Monday, May 29, 2006

Memorial Day...

     When I woke up this morning and looked at the thermometer, I originally thought I'd slept, not only through Memorial Day, but through the entire month of June. 

      "Seventy-five?!?" I thought.  "The last time is was this warm on Memorial Day was...  well...  never!"

     It should be noted that Memorial Days in Wisconsin can be one of the most brutal holidays weatherwise.  I mean, I've suffered through grilling in mittens and a parka while being pelted by sleet carried on a gale force wind.  I've played many muddy games of softball in a fog so dense that my throws from second base to home plate had all the accuracy of a scud missile launched by a moron.  To wake up and see such a pleasant morning sent my entire body into a spastic, trembling shock and as I made coffee, I tried to contain my giddiness at actually being able to get outside and enjoy an enjoyable holiday with, most importantly, enjoyable weather.

     It was a beautiful day until, of course, the moment I began to get my charcoal started.  Without warning, an armada of heavy, gray clouds crept in carrying with them the thunderous reminders of Memorial Days past.  And, as the wind picked up, my coals began to blaze, and I dumped them from my chimney starter into the belly of Fireball, my ever-dependendable Weber grill.  As I ran into the house to get my steaks, I felt the first few drops of Memorial Day fall, and when I came back outside with my pile of soon to be perfectly grilled meat, those few drops had turned into an utter downpour. 

    "Ah-ha!" I thought as the dirt beneath my feet turned to mud.  "This is more like Memorial Day."   

    I huddled around Fireball as small whisps of steam became a bellowing cloud.  I would have enjoyed the barbecue facial had I not been preoccupied with the relentless, demoralizing "tink... tink... tink..." sound coming from my beer can as raindrops dripped steadily from my nose. 

    I flipped the steaks, and rather than be greeted by the pleasant sound of a much approved sizzle, my head was rattled by a flash of lightning and the crack of a thunder-bolt. 

    Eventually, with the steaks cooked, I flipped my upside-down plate over (a trick you learn when grilling in Wisconsin on Memorial Day), and I trotted into the house, set the steaks down to rest and changed into some drier clothes before feeding the growling collection of friends that had stopped over.  

    As I sat down to devour my dinner, the skies cleared and the sun beamed in through the dining room windows.   In the distance, between our laughter, we could hear the rumbles of Memorial Day drifting slowly away, and I told myself the same thing I've told myself since I can remember:  Next year will be better --that is, of course, if it isn't snowing. 

    The thing is, regardless of suffering through my dreadful weather, I honestly don't mind because I know that there are many out there who would rather be home now, rain or shine, and because of them, and a great many who've come before them and the sacrifices they've made, I can stand in my backyard in the pouring rain and still feel thankful. 

    So, how did you enjoy this holiday?  I know some of you have soldiers in your family, and when you see them or speak to them, tell them all thank you for me. 



  1. Sounds like a nice day overall even though you did get some rain.  Anytime friends come over to eat is fun!

  2. Happy Memorial Day, Dan. Jillian and I spent the day doing a little shopping, watching the Yankees play, and having a little cookout. You have to love twice baked potatoes. Mmm mmm good.

  3. Beautiful, rather hot weather in NJ for the holiday weekend. The unoffical start of summer is definately here. One of the more fun activities here this weekend was batting golf balls. Yeah, my son bought 600 used golf balls off eBay (the seller was local so we picked them up, no S&H).We all took turns at bat even me, yep I'm sore. My son and his friends landed most of the balls in the woods on the other side of the brook we live on, while most of mine ended up on the embankment or in the water. My daughter and her friends later went out in our boat to retrieve as many balls as possible to keep the fun going. Swimming, cooking out...all around a nice weekend. Dan you would have loved it, I'm sure.

  4. Glad to hear you had some great weather for grilling steaks aside from the rain drops . . . it got smokin hot here in the Nati . . . 91, geesh, it was only 50 last week. I manage to enjoy the day inside, curled up on the couch with a box of tissues and bag of cough drops, it was quite pleasent, thanks for asking. :-D

    Take Care!


  5. As Amanda pointed out, it was 91 stinking degrees here! Was I smart? Did I stay where it was cool...heck no! I took my kiddos to the Renaissance Festival (more on my blog later about this), and walked around in the blistering heat till about 2:30. Honestly, we did have a great time. We got to see some shows, buy some art and generally raise cain. Unfortunately, because of the heat, we ended up leaving early. All of us were exhausted from being baked, and took a nap when we got home.

    Sorry your steaks were soggy, but at least you weren't grilled yourself. There is an upside to living in a cooler climate.


  6. Memorial Day is the start of "beach season" where I am from (CT shoreline) but it snowed and hailed here (UT) on Sunday. Fun fun fun.