Thursday, June 30, 2011

60 years, 4th of July, one hectic summer

I'm taking a small break from work today because I have stuff to share.

Last weekend was my grandparents' 60th wedding anniversary. It was also the first time Michael met my family. Also the first time Michael and I embarked on a road trip together. So you could say this trip was a pretty big deal. You could also say I was a bundle of nerves. I shouldn't have been. The weekend was awesome. I'll tell you why.

1) I love my grandparents. I don't think I can get over how cool these two 85-year olds are. Grandpa Bob is hilarious. And Grandma Milly can't hear so she just looks at all of us with her hand cupped over her ear. She also makes chocolate brownies and freezes them. So good.

2) All of my cousins were back. Now there's only nine of us, but when we get together we have a lot of fun. This year nearly everyone was of drinking age. And those who weren't generally took part in the festivities as well. Friday night we all wanted to go out, and we were just going to "see" if the youngins' could get in. Michael downloaded this "sweet bar finder app" (like he needs an app, he can find booze anywhere) and we discovered a place called Playerz. Classy establishment if you ask me. Anyway, the bouncer at the door checks everyone's ID except for the three kids who stood outside with dumb looks on their faces. Well big scary bouncer sees them-- and it was like Moses parting the Red Sea--sees them (picture this slow motion style now) turns his head and walks away from the door. Underage kids--faces light up, sprint through the door and to the bar. It was a miracle for sure. Thank you Sweet Baby Jesus.

3) On the topic of my awesome cousins, I should mention how awesome we all look together. We could have been casted as the Weasley family from Harry Potter (minus State Champion, who ran through the screen door, Lauren who has too much lebanese in her). Even Michael fits the mold with his bright red beard. So naturally when we walked into Playerz, we caused a stir. I don't think anyone has ever been in the prescense of that many gingers at once.

4) My mom and dad hugged Michael. This sounds dumb and not a big deal, but it is. When my mom met my sister's boyfriend, she shook his hand. BUT when burly, great white hunter, the one and only Michael came to town he got a hug! I was impressed. But my dad also kept giving him handshakes at really awkward Sunday morning across the breakfast table, mid conversation. Dad, I know you like him, but I don't think you're on a political campaign so I don't think shaking Michael's hand while he is mid-bite into his banana is necessary.

5) Three of my friends from DeWitt came to meet the great white hunter. Megan, Leah and Austin (who wore jeans, yes!) Came up to visit on Saturday night. Can I just say it was soooo good to see them. And I'm really glad they got to experience my cousin Jeremy. I know he enjoyed you guys!

OK, so that was last weekend. Now I need to talk about the greatness of next weekend called the FOURTH OF JULY BOYYYYYYSSSSSS!

I love the fourth of july. Numerous reasons.
A) No work. Starting tomorrow at 12:01, I will be on vacation time until 5:30 a.m. Wednesday. Let me tell you, much much needed.

B) River hats. Being a ginger, I have to protect my ginger face. And this year I got the best river hat ever. One day last summer while I worked at the Marshall American Legion Post 113, this old drunk pervert bought me one of the overly patriotic hats the legion sold for five bucks. He asked me to wear it the whole night and he'd "tip me good." One camo hat with an American Flag and Bald eagle and a forty dollar tip later, I got me a sweet river hat. Thanks ya old drunken perv, I'm gonna look awesome this weekend. I don't that hat offers a better symbol of  'MERICA!

C) Sandy Hagny's awesome cooking. Sandra can cook, ohmylanta she can cook. This is her holiday for sure (also her son' mother like son I guess). She called me earlier this week in a panic because she couldn't get a hold of the pulled pork lady. This sent me into a tizzy because Pulled Pork Lady's pork is to die for! She's also asked me numerous times what all we want to eat. Sandy, let me tell you, no matter what you cook will be in my belly before you can start singing the Vatican Rag, so no worries.

D) The Boat. The Music. The Sunshine. The Friends. In South Dakota, the winter is awful. We had continous days of -10 and below temperatures this past season. Brutal. On those days, I would think back to the fourth of july last year and picture this (imagine it with me): me at the front of the boat, kate winslet circa Titanic style,  michael at the helm sporting a seven-year old, on it's last leg, blue cut-off shirt from Abercrombie, a rainbow colored, "Best White-Tail" hat perched on top of his mammoth-sized noggin, Van Halen's Why Can't this Be Love, blaring as we race, take that back, soar over the water, towards our favorite spot, just below the bridge. Yes, people that very image, pulled me through this rough winter. The thought of a few more glorious days on the water with great friends, sunshine and booze kept me going when all I wanted to do was book a vacation for Cancun on a credit card I would never pay for, and in turn, ruin my less than perfect credit even more. I have looked forward to this weekend since it ended last year. And it is almost here.

One more thing before I go, I wanted to mention someone very special to Michael and myself who will be with us one more time this weekend before he is shipped over seas for active duty. Daniel Hunnel, one of Michael's best friends, started a four-day vacation last night when his girlfriend Jada Hawkinson picked him up in Pierre. We love Danny and Jada very much, and they were a huge part of the success of last year's fourth of July. I'm so happy Danny gets to come spend a few days with us before he has to go serve our country. He is a truly generous guy, and I thank him from the bottom of my heart for not only fighting for our freedom, but for being Michael's friend. Danny will be headed overseas on July 4th, but in his honor, we will remember his saying on Monday, "Just Love it A Little Bit." Go get' em, Danny.

Shout outs:
Wilbert the 80 year-old landlord: I don't know what you were thinking mowing the lawn today, the hottest day of the summer, but hey, it looks nice.
Brian Mistro: You say I never give you a shout out. Well here it is: my blog is better than yours. fact.
Old Man from Playerz who told me not to let the "brothers" bother me: thanks for the advice, but they weren't bothering us. I would gawk too if I saw that many gingers at one time.
Megan Mac, Leah, and Austin: Thanks so much for coming to see me Saturday! I love you!