The Grill is Gone

12 Jun 2017 Karina S. Henkel

I am Andrew’s second wife. And he told me that when he moved out of the house that he and his first wife shared, all he took with him was his laptop and his grill.

I thought that was very funny until I got to know American culture a little better. Every yard, every deck, and even many balconies always have room for one thing: a big, clunky grill. There might not be room for a table or a chair, but the grill is always there.

In summer barbecues are big. Turning the meat on the grill and finding the right sauce with it seems to be a big challenge and always a good topic to discuss.

Andrew had the grill year round right beside the back door, which is usually connected to the kitchen. He grilled every evening, and on weekends for every meal. Even in winter, you could see him putting his winter coat on and taking care of the meat and potatoes on the grill outside. He loved it and he lived it.

And now, something has changed. It is inexplicable to me. Andrew’s grill has been neglected for more than a year. He didn’t use it last summer and surely not during this winter. Last weekend, when I proposed to move the big black thing into the garage, Andrew didn’t even hesitate to offer his help. I was very surprised. That seems to be so un-American.

And something else happened. This is going to be the first year without a swimming pool in our tiny yard. Swimming pools are also  typical American to me. I never understood the need for a swimming pool here in Maine. You can only use it two months in a year, if at all. But even then, it is, in my opinion, never hot enough to  make a pool really necessary. But Andrew loved his pool – as do many others here. But he gave his swimming pool away and there won’t be a big blue blob in our back yard this summer.

What happened to this great American tradition? Is Andrew getting Germanized now? Am I a bad influence for his American soul?

I hope not. And as long as he is passionately watching the games with the Red Sox, Patriots, Bruins, and Celtics, I am sure that there is nothing to worry about.

But it is strange, nevertheless. Or not?