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Mrs. Sundberg's Recipe Collection - 12 tried-and-true--one for each month of the year--featuring an introduction and tips from Mrs. Sundberg herself

Give me a good thunderboomer

June 11, 2007

Listened to the show Saturday and it was not bad. Didn't rain this time around, though, which was a bit of a break for those who are tired of rain. Which I'm not, though I do get impatient with the piddly little showers, and the humidity gets old fast. Give me a good thunderboomer and I'm happy. Something about a good thunderstorm that reminds you of your place in the universe. It's the wildness I love, the feeling of being in the midst of things, the wind and all, and that's what got me going on Thursday afternoon.

There was a big one brewing. The kids were at school, the last day of the year, and Mr. Sundberg had been around as he'd taken the week off. He was out doing yard work and moving stuff around with the old red pickup our friend Mr. Gale had left with us while he's gone out east at a "Find Yourself" workshop. I told Mr. Sundberg I needed to get out and be in the world awhile and would it be alright if I took the truck out for a drive. "What are you, crazy, Woman?" he asked, as the wind whipped his straw hat off. No, I told him, summer vacation starts tomorrow and I want to take one last drive before I start that trip. "I know what you're thinking," he said. "And you haven't been trained to chase storms." No, I replied, and I wasn't trained to raise kids or cook or be married to you, and nothing has exploded lately, now, has it?
So off I went into the crazy blue yonder, a sack of M&Ms and a bottle of water at my side, the radio cranked up, and the entire afternoon to myself. That morning the weatherman had said the storms had passed the Dakota border. The skies were dark over that way, so I headed south awhile and then west, and drove right on toward the flashing sky. Must have been a good two hours and a lot of John Denver and Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash, and I still hadn't found the storm. Seems it had a mind to head north, so I did, too, and drove another hour in the sunshine with the windows down.

Never did catch up with it. With all that wind I saw a few downed trees, and a sprinkle of rain here and there, but the sun never did disappear and when I pulled into the driveway there was Mr. Sundberg on the front steps, sipping a lemonade and shaking his head the way he always does. "Well, Dorothy, how'd it go?" he asked. I got out of the truck and kicked the door shut and offered him my half-empty sack of M&Ms. Just fine, I said. It's not even summer yet, so Mother Nature has storms up the wazoo waiting to blow my way. And you just wait. One of these days, I'll catch one, and what a trip that will be.

Mr. Sundberg gave me a smile. He's really quite a handsome man. "That's some hairdo you've got going there," he said, and laughed. "Got a name for it?" Sure thing, I told him. Her name is "Charlena," and she'll be back.

Strawberry Romaine Salad

Romaine lettuce, cleaned and cut, enough for everyone
a batch of strawberries, rinsed, tops removed, sliced
one lovely red onion, sliced

Mix well:
1/2 cup mayo (light works)
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 c milk
2 T vinegar
1T poppy seeds

Arrange strawberries and onion over lettuce in a bowl.
Drizzle dressing over. Serve with fresh bread for a light lunch,
or alongside grilled chicken or brats or just about anything.

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