PUERTO PEÑASCO, Mexico The mariachis strum and shout for Keith's 80th birthday. Ellen la mamma is grilling patties. "Carne para hamburguesa," I read off the wrapper. "Meat with hamburger! Let's see, these contain cattle meat, bird meat, turkey and two animal products I can't manage to translate."
She swats the spatula at me. "Bad vegetarian. Go away."
But she sticks to hot dogs, I notice. As if that helps.
The little boys start break-dancing, old-school. We crowd around, cameras whirring. "At some other wedding, decades from now, we will trot out this footage and embarrass Dayton," I think. "That's what families do."
And then I realize how much I missed this, all those eight long expat years in Europe and the Middle East. I had no one to remind me about the crimped hair, the inappropriate teen beaus, the time black ice spun my car into the irrigation ditch full of cow$hit, catching three fish (trunk, glovebox and under a windshield wiper). I couldn't share laughs about Fat & Friendly, the blind chicken who navigated like a pinball, or the April Fool's when I switched can labels, so Ellen got a mouthful of cat food, not tuna.
My history reinvented itself day by day, country by country. Brave new old world.
Oh, the adventures were many and epic. But I'm glad I remembered to come home.