Near Midsummer

Hot crabs, cold beer, & Old Bay – that’s what Maryland summers are made of.


“Crabs are done!”

Hot spice scent fills my house, steam rises from red cooked crabs,
cats and dog circle round trying to figure out how to penetrate
armoured hard shells protecting succulent white flesh.

Sweat drenches, it’s hot, hot work steaming a bushel of crabs-
a gift from a friend “just because.”
Kindness is currency and will cycle back round to him
and back again to me. It’s just how we do things on the Bay.

“Aren’t you having any, Mom?”

Oh, yes, baby. Just not yet.
It’s hot, hot business doing crabs right – but it’s in my bones,
I learned it right growing up on this water.

1/2 a quart taken in and another 1/2 quart of water to take in,
replacing water steam has called out of my skin. Don’t replenish water lost with beer – not yet. Save it, save it for after-

“I’m going to take the dog out first.”

Into the night, teased by clouds, but still cool and the breeze
tickle-kisses the rest of the sweat from my skin. More water drunk as the pup mozies along, taking in all the day’s gossip peed out by others.

He adds his own replies several times,
and I hope he doesn’t advertise our windfall of crustaceans.

“Want a beer, Mom?”

I sure do. I’m ready now, body cooled, soul soothed, appetite roused.
Sure smells good in here, and feels better, too. The fans all put in valiant effort to suck out the kitchen heat and suck in the cool night air

Natty-Bo cold in my hand, crab still warm and
smothered with Old Bay before me,
life is good in the summer.

The alchemy of lemonade~

So that was a thing.

Yesterday, my undesirable habit of putting things aside for ’tomorrow’ came back to bite me in the bum. (I’m working on it, really I am, and now have a bit more fuel for that habit forging fire.) I had gotten my electric bill and, yes, set it aside to focus on the end-of-school-year merry-go-round. I have been busy planning (and daydreaming) everything that I am going to do when my time is my own again. That alone was occupying my mental energy and time: focusing on the future and counting down the days in my head, and I completely forgot the ‘now’.

All right, I’ve been thinking, when life gives you lemons, don’t make lemonade! Make life take the lemons back! Get Mad! I don’t want your damn lemons! What am I supposed to do with these? Demand to see life’s manager! Make life rue the day it thought it could give Cave Johnson lemons! Do you know who I am? I’m the man whose gonna burn your house down – with the lemons! I’m gonna get my engineers to invent a combustible lemon that’ll burn your house down!
~Cave Johnson

My power was cut off. My children kindly informed me of this via text message and I (very red faced) called my power company, apologized profusely, and paid my bill. I was humbled. I was embarrassed, and I was bordering on getting angry when my children texted me again an hour later wondering why the power was still out. Power companies, like the gods, work on their own schedule.

I admit, on my drive home, I felt tempted to go to the central office and pull a Cave Johnson on them, but after starting to giggle from reciting the ‘Lemon Rant’ I was feeling calmer. After all, it was my fault we were in this predicament. The power company really was not to blame, and they had someone scheduled to come out that afternoon. Instead, I stopped at our local beer shop, got a nice six-pack of Dogfish Head’s Romantic Chemistry and a bag of ice. Once home, I pulled out the beach cooler, iced the beer, and sat outside enjoying the sun and socializing with my children.

Let’s make small talk~

What do you do when life gives you lemons? Do you go the lemonade route? Combustible lemons? Or do you find a third citrusy option?

In the time that it took me to take my daughter to her place of work and return home, the power had been restored. And… denying the impulse to rush back inside to fire up the electronic toys, I continued to sit outside in the sun and enjoy the spicy, fruit yumminess of my beer. I also penciled in the next due date for my power bill two days earlier than I need to pay it.

No more combustible lemons for me.

Day dreams, day trips, and walkabout~

The 12-pack even comes with a handy treasure map inside!

Summer break is just around the corner for me, and I find myself optimistically happy about this. Last year, summer break was very short due to end of work dates before summer camp started, and an unexpected move. Naturally, I don’t really wish a repeat of that, so I’ve been thinking about adventures.  Granted, the Devil’s Backbone Virginia craft brew adventure pack I picked up last night is also helping to turn my mind toward adventure.

There are two of each of the collaborative brews included, so my son and I sat down to sample them. This year, the brews are:

  • Craic Stout (4.6% ABV, 39 IBU): Classic Irish Style Dry Stout, a collaboration with Mad Fox Brewing Company
  • Cross Eyed Stranger (7.8% ABV, 90 IBU): India Pale Ale with Exotic Hops, a collaboration with Ocelot Brewing Company
  • Tide de Mars (6.1% ABV, 21 IBU): Bier de Mars Ale, a collaboration with O’Connor Brewing Company
  • Sixth Circle Sour IPA (5.7% ABV, 19 IBU): Sour India Pale Ale, a collaboration with Parkway Brewing Company
  • Crystall Brett (5.5% ABV, 26 IBU): Special Ale Brewed with Crystal hops, a collaboration with Three Notch’d Brewing Company.
  • Devils Backbone Basecamp Favorite Vienna Lager (5.2% ABV, 18 IBU) is also featured in the Adventure Pack.

Let’s make small talk~

How do you find time for adventures when you’re busy? Or do you, like me, live vicariously through the adventures of others whilst biding your time?

I have to be honest and give them all a five out five star rating.
The Sixth Circle Sour was especially tasty in the heat of the afternoon, which bumped it up for me. I have the feeling that if I tried it in cooler weather it would have only gotten 3 out of five.

Sadly, we sat down without any note taking equipment — just ourselves and our taste buds, and the sultry June evening. The good news is, this means I need to get another pack next weekend so we can properly make notes about the sampler pack whilst we plan out our day trip to Virginia.

Flash 55 ~ Ghost towns

Human vision
creative dreams
ideas made real
triumph of man supreme.
Beneath the surface not all as it seems~
solid shells
empty guts
architects’ vision turn to rust
fall to dust
Death has come, as it must.
Flesh has fled
blood is drained
restless spirits all that remain
Till Nature moves in
the land reclaimed.

This flash poem was written as part of the Imaginary Gardens with Real Toads Flash 55 Plus prompt.