Yesterday was as fine of a Spring day anyone could ask for.
Sunny, mid 70's, and a light breeze.
What could make a day like that even better?
How about spending the afternoon on the first day of the thoroughbred racing season at Delaware Park with Christine and my cousin Beth.
Cousin Beth is actually my second cousin. Her grandfather was my father's middle brother. I learned recently that Beth and her father were tracing family histories including that of the Walker clan. I'm more than happy to fill in the details regarding my father's branch of the family tree.
Not surprisingly, we talked non-stop telling each other family stories and history.
Air Traffic Mike and Cousin Beth.
(Note: this is the first time in many years I failed to give "Bunny Ears" to someone in a picture.)
I actually had not seen Beth since she was a baby. The Walker family had drifted apart over the years. However, it was clear that we were kin. We have a very similar laugh that's unique to the family, the same quirky likes/dislikes, the same warped sense of humor, and eerily similar gregarious personalities.
Sadly, we also share the loss of a younger brother at a young age. Her brother Jeffrey was killed at age 17 in a car accident. The loss of my brother at 24 in a car accident is well known to my readers. As we were discussing the two brothers we realized that they were extremely similar to one another while alive. It took years, but I can finally tell stories about my late brother Gary without crying. I think because both Beth and I have the same experience, it makes it easier for us to share stories of our brothers.
Today she's spending Mother's Day with her mother.
Christine and I decided we'd celebrate Mother's Day with her mother a couple days ahead of time.
Mother's Day, like Easter Sunday, is a terrible day to go to a restaurant. Every place will be crowded. The servers stressed to the max. Customers will be bitchy because they fail to realize that they are one table out of one hundred and fifty, all filled with other bitchy customers.
Christine suggested we take her mother out to lunch on Friday.
It was a brilliant idea.
I took the ladies out to Christine's and my favorite seafood restaurant, Harry's Seafood Grill in Wilmington, DE.
This was taken at the dessert course.
Christine and her mother both ordered the same item, but the kitchen jazzed Mary Jane's up.
That's one of the things I like about Harry's.......their attention to detail and service is outstanding.
One of the other things I like about Harry's is their wine list. It's not overly large, but very comprehensive.
1999 Vintage Veuve Clicquot French Champagne. I can't make a steady diet of over the top champagnes, but a nice glass with a seafood appetizer every once in a while is nice. Mary Jane ordered 1/2 chilled lobster, Christine ordered an Ahi Tuna appetizer, and I had 1/2 dozen freshly shucked raw clams.
For our main courses I ordered something that would pair well.
I figured with Mary Jane's Lobster Roll, Christine's Crab Cake Salad, and my Thai Jumbo Lump Crab Meat Salad, an nice, crisp Sauvignon Blanc would fit nicely.
We weren't through with Mother's Day on Friday. Yesterday we picked up Mary Jane and took her to a Mother's Day fundraiser breakfast. Christine's two brothers and a sister in law joined us. Mary Jane was pleased to have 3 of her 4 children at breakfast.
On the way home we stopped by St. Mary's Catholic Cemetery so I could pay my respects to my late mother and brother.
Believe me, after that an afternoon of fun at the horse track was good therapy.
Cousin Beth even got to meet a celebrity at the track:
Splitty the Maul.
Unfortunately, Delaware Park has a "No Guns, No Splitting Mauls" policy.
Fortunately, Splitty the Maul is the strong, silent type. He doesn't mind hanging out in the AirTrafficMobile.
He's also a "chick magnet".
With all of our Mother's Day events taken care of, we're just going to kick back and relax today.
I'm going to fire up the smoker and cook a pork shoulder.
The new smoker is working out great.
Friday night I smoked a boneless, skinless pair of turkey breasts.
Before and after.
Turkey breast doesn't take very long to smoke.
Pork shoulder on the other hand, takes a long time to smoke properly.
On that note, it's time to hit the backyard.
Until the next time, all y'all take care of yourselves.
Air Traffic Mike, ret.
I Know DKDC
3 days ago