And that is why we are having bar-b-qued ribs and potato salad in the winter.  No wait, I guess I better tell the beginning of this story.

I recently read that in the early days of yore, time didn’t matter much.  If there was a job to be done it just was done.  It didn’t have to be done between 8 and 5.  There were no set hours for stores. The owners just opened in the morning and closed at supper time.  But then the stagecoaches came delivering people and mail. At first the stage was scheduled to come on a certain day. It might have been called the Tuesday stage, and it might not get in until Wednesday. Then things started getting a bit more specific. The Tuesday stage was due in, in the morning or maybe afternoon. Then time began to become even more nailed down. Was that early morning or late afternoon?  Sure there were time pieces and clocks, but it could have been 9 in the morning at the Jones ranch but 11 a.m. could have just as easily been what the clock said at the Smith ranch ten or so miles away.  That worked for quite some time until the railroad ribbons of rails were set up across the country.  Then things had to be organized, synchronized, and civilized. And we all had to be work at a specific time and get lunch at a regular time and go home in the 5 o’clock rush hour all together. Not really sure that the time synchronization thing really made things all that much better.  But here is what can come of that.

There are times that I can be a system bucker.  Yes, I have regularly said no to keeping my coloring within the lines. I have a flare about me that has on occasion pushed me into wondering why, just because someone at some time and somewhere decided, why we had to call a door a door.  Why couldn’t we call it a boogaboo?  Well as I grew in age and intelligence I realized that if one person called a door a door and one person called it a boogaboo we would never be able to communicate that the door/boogaboo to the bathroom was locked and needed to be unlocked so one could use the bathroom before there was a major accident outside the door/boogaboo to the bathroom. So we call a door a door and a table a table etc. But…

Who said we had to limit outside cooking to just the summer?  Timing did. Who decided that the lusciousness of a grand creamy potato salad should only be served on paper plates next to a pile of ribs cooked over fire and blackened just the right amount only when there were leaves on the trees? Timing did.  For that matter where is it written that we should only enjoy a glass of ice cold lemonade when we are all hot and sweaty? Timing did.

Well I say throw off that vale of timing and get ye to the nearest Piggly Wiggly store and buy a rack of ribs in the winter! Fire up the grill, (hopefully it is a gas grill and can be dug out of the snow bank and lit with a whoosh of propane). Dig down to the back of the cupboard that holds your summer stashed items and get out that potato salad bowl and fill it up. While you’re at it throw another log on the fire and sit next to it drinking a tall cold glass of lemonade with ice tink, tink, tinking on the sides of the glass. Are you feeling it? That tug. The bolstering up of yourself to buck the system that says bar b que is held in high esteem just in the summer? Me too.

And that is why we are having ribs, potato salad, deviled eggs and lemonade for New Year’s. Now close the boogaboo, you’re letting a draft in.  Happy New Leaf turning to you.

Trina Machacek lives in Eureka. Her book ITY BITS can be found on Kindle. Share your thoughts with her at