Family fun.

Well…I’m sitting on one of two Adirondack chairs my wife and I have behind our house on a canal leading to a river leading to the Atlantic, enjoying on my iPod Andrea Bocelli singing Italia with Chris Botti accompanying&#151Amazing! If you haven’t done it…do!&#151when, as I’m leaning to pick up my glass of Bohemian Highway Chardonnay, my serene world is assaulted with the sound of a somewhat manly, hoarse-sounding, female voice loudly demanding “Ricky…put the damn thing in the holder, or the freakin’ beer’ll spill all over the place!”

For a split-second, I considered the downside of looking up to espy the vocal offender. After all, what is the gain in putting a face on her? But, alas, like someone cruising by a fresh, ambulance-attended car accident and sneaking a peak, secretly hoping to confirm one’s worst expectations, I looked up. There it she was: hair pulled tightly up on her head making it all the easier to spot last week’s hair color (rooster-red?), the 21st century, omnipresent, show-all-I-got, too tight Spandex top partially covering a belly that might prompt someone newer to the Eastern Shore than I to inquire, “So…a boy or girl?” and jeans cut sufficiently high to show-off her cottage cheese dimpled thighs. Her tattoo&#151the one I could see from the front (there must be more) &#8211ran up her left calf to just below her knee and looked to be (mind you, I’m a good forty yards away) to be some sort of vine/flower festooned trellis (her concession to femininity, I suppose). She was attempting to haul a good portion of her bulk over a Coleman cooler to join her two kids in the front, while handing off her Natural Light to what I assumed was her husband.

Not to be outdone in the vociferous category, Ricky, barked back, “I ain’t no damn fool, Honey, I’m doin’ it.” And, to his credit, he was. In fact, he was&#151at the same time&#151demonstrating his prowess by taking her beer, steering the boat, and shoving his Natural Light down the front of his jean shorts for safekeeping…all while leaning over the steering wheel to plant a kiss on the cheek of his now repositioned wife. Impressive!

As their boat idled its way down the canal to the river a hundred yards or so away, it occurred to me. They were out with their kids…with each other…enjoying a rather hot and humid summer day on a July 4th weekend; like a lot of families would like but, for some reason or other, can’t. I could hear in the growing distance between us, the kids’ laughter and the man’s excited voice say, “Wait ‘till we get you kids in that freakin’ tube…you’re gonna love it!”

And you know what? I’ll bet they do. Ever’ last one of ‘em.

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