Saturday, June 18, 2011

Cookouts, Meteorology and Bass Pro Shops

Yesterday I BBQ'd at the house for the first time.  I got the grill out (charcoal ONLY... no gas grillin' for me) and fired it up.  I did so with not a small amount of trepidation.  After a full day of clear skies and sunshine (86 degrees and about 70% humidity) the atmospheric mood was starting to change.  The sky started to turn shades of grey and there was a light wind.  For those of you on the west coast you would assume this would mean a drop in temperature and humidity right?  Nope!  Same heat just less bright.  The wind moved the hot and humid around but that's it.  Anyway, I decided to roll the dice and cookout.

Ann was at the apartment working while the kids and I were at the house doing our thing.  Doing "our thing" for Bonnie means running around with Nick and the dogs, poking sticks into every hole in the yard, telling me to "come here daddy, come here" every 5 seconds and just getting the lay of the land.  Doing "our thing" for Nick and the dogs means trying to stay away from Bonnie and that stick (and the garden hose sprayer) as best they can.  Nick had 2 distinct advantages over the dogs though:

  1.  The dogs only have 12 ' of rope and a 24' diameter circle to run in and around (or 75.3982' circumference if you want more math) whereas Nick could run over to Illinois if he needed to.
  2. Nick does not have a compelling desire to be petted by someone.  The dogs would walk up to Bonnie to get some "love", get poked with a stick and have to retreat 12 - 24' away for a couple of minutes until they forgot about the stick and tried it again only to discover the garden sprayer on the hose (our dogs are not very bright just so you know).
My thing was to get the grill going, get the meat cooking, keep a close eye on the weather and to respond to Bonnie's endless demands, questions and never ending attempts to either beat, blind or spray her brother and/or the dogs.  I somehow managed to do it all.  So the meat was searing (hotdogs, hamburgers, chicken and 2 ribeye steaks) and the sky was darkening... (I wish I had some ominous music to play here but you get it).  We managed to get everything cooked, all the stuff cleaned up, the grill cooled down and the dogs loaded in the car just as the first few rain drops fell.  Literally, it worked out that well.  Then came the situation that all my years of study of meteorology (I watched A LOT of weather channel) didn't teach me..  You can drive . 6 miles here and go from little, tiny drops of water hitting your windshield to being completely under water.  By the time we got to the apartment (87 seconds later) there was a wall of water everywhere.  The drops were about the size of my head and I had 2 kids, 2 dogs and various and sundry cooked meats to get out of the car and into the apartment.  Luckily Ann came to the rescue with 2 big golf umbrellas (swim fins, snorkels...) and we were able to pull it off together.  The kids were a little wet, the dogs were a little pungent and, I am happy to say, the meat was delicious!!!  I'm going to make myself a note about this weather thing...

Ok so, If you've ever been to Bass Pro Shops you will understand what I'm going to write about.  If you've never been to Bass Pro Shops and happen to be Roman Catholic, just substitute St. Peter's Basilica for the words Bass Pro Shops and you'll get it.  And if you happen to never have been to Bass Pro Shops and aren't Roman Catholic just think of the biggest, coolest place you've ever been (Yosemite, Disneyland, Hawaii...) and substitute that.

Before our cookout yesterday I took Nick and Bonnie to Bass Pro Shops.  I wanted to check out some fishing stuff and had seen the signs and decided to take a field trip.  We drove down to Clarksville and found the place and parked.  Now, I had been to Bass Pro Shops before when I was long haul trucking but that was several years ago and with age and time you tend to forget little details like how HUGE the place is.  When we walked in it was... a religious experience for me (think St. Peter's).  There were 3 floors of everything you could think of related to the outdoors.  Thousands of fishing poles, millions of pieces of tackle, hundreds of guns, knives and bows were before me for me to enjoy and educate my kids about.  Not to mention there was a creek running through the middle of the place with foot bridges and fish in it (Bonnie LOVED that) and the creek appeared to originate somewhere in the back of the building so we followed it.  At the head of the creek was a small lake that had huge catfish, bass and other fish in it as well as a waterfall that looked like something out of an old Coors commercial (Golden Colorado had nothing on this place).  We began our exploration in the fishing... forest?  Department?  whatever it was.

I don't want to go on and on and make this sound like a commercial for Ugly Sticks (ask someone who fishes... they'll explain) or Rooster Tails (see previous suggestion) but lets just say they had it all.  The same thing goes for guns, knives and every other thing.  We spent nearly two hours looking at stuff including every kind of dead, stuffed animal you can imagine (sorry but they were there).  Bonnie had a ball.  She asked a million questions and loved to look at the fish and the water.  Nick wandered around and explored every department.  He's become quite fond of the Glock 23 (.40 cal) and knows what kind of decoys he wants to use for duck season.  I thought it was a great outing but I didn't know how good until just before going to sleep last night.

I was saying prayers with Bonnie last night and we came to the point in our prayer where we ask God to bless our family, our friends, our loved ones we've lost, storm victims, those in need... and at the very end after listing all those we want God to bless Bonnie paused for a second and then said, very excitedly, "and Bass Pro Shops."

I think that says it all..... Amen.


1 comment:

  1. One thing you could add to Bonnie's arsenal is one of those electric bug zapper rackets. You didn't hear it from me, though.
    I have had religious experiences in Z Gallerie and other furniture stores so I'm guessing that's what Bass Pro Shops was like for your family. I've never thought to pray for them, however, so please thank Bonnie for the brilliant idea.