While most of the DGO crew headed up to Denver last week to get beery, I took my show on the road back east to put my patience and joint-rolling skills to the test. Ram Dass’ gem – “If you think you’re enlightened, go spend a week with your family.” – worked its way to the forefront of my thoughts as I prepared mentally, emotionally, and logistically to spend a long weekend focused on my in-laws’ 60th wedding anniversary and my mother-in-law’s 80th birthday. I harbor no fantasies of having attained ultimate wisdom, so I made sure to prepare accordingly.
In keeping with the wedding celebration theme, I loaded into my pack something old and something new. The “new” came from heavy use of the slide of my favorite cannabis delivery system over the course of The Summer of Bong. It went down in a cascade of tinkling wreckage, and I had to make my way to the paraphernalia shop for a replacement. While I was there, one of those sweet-ass fancy new grinders with a keif-catcher for the bottom section caught my eye. I had been operating for far too long with a decidedly sub par grinder – this goofy little plastic job decorated with an 8-ball motif. It was a lame apparatus to begin with, and it had become even less effective after I dropped it sometime earlier this year, which resulted in the splintering of most of its top section. I don’t know why I hadn’t replaced it years earlier.
This fancy new grinder immediately got put to use as I prepared my something old: about a dozen grams of Northern Lights and Granddaddy Purple, a couple of strains that popped up decades ago, and continue to hold a special place in the hearts and lungs of knowledgeable smokers. These two are of the highest order when it comes to washing your cares away. It is hard to be in anything but full chill mode when walking around with a head full of Purple Lights, the cutesy nickname I gave to the heaping pile of shredded bud I made with my new toy the night before hitting the road.
The weekend really fell into place when the borrowed and the blue arrived in one fell swoop in the form of one of the pastimes left in the beach house we had rented – the glorious marriage of top spinning and bowling known as Carrom’s Skittles, a dream game for a stoner. It’s the perfect combination of action and contemplation. Skittles combines a dozen mini-bowling pins, which are spaced across five levels, along with some protective wooden separators that are placed strategically to make scoring more difficult. The pins closest to the place where the top is released count for only 10 points, while the top row and its three distinct “rooms” account for 400 of the possible 700 points available on the board.
Sometimes the pins scatter, and sometimes the top whirls wildly while doing little more than kissing its targets. The game started on Thursday night and went on nonstop throughout the weekend.
The 80 hours that followed brought smiles, screams, swimming, a bunch of smoking, and so much spinning, all while we celebrated the union of two folks who were joined together around the time Anslinger was having his way with Congress. Two people who lived through World War II and the Cold War, who tied the knot when Fonzie was slicking back his hair and popping the collar of his leather jacket, and who now get to see their kids and grandkids, and the people they have brought into the family, understand what six decades of loving work can make. I sat back in a happy haze and watched it all.
Christopher Gallagher lives with his wife and their four dogs and two horses. Life is pretty darn good. Contact him at [email protected]