Some days ‘moments’ come into your life, as unexpected blessings, and you are left with a great-big heart full of stuff to deal with. Such a problem! We left the dog on the porch in charge at the RedBarn and had been running around the state, exploring the Ottertail Lake country, when we walked into a gas station for a cup of coffee and were surprised to see the son of a dear old friend. Son said, “Dad has had a pretty rough year and it’s his birthday today. If you can find the time, why don’t you stop out at the cabin for a visit? It’s only a few miles from here.” We did. Friends, Ray and Peggy, are superb hosts and couldn’t do enough for us. Cripes, I felt like it was my birthday; drinks, snacks, tour of their cabin-that’s-more-than-a-cabin and then we heard, “Of course, you are staying for dinner!”
Why is it so much fun when all of the girls get to sit at their own table? We shared our stories of good times and bad. . . .and everything in-between. Each girl(we’re girls forever) at the table could fill a binder with stories of family tales, old boyfriends, health dilemmas, crazy good times and sorrows endured. There was neighbor, Ramona, who warned, “Just don’t ask me what I do ’cause right now I’d have to say I don’t know.” She is walking on crutches since she jumped into the lake, off the pontoon, to save her little 3-year-old granddaughter and broke her leg. Squeezing in some cherished hours of Minnesota summer lake time was cousin Beverly, from Las Vegas, NV. She had designed her trip around one last visit with a sick and elderly uncle in North Dakota. Not an easy thought. It’s hard to talk about Peggy in a sentence or two! We all have a complex friend like her. . .if we’re really lucky. She has the best jewelry of anyone I know, goes to church on Sunday, is a nurse and would teach you how to chug a beer or change the oil in your car. . .if you needed her too.
A table full of kindred spirits, all enjoying the girlfriend love that bound us together, if only briefly, right there under the patio umbrella.
Among the laughs and the raving comments about Ray’s tender grilled pork and Bev’s ‘Corn Salad’, Bev shared, “I wrote a cook-book full of 30 minute meals once, long before the thought ever entered that pretty head on Rachel Ray.” That’s the breaks, Bev! This is by far the best corn salad I’ve ever tasted. . .and you look like a star to me! We were lucky to get a photo as the salad quickly disappeared when passed to the other table.
Thanks for the ‘moments’ to remember, girls! Oh yah, “Happy Birthday, Ray. You’re a real stud!”
Secret Corn Salad ingredient: stir in Chili Cheese Fritos just before serving!