Sunday, June 22, 2008

summer's here

Summer is in full throttle, whether my aching back likes it or not. A few days ago friends from a neighboring state surprised us with an overnight visit. We hadn't seen each other in more than a dozen years. They came armed with some of the world's best ethnic food. I'm talkin' cajun, sha: boudin, cracklin', and crab stuffed chicken breast. Our mouths are fixin' to have a party!

Same night our friends left, my sister's family flew in. We're all hugs and big grins and excited and busy with plans: water parks, inner tubes, water slides, pirate ships, squirting guns, slip 'n slides, slow moving rivers and skipping stones. It's about staying cool in the heat since our travelers have come from a milder summer climate.

Today more family and friends were in to help us welcome our visitors. The cajun mood carried over into our menu planning - a sausage creole gumbo over steamed rice (is there a true cajun alive without a rice cooker?) and a favorite recipe from my mom's kitchen: farm-fresh okra stir fried with homegrown tomatoes.

It's been so fun catching up. I'm overjoyed watching all the little cousins play and reconnect. Awkward smiles and shy glances at the airport followed by whooping and giggling and jumping on beds at home. A year's worth of absence falls away in an instant.
The heart never forgets.

None of these pictures are mine, by the way. New camera in hand but not my hands. I just checked through the memory card and found 15 pictures of my son mugging it up but none from the backyard slip 'n slide he was supposed to be taking. Narcissus was 13 years old, I am sure of it.

What's everyone's plans for beating the summer heat? Anyone else looking forward to family get togethers?


JCK said...

Nothing like cousins and okra! Sounds like so much fun.

We've been laying low with this extreme Southern California heat wave, but heading up to Santa Barbara next weekend to meet up with my brother and his family. Hopefully beach time and cooler weather!

Mary said...

These are the kind of posts I adore from you Americans. Where I get real insight into customs, food and family life. Better than any novel - especially since they usually come with photos.

Just trying to keep warm here!

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

My brother-in-law and nephew are moving in for a month while they get on their feet. Can you say trepidation?

Queers United said...

ohhhh lazy river ride, i wanna go lol

HP said...

Sounds like a lot of fun!

Shivering down here but that's fine with me. I'm not a hot weather person (yeah, so I moved to Australia, go figure).

AnnD said...

Yes! Summertime is the best for fond memories and all around goofiness! I especially liked the comment about Narcissus being 13 years old.

Slutty McWho? said...

Nah, no family get-togethers for me! Screw that! I am, however, expecting an invitation to one of your parties. I don't live all that far away, you know! ;-)

shrink on the couch said...

jck - I've heard many who say Santa Barbara is beautiful. Want to see it for myself one day.

mary - Happy to oblige! Always a vivid food-life in this house. My sis made her yankee version of spanish rice -- big hit.

jenn - I love your new pic. Hope the BIL situation goes smoothly.

queers - the lazy river is where I spent most of my time. nothing beats bottom surfing!

hp - there's lots to love about every season, but I do hold a special fondness for wintertime, if you can call it that in these parts.

ann - my son reminded me that narcissus looked into a pond, not a camera. is that his way of asking us to build him a pond?

slutty - come on down!

Alison said...

The summer heat is about 4 months away for us southern hemisphere types, phd! Mind you I should point out that this winter so far has been really mild, even in the southern city of Sydney. (I'm up in the sub tropics). Still the same winter viruses have been befalling us. God I'm getting boring about the flu. Someone shut me up.

shrink on the couch said...

alison - kavetch away about the flu. I had it in the fall and I know of which you speak. It knocked me down for a week, plus several weeks of hacking cough. I didn't think I would ever shake it.

Anonymous said...

Oh I love okra. One of my boys' fave food is prawn gumbo.

It's not exactly hot here - sunny but not what I would call hot. My children still have 4 weeks of school left and then yes we are off and about visiting and then off to Greece for a while. Should be good.

sounds like you are having a great time.

And yes, children do pick up with old friends so quickly.