Maybe it’s a Scandinavian thing. Or generational. But when I was a kid, I remember well my parents saying usually on weekends – often a Sunday after Church – “let’s go see the Lynchs” or “Roland and Elaine” or “let’s stop over at Lor and Bill’s.” And we would get in the car, drive for half an hour and literally drop in on friends or relatives unannounced. Often around dinner time. The hosts would hurriedly throw some chicken breasts or burgers on the grill. My parents and their friends would talk. Smile. I would be bored out of my gourd. And we’d drive home.
On those days we didn’t drive off to see someone, I’d be out playing baseball and see a car pull into our driveway and mentally go “uh oh.” And know that my Sunday afternoon was shot.
If it was my cousin Jack, I knew I’d be able to play cowboys and Indians while sitting in a parked car with Jack at the wheel making sounds like a motorboat. My cousin Larry could always be counted on to play with soldiers. But today – no one just “drops in” on anyone. Unless it is a dire emergency. Today, plans are made weeks. Months. In advance. “Wanna have dinner on Friday?” “Oh mercy no – we can make it on a Tuesday in about eight weeks.” Was that a simpler time sixty years ago? You betcha. Maybe I should restart the “drop in” trend. Gotta start somewhere. All right. Listen up. We’ll be over on Sunday. I like my burgers medium well. With sharp cheddar. Onion roll. Grey Poupon. And Caymus cabernet . . . .