in potato peels and egg-shells; boiling salted water, slicing onions, chopping zucchini, and cleaning shrimps. If doesn’t take a genius to realize that in less than eight hours the 4th of July will arrive. Usually arriving with it, hot, humid and noisy.
It really isn’t the least bit necessary that I cook this much. Besides Jim and I we have invited only three guests. That fact doesn’t matter in the least. It’s a holiday, but it won’t register, or be official, unless I cook my brains out. Truthfully, I love it. Reminds me of times and people passed. Big family parties and ridiculous, over the top, behavior.
Today, I was put to mind of something else. Just when I took the last item out of the oven my energy level crashed. I was thirsty, and it was time to sit down. I grabbed a frigid, Corona Extra, no lime, poured it in a glass and plunked myself in a kitchen chair. I rarely drink beer. Not a tea toteler by any means, but beer is not my beverage of choice. However, there are those moments when nothing else is so cold, refreshing, or tastes so good.
Barely had the first swallow eased its way down my throat when I had one of those flashbacks that cause me to write these slices of my life.
It was about thirty-five years ago. A warm summer day, much like today. The kids were all out with Jim and I took the opportunity to give the house a tip to toe scrubbing. That done, I mowed the lawn and moved a couple of bushes. I don’t care how young you are, a day like that will kill you. With the last bit of energy left in my body I dragged myself to the refrigerator, popped open a Bud and went to sit on my front porch. Reminiscent of a city life I had left behind, and when Budwiser was the cool beer to drink.
I live at the end of a small dead-end street and didn’t expect a soul to come marching down the bumpy gravel road. Right, I was Wrong. Not two minutes had gone by when two ladies, PTA mothers in one of the kid’s classes, came strolling down the street and right up my driveway. They were all fresh looking and proper. I swear, although it was improbable, my embarrassed mind envisioned white gloves and pill-box hats. They took in my bedraggled appearance, and the can of Budweiser, with one quick, judgemental glance.
“How nice to be able to sit and have a beer in the middle of the day!”
I was busted. It would be all over the community within the hour. No use explaining. The upside was I had never been a PTA kind of gal. Now I wouldn’t need to make excuses not to be drafted into volunteering. Still today I laugh on how I had skated on that.