When I came up with my list of prompts for the 31 Days of Summer Lovin’ 2016 challenge, I didn’t realize how hard some would be. Take today’s prompt as an example: BARBEQUE.
It’s summer, and I love going to barbecues and food prepared on a grill, but how do I respond to this prompt?
I went through a library of images on my computer to see if anything fit. Search results: zero. I paged through old diaries to see if I had penned anything that might work. Search results: zero.
So now I am sitting here, trying to figure out how to respond, and I think the answer is to just type.
A memory from my childhood keeps appearing as I think of BARBEQUE (rather, GRILL), and it involves my father. His spirit has been around lately, felt by me, my brother, my nephews, and my husband, so I find it fitting to write about him.
Sausage sandwiches were one of my father’s favorite foods. He was even known to buy them at flea markets and automobile race events well before lunchtime. And he wouldn’t get just one, either. For a man with a normal to small appetite, he could easily put two or three away no problem.
One summer evening, we ate dinner outside on the deck. I’m thinking I was about 11 years old, but I might be way off. Dad grilled Italian sausages, along with onions and peppers, for sausage sandwiches. I vividly remember bean salad and cucumber salad as the sides prepared by my mother.
As we got ready to eat, Dad reached out for the vinegar to douse his sandwich with. I don’t remember if he put anything else on his sausage sandwiches besides vinegar, which doesn’t sound all that appealing to me but that was what he liked.
He turned the bottle upside down, and the “vinegar” came pouring out all over his sandwich, then his entire plate.
Well, he hadn’t grabbed the vinegar bottle…he grabbed his beer instead.
At first, I was afraid he was going to flip out because Dad could have a bit of a temper at times. I was frozen, waiting for the tirade to come…
Well, he picked up the dripping sandwich and took a bite, and then another, and another.
I remember all of us laughing as he enjoyed his dinner of a beer-marinated sandwich and salads.
A snippet of a 30+-year-old memory from my brain’s file cabinet, one of the few times I recall my father going with the flow.
Going with the flow makes life’s caution and penalty flags more memorable, and choose laughter over anger.