I’m grateful for the long holiday weekend we spent with family and friends over the 4th. My only complaint: it wasn’t long enough. That, of course, is the age-old and oft-told story of summer weekends. Alas, there are a few other stories to tell from the last week of merriment and togetherness.
Friday we braved the crowds to sit 5 rows from Paul as he performed 25 of his greatest hits. He even played Me and Julio twice. At 75, he still puts on quite the show. His voice is enduringly clear and strong. The best part for me was reaching for my dad’s hand during a song. I don’t remember which, but it doesn’t matter. Do you know how long it’s been since I held my dad’s hand? It made him feel good. I know because he told me the next day. I also loved dancing with my brother to Proof, and singing and swaying with my guy along with Still Crazy After All These Years. Music is memories: past, present and future. That night is in the vault. Forever.
Teddy and Lily have their own stories to tell from that night. Jess sent me a picture of the two of them taking batting practice in the yard. He had a little time between a baseball game and a night out with friends and he chose to spend it with the girls. Lily took Jess out for a birthday dinner, and then Jess took her to a movie. Neither one of them recommends 47 Meters, yet they both spoke highly of the girl’s night out. I’m lucky to have a close friend who makes time for my children because they have their own special memories together. She’s part of the tribe. We all need a tribe.
I was up early Saturday with enough time to make bread before Candace arrived. We had plans to walk and then mount some photos we’re entering in a contest. As we wrapped things up, the peasant bread was hot out of the oven so we enjoyed it with a cold chardonnay. Lily helped us polish off the loaf. It was the perfect late afternoon lunch after a little collaboration. We sent the other loaf home with Candace to enjoy with her hubby. Bread is meant to be broken together…shared. So are afternoons and ideas and encouragement.
I made another batch to take to a friend’s that night. We scored an impromptu invite for drinks on their patio and I’m glad we said yes even though we were a tad tired. We laughed and reminisced and actually finished a few conversations for once. It’s always so easy to be together that it’s a wonder we don’t do it more often, but then I realized that lately we have been…we are. It’s all about that saying yes, making precious time for whom and what’s important. She’s my oldest friend and there’s a reason we’ve made it through the years better and stronger and still speaking.
Sunday I woke and baked more bread. Yep. It’s true. I also made tater skins and jalapeno poppers before we headed north for a couple days at Windmill Beach. When we arrived lakeside, it was clear that the wind shifted. We had to change out of our bathing suits, put on sweatshirts and cover up with blankest. It rained and so we scraped plans to swim for competitive board games. No worries. The rain moved on and the fog lifted in time to bbq dinner. We played a ping pong round robin and the boys had an indoor putting competition before we set of some fireworks and finally called it a night after another good and full day.
Monday morning we set off on a walk along Marine Drive and then up to the old cemetery.
We earned my brother’s famous breakfast burritos. Then we headed down to the beach to do a little grass pulling. Working up a sweat proved smart because Lake Michigan’s 60 degree temps were actually tolerable. Lily got in and stayed in most of the afternoon. The rest of the day went like this: beach walk, cocktails, cribbage, bon fire and then we were all warmed up and showered in time to enjoy Mike’s grilled chicken wings and the gloaming from the deck. Ted had to head back to town in the morning to work and play baseball, but he was back in time for bbq chicken and more ping pong.
I woke at 3:45 on the 4th. The reach was already blazing orange as the sun made its way up over the horizon. I must admit that the show lured me in. It was far grander than any fireworks display so I sat in awe until 5:18 when the sun fully emerged and night gave way to first morning light. Watching the birth of a new day never gets old. It’s always holy. Then I went back to bed until I smelled my brother’s jet fuel coffee. On this clear morning, we walked along the beach marveling that the water felt warmer. We decided to head home mid-day since the boys left early for golf. In route, we stopped at a farm and for some fresh picked strawberries and sweet snap peas. Lily munched most of the way home, and before dinner and after Teddy returned all but a handful of the berries remained. We played a couple games of Clue on the patio before dinner. Why I ask do people like this game? Mike made us delicious ribs for America’s birthday. Teddy went out to see fireworks while the rest of us watched the sky all around us light up from the coziness of home sweet home and fall asleep after but a few pages.
And the truth is that I didn’t want the night or the extra long weekend to end, but now here we are at the onset of another weekend and I’m feeling rather great and full, therefore, grateful.