Backyard Barbecue

20 Sep

My husband Dan and I decided to host a casual barbecue in our backyard last Friday evening – a rather brave decision in light of the fact that almost all of our barbecues have involved a disaster – a dog-related disaster.

We invited Dan’s co-workers – science and math faculty along with their families. In preparation, Dan and I shopped for food, cleaned the patio, sprayed for bugs and mowed the lawn. An hour or two before our guests arrived, I sliced tomatoes and cut-up watermelon. Dan set-up tables and iced the drinks. We were almost ready.

Just one little thing still needed attention…

I made the assumption that this last item was on Dan’s to-do list. And, apparently over-estimating my efficiency, he assumed that I had taken care of it.

Soon our guests arrived. Around sixty people in all. They’re an awesome group and we always have a fun time together. This night was no exception. For the next few hours, Dan stayed busy on the patio barbecuing hamburgers, chicken and bratwurst, while I ran back and forth between the kitchen and patio keeping the food and drink supply replenished. From time to time, we looked out at our backyard. Lawn chairs were arranged on the grass. Guests were eating, visiting and laughing. Things seemed to be going well.

It was late by the time we said good-bye to the last guest. Dan let our dog Ranger out of the shop where he had been cooped up for the evening. We were ready to start the clean-up. But first, Dan and I took a moment to congratulate ourselves on a successful barbecue. We thought we had escaped a disaster this time. We were wrong.

As we headed out back to gather the lawn chairs, we noticed that one of the chairs was positioned at an awkward angle in the middle of the yard. I turned to my daughter Kaitlyn and asked her why that chair was setting there like that. She smiled at me. “I put it there to cover Ranger’s big smelly poo-poo.”

My ears refused to believe I had heard her correctly. “You did WHAT?” I asked.

“It’s okay, Mom,” she said, patting my hand. “No one stepped in it.”

Dan lifted the chair. Sure enough, there it was, swarming with flies. Right in the middle of where our guests had been eating dinner.

I tried to smile. “Sweetie, why didn’t you tell us so we could have cleaned it up?” I asked her.

Kaitlyn shrugged. “I just made the best of it.”

What can I say? Sometimes life stinks. And we have no other choice but to make the best of it.

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2 Responses to “Backyard Barbecue”

  1. Julie September 20, 2010 at 5:25 pm #

    So funny! And true.

  2. Susan Wheeler September 20, 2010 at 7:55 pm #

    You have taught her well!

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