Here in the sleepy little town of Dallas, North Carolina another weekend is coming to a close and the family and I are beginning to prepare for the week ahead. Lunch is packed, the dogs are fed, meds are filled (thank God), and we have had our fair share of adventure for the past couple of days. Several weeks out of the month I wind up working on the weekends due to working a rotating schedule. To make a complicated story short, I work for four days and then am off for four days meaning that my wife and I don’t get to spend the same days off together some weeks. When we do get time off together we take advantage of it by trying to plan fun stuff with the dogs or just playing the days by ear and seeing where things take us.
Friday night rolled around like any other. I had spent the day cleaning with Kimberly, playing video games, and attempting to develop the journaling category on the blog as I envisioned in my head. The phone rang and to my surprise it was the wife of a good friend of mine who immediately asked if we had plans for the night. Having none, I asked what they had in mind and she happily replied that they were at “The Country Kitchen”, a former gas station converted into a restaurant in the middle of town and it was karaoke night. She went on to mention that they were the youngest two there and that we had to come down. Having never had their food before and entertaining the idea of hearing golden oldies from some golden oldies, we were sold and drove about five minutes into town.
The side of the building brandished the name above the entrance advertising “The Best Burger in Town”. We walked to the thumping door and came inside to find our friends who waved us over as soon as they saw us with wide grins on their faces. We picked up menus that conveniently remained at the tables and my wife ordered barbeque while I decided to see if their burger would live up to the sign out front. After ordering the “Ultimate Burger” (adding mustard, mayonnaise, and coleslaw), I sat back sipping sweet tea and watched as precious elders of the town got up and sang their hearts out. It was truly an experience that reminded me that you are only as old as your mind allows you to be.
When the food came out it was hot, fresh, and smelled delectable but to my surprise this was set before me:
Between two buns sat sizzling bacon, a thick beef patty covered in cheese, crisp lettuce, a juicy tomato slice with a freshly fried onion ring cradling the coleslaw, and mustard and mayonnaise dripping from the edges of the top bun. I have had many burgers in my twenty-five years but honestly, this is one to top my list if I had ever kept one.
The next morning we awoke to shop with Kimberlys’ mother for new mid-summer/fall clothing. We arrived at the local mall that once thriving with life from well known retailers and now houses only two stores that have remained over the last twenty years; Belk’s and Spencer Gifts. We cleared many racks at Belk’s, lifting many a hanger, nodding and shaking our heads at one another in approval or disapproval as if we were voting outcasts off an island. Many contenders went into the dressing room… a fraction of them came back out…
During the try on, I mozied on down to my neck of the woods. To a place where a guy with ripped jeans, tattoos, and piercings can be a weirdo in peace. Spencer’s welcomed me with loud music and black t-shirts as far up as the wall would go. I went in looking as though on a treasure hunt but managed to leave in the end with two shirts and three sets of plugs for my wife and I to wear. What can I say? They really know how to run a sale.
When we got home and decided later that evening to cook dinner, we knew that we would fall victim to our sweet tooth afterwards. Preparations were in order but there was nothing in the apartment to satisfy the beast who would come pillaging in the night. I knew what had to be done… I went out for ice cream. I grazed up and down the freezer section of the grocery store until I finally found cotton candy flavored ice cream and even found the dogs their favorite flavor; cheese and peanut butter. I arrived home victoriously and we were able to enjoy a quiet night at home with movies, food, and dogs.
When you live in a small town, Sundays are typically as sleepy as the children who are forced to wake up for Sunday school. Today was a day where we woke up with no plan as to what the day would hold. We decided to get up, eat, and head down to the pool in our apartment complex. The heat from the weekend evaporated around six inches of water out of the pool and made stepping on the first step a little awkward. I managed to wade to the edge with my copy of “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer”, and emerged myself into the murder scene in chapter nine. I was rudely interrupted by my radiating flesh however as bubbles began to appear and disappear in the pool. The temperature was rising and my tolerance for the North Carolina humidity began to dwindle. It was clearly time to go inside.
After a quick rinse in the shower, we decided to go into town and get dinner for later in the evening. We drove off and rolled the windows down to enjoy the peaceful sound of the stillness while birds sang their quiet refrains. We arrived at the store in around five minutes and quickly gathered our Starbucks and the ingredients necessary to feast like a king and queen. Nothing says it’s a lazy Sunday quite like hot dogs on the George Foreman.
With enough caffeine in me to fuel my thumbs for hours, I hopped on my favorite new side scrolling video game when we returned. “Cuphead: Don’t Deal With the Devil” is a cartoon based game that is illustrated as if animated in the 1930’s. Cuphead and his brother Mugman go into the Devils’ casino and strike rich for awhile until their souls are at stake. With one roll of the die a set of snake eyes seals their fate. They beg and plead for another way out and are told that if they collect soul contracts from the Devils’ other victims that they will be free. If you are a fan of vintage animation, old school boss battles, and simple controls, this is a must play for the Xbox One.
All in all I can’t complain about the weekend. A lot of good time was spent enjoying good company and good time in my little slice of town. I hope all has been well with you as you begin your week ahead and that you enjoyed this glimpse into my world. Be on the lookout for more entries and be safe, smart, and happy friends.