A brief memoir of my favorite holiday and why I won`t be able to go this year.
| I have always loved fall the most out of any season, but October is by far my favorite month.I would always make sure to get the first weekend off for my yearly vacation. Then I would purposely take the back roads to Grand Rapids, Michigan to visit my parents. The drive was like a colorful roller coaster splashed with reds, oranges, and yellows.I loved when I came upon a random group of deer, and I would pull over to watch the beautiful animals. Older bucks with their regal racks would strut about hoping to catch a does eye.
Eventually, I would arrive to my parent`s home, and after unpacking for the weekend adventure, we`d stop for a croissant breakfast at Arnie`s restaurant. The concoction would melt it`s flaky, buttery goodness in my mouth, and put a smile on my face every time. After chit- chatting with the two of them for hours, we`d hit the road to Charlevoix. The twists and turns over the huge hills always warranted a stop or two for pictures. The feeling of cresting a magnificent hill that was lined with nature`s fall finery have given me quite a few prize-winning shots, the scenery from the top would go on for miles, allowing me to see the true magnitude of autumn`s glory.
To end the first day, we had to make sure to go to the fish ladder and watch the beautiful pink and gray salmon struggle their way up the Sixth Street Dam fish ladder,They would magically appear out of the water and do an aerial acrobatics show, to the delight of numerous spectators. The ones that made it would hurry their way upstream over the leaf littered creeks to spawn.
Saturday always meant going to the Pulaski Days Parade. We would get up early to don our finest red and white t-shirts.The parade route would be lined with a couple thousand spectators who were, also, dressed in red and white. You could hear the polka bands way before you could see them. Their om-pah-pah beat permeated the crisp air . Little children would scream in delight when sugary treats would be hurled their way . They would scurry to get to them before bigger parade entries made their way down the route.
After the parade, we would head down to our favorite hall and park the car. The wonderful smells of the different polish foods cooking would draw me in like an old lover I hadn`t seen in months. The old women would always have different foods like :kielbasa, galumpkis, pierogis, and cruskikis. I would fill my plate with the yearly treat unabashedly, order a pitcher of stout and sit back with my parents to savor the experience.
As the day wore on,we would hop aboard the shuttle bus that would allow us to go hall hopping to the various parties going on into the night.Eventually we would make it back to home base and finish out the night. Inevitably, my parents would announce that it was my birthday( even though it was a week away). I then would be forced to dance to a Polka.
I`m thinking that I`m one of the few pollacks who can`t polka to save my life. An old Polish woman would always join me and attempt to help me understand the one, two, three rhythm . It never worked.
Eventually, my designated driver would signal that it was time to go. I would stagger and weave to the car while reveling in the crisp, fresh, night air. The chill would slap at my face as if trying to sober me up. After a quick drive thru my favorite fast food chain and a couple aspirin, I would try to sleep in my spinning bed.
This year I will truly miss doing this this year because my mother still can`t force herself to go without my father, yet.She claims she wouldn`t be able to enjoy herself because she is still morning her loss. I still plan on going and cooking some wonderful Polish food with her , that will have to be good enough for this year.No rich autumn color tours or Pulaski days weekend, but maybe next year.