Friday has forever been the one day of the week that I look forward to most. For a very obvious reason...the end of the work week, but also for some not so obvious ones.
When I was growing up, Friday night meant going out for dinner. My dad would come home from work, and we would all go to dinner at Mickel's in Harlan. Friday night was All-You-Can-Eat Fried Chicken and Snapper, so my parents always ordered that. I think us kids usually ordered burgers or a drumstick, but we all got to enjoy the legendary Mickel's greasy dinner roll. Those rolls were just that - a dinner roll dumped in the deep fryer!! (Lord help our hearts!!). Those nights at Mickel's are so vivid in my memory...I remember Rusty the enormous Shrek-sized cook looking over those swinging doors from the kitchen. On occasion, he would drop off mints for us girls. I remember my Mom and Dad giggling about Mrs. Hemminger stashing chicken into her purse! I remember writing on the paper place mats at our table. Sometimes we did the mind teasers on the front other times we would flip it over and write the names of all of our aunts and uncles. When dinner was over,my parents would pay their less than $20 ticket, and we would head out. Our drive home would typically consist of one cruise of the circuit and then back to our neighborhood. As soon as we hit the main street to head home, squeals of "Erie, Erie!!" would resonate our vehicle...that meant take was the long way home (Erie Drive), around a circle and back to our place on Cheyenne Avenue. (I think we needed to know what was happening in the 'hood while we were gone!)
Friday night also stirs a few other memories from my childhood...popcorn and pop and night time soap operas! My dad loved popcorn. He would make a huge bowl that all of us would skim off of, and he'd finish every last popped and unpopped kernel in that bowl. In the summertime, we'd occasionally take our night time snack outside to the driveway, but when it was prime time TV season, we would watch Dallas and Falcon Crest! I am not quite sure why they thought it was okay for us to watch that late night "smut", but we did! I loved Bobby and Pam way more than JR and Sue Ellen...I thought Charlene Tilton (aka Lucy) was so pretty with her long blonde hair...and Jock and Miss Ellie...what great people! Falcon Crest followed Dallas.. all I can say is Cole Gioberti...I can't begin to tell you what he did to a young girl's heart!!! (STOP laughing, Angie! I know you know what I'm sayin'!). When the shows were over, we were usually in bed by 10:00, so mom could watch the news. The nights as I remember them were great...especially because we were together!
Jay and I have tried to make Friday nights special for our kids, too. Jay works until close to 8:00 on Fridays due to end of week collections at the car lot, but we don't let that stop us from eating together...typically Oscar's wings and fries or a large Mama's pepperoni pizza. Movies or Wii are usually next on the agenda and structured bedtime...well, that's usually out the window. In fact, sometimes mom and dad are asleep on the couch before our little guys even think about sleep! It's funny how only 8-10 years ago happy hour and bar night with friends sounded like a great Friday night...I wouldn't trade my new Friday night plans and the boys that I'm hangin' with for the world!