Well, It's almost that time again. Our biggest family event of the year. The big Cookout! We will be cooking this year on June 29th, (always on the Friday night before the 4th). My Mom & brothers (Greg & Jimmy) have been working in the yard for the past 2 weeks trying to get things ready. I will be going home this Friday to help. There will still be a lot to do.
1) Set up all the tents
2) hang all the lights
3) put up tables & chairs
4)set up: volleyball, badminton nets, horseshoe stakes, etc...
5) clean up the barbecue pit(house)
6) set up card tables for those anticipated games of ROOK
and many more that I can't think of right now.
Last year there were about 115( that we counted) people, yep...your heard right. 115 and that was a "down" year.
We cooked 60 chicken halves and 22 slabs of ribs, that was eaten that night!
The "big meat", Boston butts and pork shoulders cook all night and are ready the next day.
Everyone has a great time. We start around 2 or 3 and it starts winding down about 11 or 12.
Then the best part of the night begins:
The remaining few, usually immediate family, gather around by the open fire and just talk.
We talk about things we did when we were kids, we talk about things our children have done.
But mostly we talk about the ones we miss the most and how they would have loved being here.
We talk about past cookouts and hilarious incidents of the past. Then we get somber and many times tears have been shed talking about my Dad. This was his favorite holiday and he began many of these traditions. Oh... we've talked about taking a year off, going instead to spend the 4th somewhere else. We gripe about all the work it takes to pull it off, and vow to change it. We've talked about putting the meat on earlier so that we wouldn't be up so late. yeah...we talk.
But in the end I think we'll carry on the TRADITION.