Keeping Time In A Bottle

Your Family Story

I just bought a 6-pack of Mike's Hard Lemonade at the store. You might think this is a story about lemonade, but it's a story about family.

When I see Mike's Hard, I always think of a 2005 family vacation at Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina.  My husband's family has vacationed there, off and on, since he was a kid. It's the perfect combination of sun, ocean, swimming, family, and good food.

One Summer, my sister-in-law Barbara and her family spent a few days with us. She brought an enormous cooler of food with her along with Mike's Hard. I thought that the word "Hard" meant "tart" -- am I the only person in the world who thought that? -- and I downed a couple bottles. I felt kind of dizzy and asked her, "What's in the lemonade?" She burst into laughter and told me I was buzzed off the alcohol.

For some reason, everything that happened that evening is stamped on my memory: Shelling the shrimp Barbara brought, setting a strip of aluminum on a hot grill, and grilling the shrimp while drizzling it with garlic butter. Eating dinner with our two families outdoors, watching the fiery sunset over the ocean.

So whenever I buy Mike's Hard Lemonade, my memory of that night is linked with it. I couldn't get rid of it if I tried ~ kind of like Pavlov's dog.  I thought I was alone but my son said the other night, "Do you think Aunt Barbara could tell me how to make that grilled shrimp we had at Ocean Isle?" I'm glad he remembers it, too.