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My visit to Bean Hole Days in Pequot Lakes

Pequot Lakes has a rich tradition of celebrating Bean Hole Days every year in mid-July. The beans are cooked underground in several cast iron kettles overnight, then brought up the next day at noon, ready to serve.

Ever since we moved up north to spend our summers in retirement on a lake near Pequot Lakes, we've enjoyed mingling with the large crowds of visitors and locals who come to partake of the beans being served, along with a dinner roll and cold water, all at the bargain price of free, compliments of this generous community.

The tasty food draws a huge crowd, and the bonus is you get to shop at numerous vendors selling a variety of wares along Trailside Park in downtown Pequot Lakes.

This year the weather cooperated fully, as the temps were ideal, the sun was shining brightly and the breeze was just gentle enough to stay cool and comfortable. I had a bridge foursome to attend near Nisswa at 9:30 a.m., and we finished before1 p.m., so the timing was perfect as I was driving home to stop, park and shop a bit.

I strolled up the bicycle trail, observing all the tempting crafters' offerings along the way, lingered a moment at some lovely jewelry, but pulled myself away to see what else was in the next booth that might also catch my eye.

I hadn't yet had lunch, so the aroma of baked beans began to reach my hungry nostrils. As luck would have it, I happened to meet a friend who lives on the same lake as I do, and she asked me if I'd had my beans yet. I said I hadn't, so she invited me to get in line with her to get some beans.

After picking up our servings of beans and drink we located an empty picnic table and sat down beside one another to enjoy our lunch. Of course, one topic led to another, and soon we were deep in conversation chatting it up about our families, our lake life, etc.

Eventually we both decided we'd frittered away enough of our shopping day, as it was now past time to continue our browsing before heading for home.

We both began to stand up at the same time, and since no one was sitting on the other side of our picnic table, the table quickly began to tip over our way while our legs and feet were still in between the bench and the table. The falling table knocked us both completely over and, of course, the uneaten beans and the leftover glasses of water slid off the table onto the ground and us, sprinkling us with beans and water as we lay flat on our backs on the grass!

Fortunately, some kindly gentleman saw our predicament, tipped the table back up so we could untangle our legs, and made sure we were not hurt. We both just laid there for a few minutes, looking up at the blue sky above us, and laughed uncontrollably. The diners around us couldn't decide if they had just witnessed an amusing spectacle, or whether they should take pity on a couple of old crackpot ladies.

After we finally gathered our composure, and hoping no one would notice how disheveled and unkempt we now looked, we managed to pull ourselves together, stood up, brushed each other off, cleaned up our mess and went back to our shopping along the bike trail.

From now on every year about this time, when I look forward to going to Bean Hole Days, I'll be reminded of one hysterically funny "oopsy" experience for my friend and me.