I am seeing pickles in my dreams. Barrels and barrels of pickle slices, swimming in brine like flat green jellyfish. Scooping them for six straight hours in the Avenue of Pines Lions Club hamburger stand will do that to a gal who thought she’d left that life behind back when she was a waitress and cook many, many moons ago.
I don’t even like pickles.
The Wild Rice Festival of 2014 was a rousing success, according to my family. This, despite the rain delays for the long-anticipated Dweebs concert on Saturday night and a chilly October-ish parade on Sunday. They ate too many hamburgers (some with pickles, some without), fry bread tacos, and mini do-nuts and drank their weight in beer. To atone for their sinning ways (or maybe they were just hungry again), they visited both the Methodist and Catholic church basements where they found wild rice hotdish and pie in the first, turkey and cupcakes in the one next door.
They talked about going on the Tilt-a-Whirl but then, thought better of it and walked “uptown” to the Flea Market instead. They listened to stories about growing up in a place where the Rice Festival was the highlight of the year, every year. They didn’t win a baby turtle by throwing a ping pong ball into a glass bowl or 500 bucks by having their number called, but oh, well…..they weren’t really expecting either thing to happen, anyway. They stood with family and friends beneath a misty Super Moon watching the fireworks light up the night sky.
But mostly, what they did was spend time together with their big, loud, messy, gluttonous, extended family. One that, more often than not, feels too spread out and busy. They listened to old stories about the town where their moms were born and raised. A town their moms know by heart.
I’m thankful for everything but the pickles.