Recipe for a Good Weekend: The Five Bs

I know everyone else says their Labor Day weekend was great, but I’m pretty sure mine was the best.


First of all, I have an 11 year old now. We took him and five of his friends to the G braves game. The main thing you need to know about the Gwinnett Braves is that THEY SELL BOILED P-NUTS AT THE STADIUM.


It makes me feel a little off-kilter when I see how big the boys have all gotten. . .


(l-r) Jonah, Milo, Jack, Ben, Aidan, and Rollie, at the Gwinnett Braves.

(l-r) Jonah, Milo, Jack, Ben, Aidan, and Rollie, at the Gwinnett Braves.


They talk. A LOT. Mostly about farts. They are at a crazy age where they are still little kids, and yet almost teenagers sometimes. They listen to REALLY bad music. I mean, really bad. They think it’s good. One of them went so far as to say, “Parents don’t get it. Pop is the music of the future.” And “Mary broke her middle finger. Now she can’t use it any more.” Me: “Use it for what?” Kid: “Playing the recorder.” So, these six stayed up til like 1 am, laughing, inhaling pizza, talking smack, and playing video games. And now my basement smells like puberty.



And then there was this:

Oh, baby.

Oh, baby.

On Saturday, my sainted husband took the kids and dog to the lake, and Brett came and picked me up. Brett is my ex-husband from high school. I have known him since middle school, through high school, and into college. We have somehow stayed in touch, even though we have not lived in the same city (and sometimes country) since college. He is like family now. And the fact that he gave me first dibs on tickets (after his own family, of course) meant a lot. So, it’s not often that married folks get to spend an hour or so riding in a car, hanging out and chatting. And Brett and I got all day. (Luckily, we made it through the hellacious turn he made off of 316 into the gas station parking lot. There were squealing tires. Brett is very wild.)


So, we drove to Athens, parked at OMG-IT-WAS-SO-FAR. And then we walked. A lot. Fitbit says I walked over nine miles, which explains why on Sunday I felt rather similarly to the way i felt after running a half-marathon. And I didn’t even drink any bourbon while running that one.


What a beautiful (Hot) day it was for a walk in Athens. Oh, the people-watching. There is just not much like an SEC football town on a Saturday. So, we walked all the way from the intramural fields to North Campus. We found Brett’s cousins’ tailgate. (what the heck did people do to find each other before cel phones? I have trouble remembering.) They were gracious and gentlemanly and had lovely girlfriends (ah, to be 20-something again), and had ice and beer and . .  no mixers for the bourbon. That’s okay, it seems I can be charming when i want to – i sweet-talked some poor Clemson boy for Coke. He didn’t know what hit him.


Then Jason and his friend Brian showed up, and wheee! Seriously nothing better than a sunny Saturday, drinking bourbon, and people-watching with two of your oldest, favoritest people, and about 80,000 strangers.

Brett, Me, and Jason. I love these two like the brothers I never had.

Brett, Me, and Jason. I love these two like the brothers I never had.


So, it came time to move on. Kickoff was at 5:30. Brett and I bade goodbye to our gracious hosts, hugged Jason, and set off to grab something to eat. I cannot begin to explain the crowds. We grabbed a hotdog from a corner vendor (flashbacks of my bachelorette party, anyone?), walked through the arches, and sat on the steps of one of the North Campus buildings and just watched people go by. There are old fans, and young fans, and couples, and the endless stream of ridiculous plays on the red and black dress. We finished up and headed towards the stadium. We took the scenic route and sat on the steps of Park Hall, just like the old days. I could have been sitting next to Kevin Fagan, doing the Red and Black crossword, smoking before class. Park has a great view, kind of up on a hill from the stadium, and the streams of people going by, and the sun hanging low in the west, and the sweet, sweet anticipation of kickoff never cease to wow me.


So, we headed towards the stadium in a bourbon haze, in a sea of red, and then we purchased the most trashy red and black t-shirts ever made. They are unable to be worn around children, or in polite company. (They cracked us up, and fueled by bourbon, it seemed like a good idea at the time. I am hoping that Brett will get a photo of Lucy wearing his, and send it to me. Brett and I both suspect we will get nothing but disapproving shakes of the head from our spouses, though.)


And then, a wave of people walking into the stadium, and to find our seats.


It's pretty fun to watch Gurley hurtling towards you.

It’s pretty fun to watch Gurley hurtling towards you.


Great seats! Okay, the good thing about the seats were the location, the view and the overhang, shielding you from the sun. The bad thing is that it was probably 95 in the shade, and then the heat was rising from below and it seemed to just sit up under the overhang. I was never so thankful for the free fan. Talk about a way to feel southern. Dress in the same colors as the other 80,000 people around you, drink bourbon on early 18th century steps, and then use a fan to cool yourself off.


Well, I declare, I thought Brett might have a heatstroke up in that stadium. He’s almost a Yankee now, living out there on the west coast. I guess he just wasn’t used to our heat. Bless his heart.


(That was my best Scarlett O’Hara. That’s all I got.)


So, then? The game. Brett and I spent the first half being uneasy and nervous. Dawgs just didn’t look too . . . inspired. Well, that all changed, and we got quite a show in the 2nd half. That’s all I’m gonna say about that, because I believe in jinxes, and I’ve had my heart smashed to pieces the last two seasons, and I’m not sure if I’m ready for any outward emotional investment yet.


So, we got out of the game and rode the shuttle back out to the car, and drove back to Atlanta. All in all, it was a good day to be a Dawg.




Sunday, i woke up early, feet blistered, and packed a bag for the Lake. And i got there about 11. And it was, you guessed it, so hot. But i read on the dock, and the kids swam, and I drank beer with my two best friends, and I caught a bass and ate a persimmon and some berries right off the tree and vine, and then we at a steak dinner. And I watched the second half of the replay of the game, and it was just as good, and I got maybe a little excited, but JINXES. And then my husband and I did one of our favorite things, which is to sit on the dock, and listen to music, and gaze at the stars. (And a few fireworks across the lake.) The stargazing was not its best last night, a cloud covered most of the lake, but the Big Dipper and the moon were hanging low and bright in the clear western sky. It was hot and I had not showered, so i went swimming, and night swimming in the still lake, gazing at the crescent moon, with the faint notes of music in my ear is pretty damn near heaven.


I slept late (9? Is that late? I guess i am old.) I ate cold pancakes and drank coffee on the screened porch. And then Tiller and I rode the jet-ski, and we went to Goat Island, and it amazes/saddens me that she is so big now that she doesn’t even hold on to me when we ride. We did not see the goats, but boy was the lake busy today. And then i got back to the dock and i took Rollie out. Or should i say, he took me out. Yes, my boy is old enough to drive the thing, and I am just along for the ride. That is both wonderful and scary at the same time. (Still not old enough to take it out on his own, of course.) And my favorite part about that is that we get to have some time together, just the two of us, and we have fun, stopping to swim, and exploring the lake, and stuff like that.


So, i had to come home. Which makes me sad. When i was little, i used to cry about leaving the lake. I love it so. I still get sad to come back home. And now, back to the real world. The work week. The grind. But I feel pretty certain there will be a little Tuesday daydreaming about day drinking in Athens, 100-yard punt returns, fishing, swimming, and the stars.

Recipe for a good weekend: Boiled peanuts, Baseball, Bourbon, Bulldogs, and Bass.


*Photos courtesy of Brett Shell. It’s really hard to hold a drink while shaking one of those pom-poms and taking photos at the same time.

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One Response to “Recipe for a Good Weekend: The Five Bs”

  1. Becky says:

    It sounds like a very good weekend, indeed. And you wrote!

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