It’s been an interesting couple weekends. Last weekend I was invited over to a friend’s house, the owner of the building I store my cars, to take a tractor ride and go fishing with the kids. To my delight, I got to drive the tractor. John Deer. An awesome display of torque, wheels and two stick shifts, one for gears 1-3 plus R and the other for speed 1-3. I pulled a Chuck Woolery, two and two.
The kids were all about the ride with daddy around the beans until I got the tractor stuck. How did I get the beans above the frank? When you take the wrong path and end up in four foot tall grass aiming towards “hope this is the way out.” Leave it to a novice to take down the tried and true companion of the farmer forcing mercy grip in the very soil it was meant to hoe. Tall grass hides lots of stuff: bumps, small critters, ticks and mud bogs. The latter was our downfall. Spinning sticky, stinky mud. I decided to cut my losses and carry the kids through the fields of joy to safety. That tractor photo is after we escaped.
“Hey Nate, got the tractor stuck… Oh, so that’s not the path you meant for me to go down?… Yes, I see the fine cut grass path to our left — now. So the tractor does have four wheel assist? Good tip. Leaver on the floor you didn’t show me. Got it… Thanks for getting it out Nate. See any little black bugs burrowing into my children’s skin? No? Sweet. Let’s go fishing.”
This past Friday night I took part in tent village on Lake Michigan, just south of Arcadia Bluffs. My buddy Kevin invited me to crash their 14th annual golf outing extravaganza comprised of:
• One cottage with too few rooms and beds
• 25 guys with smarter wives who stayed home
• 14 committees to run everything from trash to fireworks to catered and cooked meals
• Too much alcohol, probably not enough dope
• Horseshoes and hand grenades
• Lots of golf
• One trophy
• No hand grenades. What are we infants? The fireworks were da bomb though
Since I was up with my family, I ditched them for the night and arrived at said party perfectly timed — meal o’clock. The champions dinner was on the grille cooked by, you guessed it, a committee including my buddy Kevin. Steak. Oat-Daddy, old college roommate, sashayed by in flannel pajama pants as I wandered and wondered up. Thinking this might be time for a beer I headed for the keg and checked six on the pants. “Today was dress up day on the course” Oat-Daddy commented. Oat-Daddy had picked out his finest. And while the pants gave him a loose and fancy free approach, only one of the clubs he held that day left him with any reward. Boo-yah!
I sat with the Daddy for dinner and started meeting the guys. Great group all with friendships going back decades. Damn, this steak is good. The perfectly cooked steak was absolutely excellent, complimented by spinach salad, baked potatoes and garlic bread. If it’s one thing we’ve all gotten to appreciate as we get older it’s good food. Breakfast was on par too. The rest of the evening was typical guys stuff. Swapping stories, drinking, tunes, playing Jenga with logs on the bonfire, fireworks then reading the team results in a decidedly ritualistic fashion beach side at 10:30 pm.
Earlier I had set up my new Coleman tent, purchased at Costco, in middle pack and adjured there about midnight-thirty excited to sleep on the shore with crashing waves. My sister-in-law commented to the same effect the next day. “It must have been great sleeping with the sound of the waves.” True that. They were certainly peaceful. But common things happen to ordinary men that drink beer all day and night. The beer has to go somewhere. And go we did. Zzzzziiiippp. Footstep footstep, tiiiinnnnnkle, wave crash, footstep, wave crash, zzzzziiiiiippppp. Zip, wave, zip zip zip, footsteps, tinkles, ahhh, wave, cough, zip, wave. Pass out, wake up, damn it. Zip.
My intentions were to repeat on Saturday night but hanging with the family including my parents who came up for the weekend prevailed. Plus I was hood winked by 9 pm. A big shout out to the cottage hosts Tim and Brian, my buddy Kevin for the invite and all the guys for a great time. As always Oat-Daddy, great to hang out. Uncle Waltie, thanks again for reading.