Thursday, June 30, 2011

Hot Fun in the Summertime

It's summertime in Chi-Town and it looks like tomorrow's weather is going to prove it, just in time for the Fourth, when everyone decides it's a great time to cook over a live fire and hang outside. And even though the city is no longer sponsoring the beloved-by-Kanye-West Fireworks at Lake Michigan, I'm betting there will be plenty of (hopefully) controlled explosions to be heard and seen in all of our great little neighborhoods.

I've got a lot of great memories on this holiday, from the firework spectacle put on by the college in my hometown, right in the football stadium, where the entire town would gather and watch the lights; to a trip to Western Iowa where I was privy to the biggest home-fireworks scene I've ever been around, with a mortar that fired all kinds of things into the sky that we threw into the fire pit--once we were sure (or at least hopeful) that all the rounds had ignited. But as always, food comes front and center to my mind: the watermelon mom would cut up for us as we geared up for the firework spectacle and lit sparklers in the front yard, scent of lilacs hanging everywhere in the nice, dry heat of Colorado's mountains; hot dogs and hamburgers grilling in the park as we slowly waited for the sun to go down and fireworks to start; cold beer on the hot roof of my place in Boston when the electricity went out before fireworks started; fishing in the gulf of Mexico and tasting the freshest grouper (or any fish for that matter, short of the trout we'd catch in the rivers and reservoirs back home) ever, then sitting on the boat in the gulf watching the fireworks on shore. Yep; it's a good time of year, and everything great about summer, and here's to enjoying it with those around us, old friends or new. Smell that smoke from the grill, run through a sprinkler and enjoy those burgers, and a Happy 4th, y'all.