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7/9/21 | 25/52

Sometimes I can step back and acknowledge that I am ridiculous. I realized this on Monday when I stopped to get a buffalo chicken empanada. I think there are little pieces of celery mixed in and that's what makes it so wonderful. After the first bite, I pulled out the salsa and frowned when I noticed they had changed containers. The normal container was much smaller but also much easier to pour over the empanadas filling. In that moment I realized I was giving too much time and thought to something I couldn't change. Something that didn't matter when you step back and consider all the things that I could be devoting time and mental energy too. I haven't changed my mind. The other container is superior even though it contains less sauce. You don't always need more. You need the right amount. So yes, I have to acknowledge that I can be stubborn and ridiculous and that's something I need to work on. I need to be easy and focus on making the most of this beautiful day.

young fancy dracula

 Before Michael Robskonak retired to Wyoming

Parades should be held in the morning when the sun is out and shining bright but not yet unbearable. There should be an oversized cooler. A heavy chest packed with ice and filled with bottled water and grape popsicles and cans of lemonade. It should be a burden to lug. We should be crowded on the side of Broadway.  There will be local school marching bands. There will be floats sponsored and staffed by the chamber of commerce. Candy will be thrown down encouraging children to dash into the street recklessly, lunging to collect pieces of Bazooka Joe gum. There will be circling and intertwining members of fraternal organizations piloting go-karts and minibikes, roadsters and large touring motorcyles, boxy red caps covering thinning gray hair.

Knights of Columbus, Shriners, Kiwanis, Lions, organizations for old guys. I always imagined it had something to do with playing cards, Now I assume they are vaguely associated with the war and veterans and different branches of the military. I assume there is a lot of drinking. Each of these groups raise money for their own specific charity. Hearing aides, eye glasses, and artificial limbs are purchased with money collected from hall rental fees and bingo games, 50/50 raffles at junior high basketball games and annual spaghetti dinners. At the spaghetti dinner the food is cooked and served out in the open, prepared by a mountain of a man named Big Mike who is amiable and loud voiced. He is known to make the occasional rough joke. An iron worker by trade, on spaghetti dinner night he is the mayor of the hall, dishing out ‘hey good to see yas’ and repeating the same question to every customer young and old, “You want the old school noodles and gravy or the gourmet fancy-pants spaghetti?” Everyone answers with a laugh, playing along even though it’s clear all the spaghetti and meat sauce is being served from the same industrial size pot. The thin paper plate droops under the weight of the pasta and chunky red sauce and with a hunk of stale bread, a square of butter and a generous dusting of parmesan cheese Big Mike’s masterpiece is ready to eat. The meal will be cautiously carried to an open spot at one of the paper covered folding tables. It will be quickly devoured while sitting on an uneven metal chair. Big Mike will meander around the room, shaking hands, smiling. On spaghetti dinner night he doesn’t even mind that everyone calls him Big Mike.

The morning after the annual spaghetti dinner, Mike Robskonak will wake up with a soft sadness that will disappear once he remembers parade practice starts in two weeks. In the parade Big Mike confidently pilots his Honda Goldwing motorcycle in a figure 8 formation with his fellow fraternal members, circling the center of Broadway before peeling off and gliding up the street making way for the next group of precision motorists. We clap and whistle and our sunscreen drips off our skin. The ice in the cooler has melted, the good drinks are all gone. We continue to patiently wait for the next firetruck to slowly roll by, hoping the riders will shower down loose pieces of candy, dotting the hot grey pavement with jaw breakers and tootsie rolls.

Friend of the Week

This week I am introducing you to the newest addition to my world, the mighty Maggie Mae. She's still getting her feet under her but she bounds and leaps and sleeps like a champion. Her smile makes me smile.

If you would like your best animal associate to be featured email me 3 pictures of them and I will do my best to try and capture their essence.

This week's email was fun to put together. I hope it has been time well spent for you too.

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