Breaking Galveston Vacation News!
This morning, everyone, it seems, went down to the beach. I still don’t understand the fascination. It’s sand and salt water. Wilma and I both stayed behind with my wife’s cousin Mandy, who promptly went into her room to watch Megamind (see yesterday’s post). She must have been tired because I heard about twenty minutes of hardcore laughter and then silence. Wilma and I moved lazily about the beach house for a while. I sat down to do some work on my laptop and she sat down to pray the Liturgy of the Hours. Doesn’t everyone pray the Office when they have a free morning at the beach? Of course.
After a while, Wilma made her way over to the kitchen where I was sitting at the table. I was engrossed in something fascinating on Twitter. Out of the corner of my eye I spotted a bag of lemons. They were just sort of there, on the counter; and I was really not too interested in my life crossing paths with them on this fine day. Then Wilma spoke. “You ever made lemonade?” I didn’t have to think too hard about my answer — no — but neither did I have to have a house fall on me to know that she was really posing a challenge to me in her words. It was obvious that these lemons had been purchased by my wife for the purpose of making lemonade and that my mother-in-law and I, as the custodians of the house, should do something nice for everyone before they got back from the sand and seaweed. Who doesn’t like a nice, cold glass of homemade lemonade on a hot summer day? OK, don’t answer that. I’m sure there’s someone out there who’s allergic to lemons and is cursing me out right now. No matter, Wilma and I were going to do this. We were going to take the lemons my wife gave us and make lemonade!
Almost immediately I had opened a new tab on my browser and typed in “hommade lemonade” in the search box. “Did you mean homemade lemonade?” came the condescending response from Google. I ignored that and looked over the first two or three sites. “You know, Wilma, I always figured it was just lemon juice, sugar, and water.” She nodded in agreement. But according to these sites, the sugar really needs to take the form of something called simple syrup — a one to one mixture of sugar and water where the sugar is disolved into the water over heat. This stuff has another name — bartender’s syrup — hence my immediate familiarity with it. It allows for the sugar to disperse throughout the lemonade. The only problem that we could foresee at this point was our complete and utter lack of sugar. Wilma and I both turned to each and discussed the very serious idea that we could dissolve the 85 packet of Spenda that were sitting in a plastic baggie. Then we realized that, no, that was not a viable option.
At this point it would be helpful to note several items.
- There is a convenience store across the road.
- The prices in that store are, to be expected, a bit jacked up.
- My wife loathes spending unnecessarily.
Wilma and I stared at each other vacantly for about five minutes. Then I spoke up. “I’m just going to do it!” “NO,” she said, frantically. “Don’t do it! She’ll throw a fit! She’ll come back to this house, see what we done and murdilate us!” I complimented my mother-in-law on her flawless Jimmy Durante impression; but still decided that it was the only thing to do. To accomplish this feat required just a few more stealthy maneuvers. Our car was blocked in by my sister-in-law’s car and she was also at the beach. Wilma ran into her bedroom and emerged in a fetching all-black number ala a typical bandit in a Fosse spectacular. “I’ll get those keys for ya!” I’ll leave it up to you to figure out where I’m embellishing details. The keys, of course, were simply sitting on top of my sister-in-law’s purse on the counter. Keys in hand, I quietly slipped down the stairs, hopped in the car, and took off for the Pirate’s Bounty Convenience Store and Wine Bar. Once inside, I grabbed a two pound bag of sugar and raced back to the house. Over the course of the next twenty minutes Wilma and I, listening to a disco medley on my laptop, chopped lemons, juiced them, and started up our simple syrup in a saucepan on the stove.
Did I forget to tell you that there was also a similar saucepan sitting on the stovetop already and that it was holding about a cup of what appeared to be saltwater? Yeah, earlier Wilma had remarked how odd this was. “Who in the world left a pan of saltwater on the stove?” We surmised that it must have been something to do with a science experiment. Of course, that’s completely logical. But I pressed on, stirring and dissolving, humming along to Donna Summer. And then it hit both of us at the same time. I turned to Wilma. “Do you suppose that’s a pan of sugar water and not…” I asked. At the same moment, she was dipping her finger into the pan and tasting it. “Oh crap,” she said, “that’s not from the Gulf.” Somehow my wife had found the sugar she needed and had already begun her preparation for her lemonade and here we had gone and undone her good work. “Uh-oh…” we both said. You see, it’s just that my wife does so much for so many people. We just wanted to do something nice for her. And now, here, dammit, she had pre-emptively taken that away from us. Well we were not about to go down for this one. I quickly grabbed a marker and put that sugar “on sale” while Wilma frantically poured my syrup into the pitcher with the lemon juice and began scrubbing the saucepan.
In the end, we don’t know that she’ll even notice. In the end, though, my mother-in-law had a great idea. “You got any Bob Marley on that thing? I’m grabbin’ a beer.” That Wilma… You see, when my wife figures the whole sordid affair out, her mom and I will be more sauced than that pan of bartenders syrup. And then, as they say, we just won’t care.