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I get these pop up horoscopes in my email. I read them in case something good might be ready to happen. For Sunday, I was destined to have “a new sense of peace and quiet” with everyone “concentrating on their own projects” and “less on socializing.” My house would be “a peaceful haven.” Ommmmm.

So what with this being the unofficial end of summer we might as well get the gang together for a last, peaceful blast. Nothing fancy. Just burgers, hot dogs, baked beans, chips. Oh, and sauerkraut for the hot dogs. A nice, quiet send off before school starts and the autumn rush begins. Just a burger and a handful of chips. No labor. Easy peasey.


Jimmy and Sangela came first and they brought two big boxes of fresh, beautiful strawberries that we could have for dessert so that was good and I put them in the kitchen and we went out to the pool to get a cold drink and wait for the other revelers but we didn’t have long to wait because in another minute, in came Jill and Scott and Ryan bringing a bag full of fresh corn which would fit in nicely with our simple little barbecue fare and another pound of hot dogs plus rolls and pickles so we can make that delicacy called Prairie Dog Bat Masterson, a secret family recipe, not my family, oh, and those chicken wings, yes, ok, good, an appetizer is a great idea so go on, dive in because here come Joan and Nanu the Wonder Dog, just look out because Nanu is apt to charge through the house greeting all of us without waiting for Joan to take off the harness so stuff might fall over and she can unveil the treasures she has brought, including veggies for grilling, guacamole, salsa, tortilla chips, veggie burgers, veggie hot dogs, Swiss cheese, pickle chips, and three, yes, three favors of Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream, which should spiff up the strawberries very nicely, thanks, and what would you like to drink, oh, look, Mike and Lynn just pulled up, yay, Uncle Mike, woo hoo, Ryan executes a flying leap, Nanu barks and does The Dance of Joy, but oh, let me take those containers you brought, packed with pasta salad to complement the burgers, hot dogs, wings, beans, sauerkraut, Prairie Dogs, veggie burgers and veggie dogs, pickles, and your brownies, too, another tidbit to have with the strawberries and the ice cream, nothing fancy, just simple food with no muss, no fuss, as soon as I find enough platters, bowls, and baskets to hold the loot, but really, everybody outside and fetch yourself a cold drink or jump in the pool, the water’s great and I’ll be there in a minute.


imageAunt Lynnie brought two big bags of grape gumballs and Ryan said oboy, purple poop, and Nanu brought his football so some of us had to throw it as far as we could so he could run after it and Aunt Joan wanted Nanu to stop running and drink water imagebut somebody accidentally tripped on his water dish and it spilled and I had to get him more, with ice, while Uncle Mike imagewatched a YouTube of the Andrews Sisters singing like The Supremes and he said they looked like a comic club in the Mummers Parade and other people cooled off in the pool or with a nice cold beverage or bothimage and someone (Ryan) came up with a great idea that he, his mom, and Uncle Mike should perform a synchronized plunge into the water like Esther Williams but nobody was following directions and I tried to take a photo imagebecause I was ready to sort out the food so we could get the grills going but gee, is that a big grey cloud heading this way, we had better decide what we’re doing, hello, is anybody listening, ok, let’s ignore the cloud, it’s only misting, so get those burgers and all those other gourmet treats out here and can we eat soon, sure, no problem, veggies, burgers, hot dogs, did I mention sausage, beans, sauerkraut, whatever the heck else…..the game is on. image


Even though the food portion of the program came together nicely and I actually ate a hot dog, not veggie one, with sauerkraut and had a Coors Light and others engaged in a feeding frenzy of burgers, hot dogs, you know, all that stuff I said before, the mist became a little more aggressive and while some of us warned about impending doom and started to carry stuff back indoors, others defied the mist because there were umbrellas for shelter and hey, it’s only water, and BLAM! a simultaneous crash of thunder and lightening changed their minds and the accompanying deluge caused a flurry of activity and a lot of wet people, wet paper plates, wet dogs, and wet food came charging inside and Ryan said it felt cozy, imagewhich it did, sitting on the floor with our wet plates while the rain intensified to monsoon level and the thunder claps and lightening bolts made Nanu psychotic but we were able to overcome it all by having strawberries, three kinds of ice cream, and brownies, plus Nanu had a Frosty Paws doggie ice cream image that took his mind of the weather outside, which was frightful, but the desserts were so delightful that nobody cared and just as suddenly the sun came back out and there was even a rainbow (it’s there…look closer) image but by then it was getting late and people thought they ought to head home so whose earphones are these, whose phone is this, does Ryan have all his chargers, where are your sunglasses, take some of this food back with you, gee, there isn’t much left after all, ok, thanks for coming…bye….see you in a couple of weeks….sorry you have to go back to school….or work….drive safely….bye….


The universe snickered, the family did not seek peace, the labor-free day crashed ablaze in a glorious mob scene of funny stuff and food, and me? I slept like a baby. I guess that was the peaceful part.

O Day of Labor, aptly named. Sorry to see thee take summer away. Can’t wait to see what’s in store for autumn.

Happy Labor Day to all, especially the members of The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, and Local 98 in Philadelphia.