It’s Labor Day here today — a national day off to say thank you to the American worker, to enjoy the pool one last time, and to send summer off with a bit of barbecue.
For us, this last weekend of summer has been a blur of fun bookended by ridiculous weather. The Friday night high school football game had to be postponed because of an insane storm that blew through Chicago. As the winds kicked up, I ran outside to shelter some of the planters that were knocked over. I looked up to see the sky, roiling above our house. It really looked like one of those scenes in the movies where the sky darkens and churns right before the aliens invade. Crazy. After an intense rain, the lightning continued — one bolt I saw struck groundward but then its afterglow pulsed in the sky for another couple of seconds. I’ve never seen anything like it.
The next night, it was clear and our neighbors hosted a movie night in their backyard. It was almost like being at a drive-in movie, but with better sound, tastier food and more comfortable blankets and chairs. Add in Rum Chata-fueled debates on the merits of the individual Star Wars movies and it pretty much sums up one of the my favorite evenings of the year. So. Much. Fun.
Yesterday was Margarita Fest at our friends’ house with a fantastic menu of salsas, chips, guacamole, chicken fajitas and pork carnitas, capped with a three-layer chocolate cake that got the best of me. It was one of those evenings when all the kids hang out together, wandering in for more food and then heading off to play soccer while the parents reminisce and catch up. In other words — bliss.
As we were saying goodbye, a huge thunderstorm blew in. We were soaked just running to the van parked in the driveway, and the lightning flashed so rapidly, you couldn’t hear any thunder in between. As we drove home, we could barely see the sides of the road and the flash flooding was starting in the low-lying areas. Absolutely terrifying.
Today everything is calm. So we’re kicking back and smoking some ribs coated with a dry-rub…
and wondering what to do with a zucchini the size of a man’s arm.
Happy Labor Day!