Sunday, August 31, 2008

Labor Day weekend 2008













For some reason, the cicadas got off to a slow start this year, or so it seemed to me. I missed hearing them many nights this summer when, at least in my mind's ear, they had previously filled similar summer nights with their song. I'm not sure what's happened, but suddenly, in late August, with temperatures hovering in the high 90's, they've apparently decided to make up for it, and night after night, as I move from room to room in my cool, air conditioned house, which is shut up tight against the oppressive heat, I can hear them singing in the trees outside my windows. Their song, lush and rhythmic, comes in swells, and reminds me again that it is one of the things that I love about living in the south. When I first moved to Texas, in 1983, I could count on a subtle change in the weather after Labor Day weekend. Even though the temperatures stayed hot during the day and warm at night, it was as if a little of the air had been let out of the season, and you sensed that cooler weather was on the way. I don't remember when that changed, but it hasn't been like that for some time now. This oppressive heat will hang on for several weeks before giving way to the cool, crisp days of fall. Fall is my favorite time of year, and fall in Texas is well worth waiting for. Once it arrives, there will be weeks of clear, bright, sunny days, with temperatures in the 70's, followed by crisp, cool, starry nights, with just enough chill in the air to have a fire in the fireplace.

Nevertheless, although there are still a few weeks of summer ahead here in Texas, I like to use Labor Day weekend as the excuse to change out the colors of summer for the colors of fall, inside and outside my house.







































And having spent some time yesterday and this morning doing that, this afternoon Kath, A & I went to see the 2006 French thriller, Tell No One, which I highly recommend. It's an indie sleeper, which is absolutely amazing to me, as it's an excellent film. I'm not sure why no American jumped on this story, from Harlan Corbin's book of the same name, but I'm happy they didn't. I don't think anyone could have done it better than Guillaume Canet. If you get a chance, go see it.

Afterward, we went back to my house for dinner. I'd invited Chris & Stephanie, who'd punted the movie because they spent the day moving from their apartment into a house they've rented in the neighborhood. I called Chris from Central Market.
"Do you want to come over and have dinner, after the movie, at about 7:30?" I asked.
"Um, I'd like to come over, but I don't think we can because we're going out for dinner," Chris said, and then asked, "What are you having, anyway?"
"Well, I was thinking of avocados stuffed with shrimp salad," I said.
"Oh, man, I'd LOVE that!" Chris exclaimed. A little history here: when Chris was 5, jumbo shrimp with red sauce was probably his favorite food in the world. He looked forward to eating shrimp like other kids looked forward to a cheeseburger and if he went with me to the grocery store, that's what he always wanted as a treat. So I knew he'd enjoy this dinner if they could come over.
"Yeah, shoot, no, I can't do it," he said, "because I've promised Stephanie we'd go out."
"It's OK honey, another time," I said, and we said goodbye and hung up.

In a couple of minutes he called me back.
"Can you save me one?"
"What?"
"Can you save me a stuffed avocado?"
I started laughing.
"Christopher, we are talking about ripe avocados and fresh shrimp! It's going to be delicious tonight but it won't last beyond tonight..."
"Yeah, I know....." he said and paused, then said,
"Can I come by at 7:30 and have one?"
I laughed again. "You can come by at 7:30 and have as many as you like."

And so he did. Stephanie didn't eat, as they were on their way out to dinner when they stopped by, but Chris had two stuffed avocados, and if they hadn't been on their way out to dinner, I'm fairly certain he'd have eaten more. Chris & Mike's best friend, Jon, stopped by as we were finishing a light dinner, which, for the rest of us, consisted of hatch jack cheese quesadilloes, shrimp stuffed avocadoes, white wine, and for dessert, blood orange, passion fruit and lemon sorbeto. Not exactly the traditional Labor Day cookout, but a terrific Labor Day weekend nevertheless.

1 comment:

cherry tomato said...

i am certain mike would have loved those avocado/shrimp delights as well. and me, too, but not as much as mike and chris.


i read this blog earlier recommended to me by a friend, and after reading it i thought that you might like to check it out as well (it's political):
http://mudflats.wordpress.com/2008/08/29/what-is-mccain-thinking-one-alaskans-perspective/

i'm interested to know what you think.

=)