Time to catch up...
Every Father’s Day weekend for the past several years, our cottage here on Magician Lake has become “ground zero” for a NASCAR “Race Weekend,” culminating with the Sprint Cup race on Sunday at Michigan International Speedway.
This annual event begins with the arrival of my older sister and her husband on Thursday morning, followed by my son and grandson and a couple other “regulars” from home on Friday. When the weather is nice—which it was early on—most of the time is spent down on the pier, in the water, or on the pontoon boat. A few of the group play golf on Saturday morning, while “gramps” stays at the cottage and has fun with grandson, Jack, and tends the coals in the Weber where a pork butt smokes gently away, preparing to end up as pulled pork for the post-race sandwiches at M.I.S. on Sunday.
My son and my sister carry out a necessary task early Saturday morning—an annual tradition—of shopping for food and other goodies needed for the Saturday night meal and the next day’s food supplies over at the speedway. Don’t even ask to go along with them as they visit the Meijer store; it’s their own domain and one which requires no “outside” tampering or tweaking!
Of course from Thursday on, there is plenty of cold beer and other refreshments available for all tastes. It’s a well-behaved gathering, full of many laughs, jokes, and various other forms of goofiness. And since we hit the road for the two-and-a-half hour drive over to M.I.S. In Brooklyn, located in the Irish Hills, by 5:00 a.m., it’s usually a pretty early night on Saturday.
This year, most of us Chicago Blackhawks’ fans stayed up to listen to the game vs. Boston. Since no TV was available, we were gathered on the porch, around the little portable radio, late into the night. Alas, the outcome was not good for us. Losing in overtime, the team gave none of us reason to stay up to listen to any post-game chatter, so radios were clicked off as soon as Boston scored its winning overtime goal.
Disappointed? Yes, but all was forgotten once we rolled out onto I-94, eastbound for a day of fun and more refreshments and good memories. Arriving before 8:00 a.m., we ended up with a decent parking spot in Lot 3A, our regular area, and breakfast was soon in the offing before the morning got too far along. Eggs, bacon, hash browns, biscuits, and gravy were tasty and well received.
And so we all settled back and enjoyed the morning, before heading into the track and our seats for the start of the race. The “iffy” weather cleared out, and it was a sunshine-filled afternoon—perfect for the race!
Sitting beside my seven-year-old grandson and my son was special on this Fathers’ Day. We are fans of Roush Racing (Greg Biffle and Carl Edwards) and both had very good races, particularly Biffle who was the winner when it was all said and done.
Afterwards, it was back to the tailgate area for the pulled pork sandwiches and various “sides” and more cold refreshments. Wife Carolyn was one of the designated drivers, and friend Ed was the other one, so we had that arranged ahead of time. It was good to relax in the shade of the pop-up tent and to enjoy the delicious food. I always enjoy that part of the day before we have to break things down, pack the Ford 150s, and drive back to the cottage. The food is always wonderful, but perhaps it was even more so this year since my driver won the race!
Writing this from the peace and quiet of the cottage porch, where just a couple of days previous there was lots of talk, laughter, and good times, I realize that it was another terrific “Race Weekend” and anticipate next year’s already. Now, I need to get back to work on my writing and revising my novel. Stay tuned…MLA