Well, I hope everybody had a great few days off and got to gather with friends and celebrate. I did. In fact, I had a couple of different friends invite me to BBQs, and I had forgotten how great those are.

BBQ #1 was at my next-door neighbor's. He cooked about a dozen different things on his BBQ/smoker, and all of them were delicious.

He put up a volleyball net for the kids. There were water balloons and fireworks—lots of them. Combined with two other neighbors who have little kids and must have spent more than $500 apiece, we had a very impressive show on my street. I live outside the city limits, so on our street, it's OK to set them off.

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BBQ #2 started earlier in the day because all of the guests were older (my age). It included a yard game called "Kubb." You set up some blocks at each end and throw sticks at them, trying to knock down all of theirs before the other team knocks yours down. Which, I realize, is not much of a description, but it really was a fun game.

Kubb Credit: Jaci Bjorne, TSM
Credit: Jaci Bjorne, TSM

This BBQ also featured brisket. Was brisket just not invented until a few years ago, or could my friends and I just not afford it? Whatever the case, it was awesome.

If you want to guilt your friends into making sure they come to your party, just tell them you were up at 2 in the morning to get that brisket started in the smoker.

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Gallery Credit: mwolfe

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