Sunday, June 5, 2011

Vacationing At Abicht's Landing

This week; despite the sadness of Warren's passing and the ever-swirling concerns about maintaining care for my Mom, was in many ways a brilliant week. As I'd mentioned in the post on Connie, one of my goals for this week was to properly reacquaint myself with my hometown. For the past several years, my visits home have been rife with the strife and worry over my family and having a good time was often not even a consideration. That doesn't mean there wasn't humor and bits of joy to be had here and there and frequently, when they did they occurred with my dear friends Kaki and JB at their lakeside home at Abicht's Landing. On this visit, I finally was able to relax and soak it all in. That Kak and JB allowed me to do that and were so boundless with their hospitality is a true testament to their friendship as this was a very challenging week for them.

Alumni weekend is great fun for the Greenhouse Gang and they love all of the folks dropping by. That said, they also work very hard during this time. The GH played host to two reunions this weekend; the class of '76 on Friday and the Sixties reunion on Saturday. Folks and classmates poured through the doors on both nights; shopping and sampling all of the delicious hors d'oeurves on hand. That Saturday, they also had wedding florals to create and deliver and a multitude of Memorial Day grave saddles and vases. That following Sunday was the SMHS graduation and that meant a host of graduation flowers. The weekend was flowing with shoppers and it would all add up to one extraordinary weekend all on its own but then they created a ton of absolutely striking floral arrangements for Warren's funeral and how they managed to create such memorable floral tributes in the midst of all of the Alumni madness is beyond me.....but then, the GH Gang never ceases to amaze me.

Beyond Alumni weekend, the GH was busy on a daily basis and as crazy as everything seemed, I wouldn't have blamed Kak and JB if they'd simply came home, crawled under the covers and didn't come out until dawn. Instead, they were perfect hosts; JB grilling up a storm and Kak, bursting with pride over the astounding work the GH Gang pulled off. On a few nights, several folks gathered at the house in celebration. Like any good "innkeepers", sometimes mistakes are made....our friend Jack got locked out one evening. That's a first.

JB really inspired me with some of his grilling this week. I tried to bring in some decent munchies through the week: pickled okra, cornichons, goat cheese with cracked pepper crackers and a big, honkin' watermelon. JB's grillmaster grub was most certainly the highlight, though. The famous steamer burgers, piled high with cheddar and grilled, spicy tater tots on Memorial Day. Grilled shrimp with Old Bay and lemon. Blackened Salmon and grilled vegetables. One wow in particular for me was the green onions he grilled....we most certainly will be trying this and it was a perfect companion with the shrimp. They saved the piece de resistance meal for the end of the week....hosted on a gorgeous night when our dinner companions were the ever- delightful Barb and Dotte. JB grilled succulent spiced ribs and grilled lettuce that Kak dressed with a Greek vinaigrette, fresh Parmesan and capers. Kak whipped up some marvelous mashed potatoes with bleu cheese, Parmesan cheese, garlic and other spices. The kicker was JB's grilled watermelon.....when I'd heard that the fruit was grilled with olive oil,balsamic vinegar, cinnamon and SEAFOOD seasoning, I was taken aback and then I tried it and it was absolutely amazing. I will so be grilling watermelon soon.

I give kudos to Mary Katherine for leading the charge toward spending more time on their deck. the view here is glorious and inspirational and as Connie taught me more about photography, I watched as the setting changed hundreds of times in the course of the day. The afternoon shimmer across the lake, the setting sun peering through the trees, the hillside fields turning golden in the evening sun, the weeping willow dancing in the breeze. Several nights out there were just pristine and on a couple of afternoons, I took the laptop outside to blog in the warm sun's rays.

I'm glad my friends Kak and JB were able to get some golfing in this week as they seriously deserve some downtime after much craziness. I'm also most grateful that they continue to welcome me into their home. It was so very gratifying to truly soak it all in for a change.


Anonymous said...

Greg--I am reading, and reading, and reading some more! It's amazing how much you capture in writing...sans notes!!! How do you do that? Your posts are all wonderful, fabulous, (and just so you know I have read them all) each one is "drool worthy." I'll be commenting as I absorb all that you have shared so poetically.

Miss you!


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