I'm driving back after our traditional family get together at Lake Okoboji, Ia. My family has been going there every summer for over 100 years and there is a lot of History/Memories. Stopped now for some rest 12 hours into my 25 hour drive and my 3 year old is finally asleep (I think road trips were mentally easier on kids BEFORE car seats). Before bed we went to the hotel pool to wash off the road dust and my daughter had a blast jumping in and out of the water and climbing on me like a jungle gym to use my shoulders as a diving platform. There was another family there with teenage girls who looked miserable and did their best to ignore their parents and glare at the world in general. Those kids father gave me a look that said enjoy it while it lasts! I guess it made me feel a bit emotional. So... now I'm reflecting on the weekends memories. Independence can be painful for individuals as well as a country. All we can do is our best and remember the good times....which are always better with good food! Saturday Grilled TBone and Iowa Chops with Candy Corn and potatoes.... Sunday Ribs on Webber Kettle While Ribs were going I prepped the pork butt and wicked beans. Pork butt went in Dad's electric smoker preheated to 220 with applewood pellets in AMNPS (my Christmas present to him) Sunday at 1800 to be ready for Monday evening (4th) PP in preparation for fireworks. Morning of 4th all was well with butt and AMNPS ran through full load of pellets with no issue. At 1200 put Wicked Beans in, added one row of pellets to AMNPS, and went off in boat to screw around. By 1600 butt came out at 200 IT and passed the tooth pick test with flying colors. Beans had awesome color. Slaw was chilled and waiting. By 1730 all was pulled and we ate for a while...but saved some room for a desert I consider as American as Apple Pie! Then it was time to really celebrate! I hope everyone had a great Independence Day. God Bless America and our families.