The Jacksons – for Apr. 28, 2011

must say, this is a steak of superior quality!” Brady Jackson sliced a bite-sized

piece off of the slab of sirloin on his plate and popped it into his mouth. “I don’t know what your secret is Dad, but this is awesome.”

Brady’s fiancé, Amanda, nodded in agreement. “Aside from the fact that I don’t eat steak, she said, “I have to agree. If it’s even half as good as this portabella, it has to be spectacular.”

Andrew smiled cheerfully. “It’s just the best marinade in the history of the universe,” he said. “That and the fact that it’s the first barbecue of the year.”

“Whatever it is,” said Brady “grilled steak for Easter dinner is the best idea you guys have had in a long time.”

“I don’t know why I didn’t think of it years ago,” said Rose. “It’s so simple. Mix up some marinade, fire some potatoes into the oven, and let Andrew do the rest. I think we’ll do it again at Christmas!”

Andrew laughed. “We’d have to buy a different barbecue,” he said, “if we wanted to start grilling stuff in the middle of winter. That old clunker we have now wouldn’t warm up the charcoal if the temperature was below freezing outside.”

“Speaking of which,” said Randy, “who wants to bet how long we’ll be waiting before we have a night where the temperature stays above zero? I’d bet some time in early June.”

“I’d bet some time in late June,” said Jennifer. “I’m getting worried it’s not going to warm up at all this summer.”

“You never know,” said Andrew. “In 2004, we had a snowstorm on May 12.”

“Geez,” said Jennifer. “Don’t even say that. You’ll just jinx it.”

Brady looked at Randy across the table. “What year was it when we went and slept in the woods on the 30th of March? You remember that?”

“You bet I remember that!” Randy laughed. “It went up to 30 during the day and then it went down to 10 below at night. We just about froze to death. I remember having to wake you up because you’d rolled too close to the fire and your sleeping bag was burning.”

“It wasn’t burning so much as just kind of melting,” said Brady. “It wasn’t like big flames or anything.” He paused. “Thank goodness for fire-resistant fabric, I guess.”

“Really now,” said Rose. “I wonder why you never told that story before.”

Brady looked surprised. “You didn’t know about that? Don’t you remember my old blue sleeping bag with the burn hole in it?”

“Sure I remember the sleeping bag,” said Rose. “But I just assumed you’d set it down too close to the fire and burned a hole in it that way. It never occurred to me that it might have happened while you were in it.” She shook her head. “Sometimes I’m surprised you survived growing up at all.”

“That makes two of us actually,” said Brady. “Especially considering that that wasn’t the closest shave I ever had that I never told you about.”

Rose stopped chewing and stared at Brady for a second.

“You don’t want to know,” said Randy. Rose thought about that for a second.

“You’re probably right,” she said. “I don’t want to know.”

“Well I want to know,” said Amanda. “Me too!” Jennifer piped up.

Brady gave Amanda a sideways look. “I can tell you some other time,” he said, and then grinned at his sister. “You on the other hand, will just have to go on wondering.”

Jennifer made a face at Brady. “Ha!” she said. “Amanda will tell me if you tell her. Won’t you Amanda?”

Amanda laughed. “Well naturally! What kind of a sister-in-law would I be if I kept secrets from you?”

“Exactly!” said Jennifer. She turned back to Brady. “And you have to tell her because what kind of a husband would you be if you kept secrets from her?”

Amanda gave Brady an affectionate jab with her elbow. “What kind of husband indeed?” she said.

Brady heaved a sigh. “Very well,” he said. “I will regale you with tales of my death-defying stunts whenever they might occur.”

“I still don’t want to know,” said Rose. “Nor do I,” said Andrew. “I know enough


There was a brief silence around the

table, which was broken by Jackie finally joining the conversation.

“Here’s hoping Andrew Jr. doesn’t follow too closely in the footsteps of his Uncle Brady,” she said.

“Hear, hear,” said Randy raising his glass of milk.

Brady raised his own glass in response. “Amen to that,” he said.



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