In the middle of the night the silence is deafening, shaking you from your sleep. Freckles of white paint the heavy charcoal sky above. The ever changing-moon the only light I can see for miles. The darkness has befriended me so I lay partially awake, fighting my eyes against the scant trickle of light from the street steps below. Sunday has been buried for another week, just recently put to rest. Monday was moments away.
The usual feel of Sunday morning, in this case pushed a day ahead because of a holiday, enters with the same clothes worn countless times before. With a long weekend staring directly at us, Sunday took on the feel of a Saturday. And Monday in return had all the markings of Sunday, gentle and comfortable and at ease. Like your favourite song playing in the background all day.
This past Monday was Family Day, a new holiday as of a few years ago. A meaningful holiday in the middle of the year to break up the long work weeks and settle us in for the stretch leading to spring. We had planned out the day with our parents a week prior, trying to live up to the name of the day as best we could. An activity together and some lunch and then back home to prepare for a new week. We had a couple of hours to ourselves in the morning so we took full advantage of them.
The sound grew louder and stronger with each passing minute. When my eyes finally succumbed to the light I looked for any sign of the aforementioned noise. W, fast asleep beside me and oblivious to the happenings around her, lay in the perfect state of content as I struggled to find the offending device. By the time I reached her phone to turn off the alarm, she awoke. “Happy family day, family!“ I stared, amazed at my good fortune. “Happy family day, dear.“
W started the coffee and I started on breakfast. Something easy enough to get at quickly but still fitting enough for the day and to hold us over until lunch. She went upstairs to enjoy the coffee and get ready and let the day come to her. I spent a few more minutes downstairs finishing this breakfast before getting ready to leave. I followed the music back upstairs to see W nearly ready so I did so myself. We then warmed up and loaded the car and left. Off to start the day.
It was days before when W asked me what we should do for family day. It`s not that I didn`t have an opinion, but anything would be fine so I said so. When she suggested bowling I almost immediately said yes. “Really,“ she said. If our parents wanted to do that it was fine by me. Thirty minutes after leaving we were there. We pulled into the lot and entered the complex to see the busiest bowling alley I had ever witnessed. Packed. Thirty five lanes, filled with families and children. There was noise, but it was good noise. So we waited for our turn, almost an hour later.
Since we`ve been married our parents have only been around each other a couple of times. So this was a nice change for everybody. When it was finally our turn we grabbed our shoes, bowling balls and headed to the lane. I`ve never had so much fun bowling, and I was awful. We cursed at the gutter balls, high-fived the strikes, laughed and joked and enjoyed every single moment. We snapped pictures all the while. We didn`t want it to end, I`ll admit, but it did.
My mother-in-law had made reservations at a nearby Thai restaurant so we headed there in three cars, one by one by one. The next hour and a half flew by. We told jokes and stories and reminisced. It was three years ago to the day when we were engaged and all gathered around a restaurant table for the very first time. The food was amazing. But the company made the day. Family day. With family. I said we should turn this into a tradition. And I think we just might.
We said bye to my parents who were heading home. I stood in the parking lot as they drove away. W`s parents suggested some fresh air and skating at a nearby park. We paused and then agreed. So we followed them across town to this little park filled with other families doing the same thing we were. Enjoying the day together. It took awhile to find a spot to park but we did. A good hundred steps or so across the damp, partially muddy grounds. The ice was soft and choppy but perfect nonetheless.
As her parents laced up their skates and W took more pictures, I went inside the venue to find some skates to use. I grew up on skates, it seems, but it had been years since I last tried a pair on. I grabbed a seat on the bench and tied up my skates as I had done thousands of times before. It felt familiar, because it was. The air was fresh and cool against my cheeks as I sat there. There was a flashback to my earlier days, spent on countless outdoor rinks and countless empty cold benches. I missed it.
The ice wasn`t great so we only stayed for about an hour or so. I did small laps around the seasonal rink, avoiding smaller kids ducking in and out of my path. The rough ice nearly brought me down a few times but I held on. For a few brief minutes I felt like a kid again. I could feel the smile on my face grow wider. Even with a hundred or so people on that rink, I felt as if it was my own private patch of ice. Every time around I caught a glimpse of my wife, standing there and smiling back. But I wasn`t alone out there. I saw fathers and daughters, mothers and sons, people of all ages. Families. Together.
W and I saw her parents off. Said our goodbyes. And then we made our way back home. We talked about how much fun we had. How we already missed our parents. And we wished family day next year would hurry up and get here again. When we arrived home we got ourselves ready for the next day and week and spent the last couple of hours of a beautiful long weekend spending time together. That`s my idea of family day. With my family.
Monday was special. Different. It felt and acted like Sunday usually does. Long weekends tend to do that. We spent it with the most important people in the world, each other. Family day has a way of bringing people together that could get together at any time. It just happens that way. It started off relaxing. It was comfortable and gentle. It was easy. Easy like Monday morning.
From my kitchen to yours,
Fried Egg Open Face Breakfast Sandwich
- 1 sesame seed bagel, halved
- 1 avocado, halved and thinly sliced
- 4 prosciutto slices
- 2 slices of fontina
- 1 tsp. lemon juice
- 1 tbsp. butter
- 2 large eggs
- dash of hot sauce
- tsp. finishing salt
- Using a saute pan over medium heat, add the prosciutto slices and cook for two minutes per side, or until golden and slightly crispy.
- Using the same pan, add the butter and begin to melt and then add the two eggs and cook until desired consistency. Meanwhile, toast your bagel halves.
- Placing one bagel half on a plate, top with half the sliced avocado and top that with half the lemon juice to prevent browning. Use a dash of your favourite hot sauce over the avocado and then place the two crisp prosciutto slices over top of that. Add a slice of fontina over the prosciutto.
- Add the fried egg over top and finish with finishing salt and a turn of cracked pepper.
- Serves two.