Every Memorial Day weekend for the past three years I climb aboard a Bieber bus at the diesel fumed hell-pit known as Port Authority on 42nd and trek the three hours to my ma's home in Leesport, PA to help her throw a party. I like getting out of the city and living off the grid for a weekend. I shut off my phone and only check messages twice a day, and don't even go online to look at my email. At night, I slip out of the house to commune with the stars while sipping a cold beer and enjoying a smoke. Invariably, I see a shooting star at one point or another over the weekend.
I have become legend in Berks County for my cocktails. When the guests arrived, one commented "Oh God, not you." It seems the martinis I made him last year left a blank spot in his memory when it came to how he got home. This year the drink of choice was The Patio, something I concocted at the Patio Lounge before they got their liquor licence. I mix equal parts Soju (Japanese vodka distilled from Barley) with Framboise (lambic beer fermented with raspberries), add a splash of seltzer, a nice lemon wedge and you have a refreshing summertime drink.
I like this tradition, and time with my mom without my other siblings around. I get to return the favor of all those meals she made for me growing up by letting her relax as I tend the grill, get her guests tipsy, and take care of the bulk of the cleaning so that by midnight, when the last guest leaves full, there's not much left to do but wrap up some food, turn off the lights, and sleep soundly in "der bunker," the sensory deprivation tank of a bedroom in the basement.