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?