A porch without a grill is not an equation for summer happiness so off Better Half and I went in recent days to buy one.
A grill is a must-have summer item, my cooking associate that makes everything taste better, that empowers me to culinary greatness.
Even a simple potato cooked in foil on the grill becomes this sensational side dish, making spuds from the oven or microwave seem so incredibly ho-hum.
We didn't dwell too long on making a decision about what grill to get because all we wanted was a basic propane grill. Period. Nothing fancy. Not those burners on the side to keep stuff warm or whatever. Not a lid that takes two people to lift.
We weren't after the Cadillac model of outdoor cooking.
What we did spend a lot of time on, however, was one very critical decision: Do we want to buy one already assembled or do we want one in a box to take and put together at our leisure?
We looked at each other in stunned silence at such a black-and-white, either-or, have-it-your-way choice presented for us to make.
Life can be made so easy for us now, can't it?
In the interest of marital harmony, I thought the already-assembled option seemed especially desirable.
Why reinvent the wheel, right?
But could the Ford Escape deliver on such instant grill gratification? That was the question.
An answer to that came fairly swiftly after Better Half returned from the parking lot, tape measure in hand and bad news with it.
Not going to happen, the shake of Better Half's head confirmed.
I wondered otherwise, an experience fresh in my mind when I had recently bought a tub chair and managed to wiggle it into the back seat while an onlooking incredulous sales clerk made the crossover from no-space doubter to room-to-spare believer.
I explained that I had experienced childbirth. Twice.
Honoring the grill and car measurements, I looked at Better Half, and we agreed - we can do this. We can assemble another grill.
Part of that optimism was fueled by the fact that it was morning, the day was new and full of possibilities, and we were on our way out to breakfast.
We loaded the box in the car and off we went. At home in the garage, we knew what we were in for when the directions declared "average assembly time 20 minutes."
That would be for the athletes competing in the new grill assembly summer Olympics event, right?
Long column short, we did finally get the grill put together despite one wood fly running interference.
We laughed, grrrrrred (if that's a word) and birthed us a grill. And we are still married.
There were two nuts left over that we never could figure out what to do with.
Make that four - counting the assemblers.