We had a weekend.
Well, technically EVERYONE had a weekend, because… you know… FRIDAY, SATURDAY AND SUNDAY, but our weekend was stuffed full with fun.
Never mind that the grass in our front yard is officially long enough to bale into hay now; we couldn’t be bothered to stay at home and see to that sort of manual labor in all the heat.
And listen. The heat. It’s killing me. Yesterday it was approximately 420 degrees Fahrenheit outside, and I wanted to fill a kiddie wading pool with ice cubes and just sit down in it like a boss and sob with relief. I don’t know why expansionists in the SETTLE THE WEST movement ever decided to set up camp here, open up a saloon and just stay. We have unbearable heat in the summertime, that makes you gasp for breath, and we have the kind of cold in the winter that would kill a polar bear. But for some reason, part of the wagon train broke off and camped here, and… well… here we still are.
Personally, I’m sure it was a family who decided to stay in this spot. I’m sure that they had three or four kids riding in their wagon, and when Abraham, Josiah, Charles and Margaret got to whining about ARE WE THERE YET? and HOW MANY MORE MILES? and fighting over whose turn it was to ride shotgun on the buckboard seat, over and over and OV-AH, Mama and Daddy just flat-out snapped and couldn’t take it any longer.
So the wagon was stopped. And Daddy waved to the rest of the wagon train, as they packed up and kept heading West… heading for the land of ETERNAL SEVENTY DEGREES and OCEANFRONT PROPERTY… and he hollered, “I CANNOT GO ANOTHER MILE WITH MY CHILDREN IN THAT WAGON WITHOUT USING MY HATCHET TO CUT MY OWN EARS OFF!” And then a tree or forty-eight got chopped down to make a cabin. And then when July hit, and the kids felt like their faces were melting off and making gross puddles on their shirts, I’m sure Mama and Daddy said, “It’s all your fault.”
I may or may not have traveled with children before, but Jesus knew that I would thrive in a time such as this, which is why I live in the age of unleaded gasoline and air conditioning.
The boy golfed on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, because it’s what the boy does.
We also had a picnic lunch at the park with Mam and Pa on Saturday. The kids attempted to play on the slides, but we kept hearing, “Ouch! It’s hot!”
This is where Hubs and I interrupted and said, “Listen. In OUR day, we didn’t have the luxury of PLASTIC SLIDES! No, ma’am. We had the real deal… the metal slides… the slides that baked in the heat to temperatures that would melt rocks, and sometimes a screw would be loose and sticking out a bit, which would rip a trench in your thigh bigger than the Grand Canyon, so don’t even start complaining about how a PLASTIC SLIDE burns the backs of your legs when you try to scream down it. The pain of our own childhood will always trump yours.”
(Plus? Well, we had the solid metal merry-go-rounds back then, too, so it’s amazing we’re all still alive.)
(The late ’70s and early ’80s were not famous for Playground Safety.)
Yes, the pose!
And we told the children horror stories about Burn Units and Skin Grafts from METAL SLIDES IN JULY.
And then… well… a pig had to be tossed onto the barbecue.
Our church had a giant pig roast on Sunday, after services finished. Hubs and Sister’s Husband and the boy and Enzo, along with our friends, Scott and Darrell, all volunteered to season that pig and smoke that pig and cook that pig up right.
Of course, this involved camping out at the onsite barbecue, because you just never know when the briquets might stop burning, and HOW DO YOU EXPLAIN NO MEAT FOR LUNCH TO TWO HUNDRED HUNGRY BAPTISTS?
Hubs lives for this sort of thing. He watches barbecue shows so seriously, he takes notes during them, people.
On his phone.
So that he can always remember how to cook a rack of ribs or a steak or a 250-pound pig.
The guys were beyond excited for this adventure. Darrell brought his camper out, so that naps could be taken during the darkest hours of the night, if the need arose, but listen: Naps are for sissies. Everyone was planning to stay awake all night long, and bring that pig up to temperature.
Not long after Hubs left for the church, he sent this snapshot to my phone:
The briquets were lit, the pig was seasoned and pitched onto the grill, the lawn chairs were set up around the camper, and all the guys settled in for a fun twenty-four hours of becoming BBQ Champions.
On Saturday night, the wives (me and Sister and Christy and Melanie) took dinner out to the church parking lot. We had cheap pizzas and fried chicken. We had tasty side dishes that had been made in a deli and bags of chips and bottles of carbonated, sugar-filled soda and homemade lemon cookies.
The kids played and played and PUH-LAYED. They ran miles and miles around the church, while the grownups sat in lawn chairs and on truck tailgates and talked. We discussed everything from using VITAMIN C TO PREVENT WRINKLES to COVER YOUR EARS, BECAUSE WE ARE NOW TALKING ABOUT OUR LADIES’ DAYS OF THE MONTH. We howled with laughter. We inhaled entirely too much smoke from the barbecue, and we were very nearly carried off by biting mosquitoes.
And… don’t tell the pastor… but the kids used the church wheelchairs for competitive racing.
The winners wanted T-shirts printed up to commemorate their athletic endeavors.
Some of them were so exhausted, they just toppled over.
His happiness over pizza just has to be shared with others.
And by some pullups, I mean about one hundred and nine before he paused for more pizza.
… AND IT POPS!!!
Janie is two. She belongs to my darling friend, Christy. I am head over heels in love with her.
I think Thing 2 is in love with Janie, too.
And look at Enzo and his paper cup on the far left.
And Taylor has an enormous DEER IN THE HEADLIGHTS look.
And in the top snapshot… what is Cousin L doing, dead center in the pink?
And look at Gage, in the white T-shirt…
I think Sydney probably made a wise choice when she didn’t make it into the group shot.
The bigger kids decided to spend the night on the BBQ Crew. There was talk about Big Foot being down by the creek, and wild mountain lions coming in… lured by the scent of the smoking pig… and ghosts.
We just told the dads, “Good luck with all of that!” And off we went.
And those dads?
Well, they’re kind of hot. They could easily have their own barbecuing reality show on TV.
No one had really slept.
Big Foot didn’t show up.
And they were all RIDICULOUSLY HAPPY. Because? You know what? Cooking a giant slab of meat all night long just makes boys happy.
So we went to the big potluck after church. Hubs and Sister’s Husband and Scott and Darrell and the boy and Enzo all smelled like Professional Pit Masters. They were all covered in pig grease. They all kept talking about how they needed to bottle a cologne that would smell exactly the same.
It was approximately 693 degrees outside on Sunday afternoon, but Christy baked these ANGEL FOOD CAKE meets LEMON PIE FILLING dessert bars, so somehow I mustered enough strength to eat one during the heatwave.
And then we all came home, people. We came home to our showers and our air conditioning units.
And we all went to bed incredibly early last night.