When the date of Landon’s (Drew to the rest of the world) upcoming high school graduation open house was being tossed around there were very few choices. Because Michigan kids get out of school later than the rest of the nation, most Pioneer kids will hold their parties late in June. For Landon, who’s committed to Holy Cross with a basketball scholarship, he’s supposed to be there before he even gets out of school. Squeezing an open house would actually occur a week before he dons his cap and gown.
Ok the date was set and Shannon was going over menu ideas which would consist of most of Landon’s favorite foods. Shannon asked if I would be able to make potato salad (not on his favorite foods list but most grownups like it). The reason she was hesitant to ask me is because it would only be 6 weeks after my knee replacement. Six weeks sounded like an eternity. I said, sure I can do it. Hmmm.
The Lowder’s know a ton of people and all were invited. (Landon’s great aunt Carolyn flew in from California to attend). Aww. I’m thinking 25 pounds of potatoes, 3 dozen eggs, 3 jars of sweet pickles, 3 bags of radishes, 2 bunches of green onions, plus celery and a whole lot of doctored up Miracle Whip. Forget the whip, I might need a miracle.
It’s not that I’m not doing well. I am. But I still tire easily and haven’t been sleeping worth a toot (both driving me crazy). Standing in one spot for more than a few minutes is not very comfortable. I needed a plan. Realized I would have to be seated for parts of this endeavor. And accept my limitations. Dicing all those veggies would fall on the Hubs. He filled a 3 quart bowl full of colorful veggies (but forgot the 3 jars of pickles which I did). I hard cooked the eggs and stuck them in the fridge overnight. Took a plastic gallon container and mixed 3 jars of Miracle Whip with a large squirt of yellow mustard, several shakes of salt, pepper and couple tablespoons of sugar, slapped a lid on and stuck it in the fridge. Next day all I’d have to do was peel, cut, cook 25 pounds of potatoes, drain, cool and dice. Yeah, I said ‘all.’ Ha-ha.
These large quantities added altogether is impossible to mix thoroughly. So I divided it up in thirds. I eyeballed the 2 huge pots of cooked spuds and start dicing one third in a big bowl. Add one dozen chopped up eggs and 4 cups of diced veggies. Glop on Miracle Whip and start incorporating (I detest the words incorporating and infusing when I read them in recipes). Ok, I mixed it all together. When it looks exactly like my mother-in-law Mag’s Famous Potato Salad I dump the whole works in the plastic container and sprinkle the top with pepper. (Normally I slice an egg on the top, then pepper the top with pepper). But Shannon’s gonna dump one container at a time in a pretty bowl and set it in a larger bowl of ice so I’m not bothering with the pretty sliced egg. I repeat this little scenario 2 more times and I’m so pooped I hardly scoop from one bowl to the other.
Dirty dishes, silverware and pans cover every square inch of my small countertop. I. Just. Can’t. Even. I need to sit for a bit before tackling my tiny kitchen, which resembles a bombed out building. I’m befuddled why a bowl of potato salad can tire me out so. It has to be a combination of my non-existent sleep pattern and taking medication at night to help me sleep. I can count on one hand how often I take OTC drugs for anything. But laying in bed or sitting in a recliner for hours when I should be sound asleep has freaked me out a bit. Why in the world can’t I sleep? I am not going to start taking a prescription to help me sleep. But I really need to sleep, not this fitful tossing and turning for hours.
My potato salad is chilling by 1:30 and the kitchen’s clean by 4. Hubs is grilling supper on so my day is pretty much done. When Shannon was discussing food she mentioned ordering assorted cupcakes. (Why, I could do that. But my expertise in cupcakes stops at the puny number of 3 and doesn’t include complicated fillings or cute swirly frosting, though my frostings are good). Besides, she sounded like she was having fun choosing from the large variety offered. When the number 300 was mentioned, I’m grateful I bit my lip hard enough to refrain from foolishly offering. I could not have done it.
Landon’s party was a rousing success in spite of the weather. The Lowder driveway was filled with a long table capturing Landon from an adorable baby to 18 year old handsome, honed athlete. Two tents were set up, tables and chairs everywhere. Cookies, cupcakes, salads, slider sandwich fixings and get this, 2 people working chicken fryers. Constantly frying wings plain, barbecued and lemon pepper, piping hot. All afternoon.
But a mere 15 minutes in, our May/June monsoons returned. It had been cloudy all morning but at 1:15 the sky suddenly went dark gray. Sheets of rain pelted guests, hail pinged the driveway, strong winds swayed the trees on the golf course in the back yard and water dripped into my Potato Salad. (I hadn’t even made my way outside yet and was watching the changing weather from my favorite chair in their living room). Garage door was raised, boards with Landon’s pics brought in, dried off and rehung on fireplace mantle, table and slider doors. The long food table was moved inside their pristine garage. Joshua glanced at his phone’s weather radar and said Jackson was the southern tip of the storm and it wouldn’t last long. A good half hour later the rain had petered out, grey skies prevailed and party goers kept coming.
Another milestone in Landon’s life over and done. But this young man’s just getting started. He leaves for Holy Cross in Massachusetts in one week. New beginnings. Freshman on the basketball team. Low man on the totem pole once again. But if you’ve kept up with my blog, you remember 4 very short years ago, Landon, # 3 made the varsity team and had a huge impact on Pioneer’s team. Barely 15, he entered their first game and nailed a 3 pointer. The whole student body rose in unison and screamed, “he’s a freshman, he’s a freshman.” Best basketball moment-ever. Ok buddy, do that again…