So last Saturday, I drove up to my mom & stepdad’s place to get ready for a barbecue on Sunday. I’d invited Mark and Virginia and Mark’s daughters up for an afternoon of feasting and river play. I packed my cameras, knitting, and sundries and headed out to get ready for the weekend.
My mother and stepfather bought a plot on the banks of the Guadalupe river a little over a decade ago, and I have been deeply grateful ever since. It’s a beautiful stretch of land, and my folks have gone to great lengths to make it even more beautiful. They’ve planted gardens and orchards, bought a sweet pair of burros to be watchdogs for the property, and my sister has painted murals on the buildings to make the place once of the sweetest slices of heaven on Earth that you’ll ever run across. Seriously.
I, however, am the bumbling comic of the bunch. At one point on Saturday, I managed to find myself locked out of the house. I checked all the doors around it and could not get back in. So I was left with once choice: drive back to San Antonio to get my spare key (about a two hour trek each way), or try to get in through the kitchen window. Much to my shame and possible detriment to the watching burros, I scrambled in through the window. In my kilt. Yeah, kilt pr0n abounded. Thank gods I didn’t set up a camera before I tried to get in.
Once I did, however, things went far more smoothly. I got the place ready for our banquet on Sunday, and when Mark and his gang arrived, we had a feast.
A feast which was only slightly marred by my inability to keep an eye on the grilled sausages.
Hey, I had a brisket going in the oven. It wasn’t a total loss. And Mark salvaged the grill to make some great pork chops with a salt, pepper and fennel seasoning. NOM NOM NOM.
After we’d all digested for a while, it was time for the girls to meet the burros, who are always eager to make new friends.
Then we all went into the river to swim for a while and play in the rowboat and kayak. It was wonderful, just the kind of relaxing basking in nature that Labor Day demands. (In my mind, anyway – I’ve never read the articles of incorporation of Labor Day.) After the water escapades, I let the girls unwind a bit more by being my chauffeurs in the golf cart. They weren’t bad at all, although I did have to apply some judicious passenger-side emergency braking once or twice.
On the way back to the house, we stopped by the burro paddock one more time, and at the urging of Mark (he’s my evil conscious), I let Burrito lick some beer off of my hand. Now, let me tell you – if you’ve never had the experience of a burro eating carrots or oats out of your hand, you really should try it. Lips the size of your head nibbling at the palm of your hand. It’s daunting and hilarious all at the same time. But it is nothing – nothing – compared to feeling a burro lick beer off your hand. It’s just . . . whoah. Huge tongue. I have no adjectives.
And then the day was done, and it was time for Mark and the crew to head back home, and me to stare up at the stars and ponder the imponderabilities of life. I didn’t find any answers, but the time was well spent.