Supper at the Polish Hacienda, followed by unjust desserts

Posted on November 5, 2012


Summer People ask us what life is like Around Here when they’re gone. Well, we say, it’s pretty normal. Louan called on Sunday–this would be last Sunday, not the Sunday we had yesterday.  Did I want to go have a Polish dinner in Elk Rapids? Yes I did. I drove down there and picked her up and when we got to the Hacienda it seemed only right to take a picture for TLV. Wait, wait! said Louan, climbing into the landscaping. I will be Vanna White!

Then Lou-Vanna and I went in and found a booth near the fireplace and ordered the Polish Platter without even looking at the menu. You have to assume that if the Vasquez family takes it into their collective heads to feature Polish food there’s a good reason for it, and you just trust that it will all work out.

No, that is not enchilada sauce on the cabbage roll and that is not a tortilla peeking out from under the sausages, which are not chorizo.  It was all of it a completely satisfactory Polish supper that would have been right at home in Hamtramck.  (Of course, most any cuisine from Yemeni to Bangladeshi to Korean is right at home in Hamtramck, but back in the salad days of Dodge Main the little city was overwhelmingly first-generation Polish, and the traditional restaurants and bakeries and churches are still there.  I lived in Detroit for a very long time and had many fine Polish suppers in P.N.A. Halls on the east side and in tiny basement restaurants in Hamtramck and around the dining room tables of friends and neighbors.  I digress fondly.)

It was good to dig into kielbasa and pierogi and golumbki at the Hacienda in Elk Rapids. Louan and I had a good time swapping fish stories and eating. By the time we left it was dark out, and we (and the restaurant) went back to our regularly scheduled programming.

I trundled homeward, deeply content, humming along to the radio, thinking what a fine day it had been. Just north of the roadside park I encountered a suicidal deer.

Forty years in Michigan spotting the deer skulking in the shadows, getting ready to make their leap into eternity, and this is the first time I actually hit one.  I said just what everyone says. I never saw it coming. I also said a few other things everyone says, but this is a family friendly blog so I will spare you those details.  Fortunately Sgt. Wheatley of the Antrim County Sheriff’s office was behind me and to his wonder and amazement saw the whole thing happen right there in front of him.  He let me babble until I ran down and then made sure the car was driveable and that I was able to drive it, which are of course two different things.  We both passed muster, although both of us were a bit the worse for the encounter with the deer.

The next morning I called my insurance agent and took pictures.  You might not think so, but this is $3,400 [Update: $3,136.47] worth of damage.  At least it is damage to the car, and not to my valuable person.  There is a lot to be said for car bodies designed to absorb the impact.

Naturally I had a lot of explaining to do when Miss Sadie and the Cowboy discovered the evidence.  They conducted their own investigation, and paid particular attention to the bits of deer hair caught in the grill and to whatever was on the underside of the bumper, which I don’t care to think about.  They agreed that it would be acceptable for me to continue to chauffeur them around, so that’s all right then.

The last week has been a blur of consultations and small worries, which I am good at magnifying into insuperable obstacles in the middle of the night.  The mysterious Insurance Claims Adjustor came and went.  In due course – just a few minutes ago, actually – the Claims Department called.  They will pay for the repairs rather than totalling the nine-year-old car.  I’m glad of that.  Betty Jo and I have discussed it, and we agree that we would really, really miss the heated seats just as the cold and clammy season descends.

Now I’m going to go have another cup of coffee and contemplate which photo should be the Featured Image.  Excellent treats or dismal destruction?  Right.  Treats it is.