Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Mostly Americans

I don't remember the last time I spent the fourth of July in a way that the average person would call "celebrating."  I worked it every year I was in Florida, and Luke has worked it every year since, so it's very much just another day for us.  Of course, so are Thanksgiving and Christmas and pretty much every other holiday . . . we're both very used to celebrating whenever we can/want regardless of what the calender says or what other people are doing.  As, I imagine, are a lot of people.  I mean, think about it.  The news is on today - that's a very large group of people who didn't get the day off.  Same for all the people selling you couches and cars at Special Independence Day Prices.  And the people who buttered your popcorn when you went to chill out in the air conditioning watching Abraham Lincoln try to make it in Scotland as a vampire stripper (ten points!).

You know, now that I think about it . . . it seems like more people are probably working today than are off.  Maybe a shorter shift, but that's not the same as a day off.  So for a lot of people my Florida "celebration" is probably pretty close - spend an extra-long day having people yell at you for having the audacity to let people other than their group into the park on a holiday, make a quick stop to watch Sam Eagle mostly salute America, and go home and watch reruns on tv because the crowds make the special fireworks show not worth it - unless you get lucky and get to work crowd control, which means more hours/money . . . and more time talking at people who refuse to acknowledge that it's your country and your holiday too, but you're working.

Even before that the fourth wasn't just a party day.  All through high school and college I had at least one obligation, and sometimes two - and even though they were things I chose to do and truly enjoyed, anyone who tries to say it wasn't work has clearly never marched in a parade before (not ridden - marched).  Or tried to turn sheet music pages in 0.4 seconds - when the pages are clothes-pinned to the music stand because of the wind so you have to unclip, turn the page, and reclip.  Again, in less than half a second.  That takes talent, let me tell you . . . and more than a little coordination with your stand partner.  And a lot of being careful when you play the cello that you don't accidentally knock them together.

Which means the last time my fourth of July was a Norman Rockwell painting of backyard barbecues and picnics and camp outs and watching parades and fireworks . . . was more than half my lifetime ago.  Oy.  Good thing that I don't much care, while I love all of those things they have more of a generic "summer" vibe than a specifically "July 4" one.  Even parades - marching 3 or 4 a summer will do that to you.

Well this has gone in completely the opposite direction than I was imagining.  Now I'm just wondering who these people are who have the Norman Rockwell fourth of July.  Seriously . . . where are they hiding?

Me, I think I'll just go play some more Mario Kart. :-)

P. ost  S. cript

For both sides - something patriotic and serious, and something not meant to be taken remotely seriously . . . but that cracks me up every time.


  1. Replies
    1. What does one do all day? I seriously have no memory of what our family did before we all had parades to march in and concerts before the fireworks . . .

    2. Let's see...we went out to breakfast and window shopped and then came home, made a cobbler and went and had backyard shenanigans with our close friends until all the kids dropped in exhaustion and the adults laughed themselves silly.

  2. I'll be honest- small town Blanding does a top notch job of capturing the essence of the Norman Rockwell holiday. 5k in the morning, Mayor Pancake breakfast, wicked awesome parade complete with tears for fallen soldiers, party at the park with booths selling the most delicious overpriced fair food ya ever did taste, midnight madness all night softball tournament, greased pig catching, basketball tournament, quilt show, and of course the concert in the park before the beloved fireworks. We even squeezed in naps. Hope you get a Norman Rockwell holiday soon. Next year y'all should mosey on this di-rection and party with us. I love Sam the Eagle (and all things Henson).

    1. Sounds like a great big pile of cliched loveliness! :-) We just night have to do that.

  3. This year, my holiday actually came reasonably close to what I imagine Norman Rockwell's 4th of July would be like ... both I and the wife had the day off, and her mother was in town, so around mid-afternoon, we drove to The Villages for a cookout with my aunt in-law, uncle in-law, and cousin in-law who live there. Granted, it IS Florida, it rains every afternoon, so around 5pm, we moved indoors due to rain, and the food was cooked on a grill, by someone wearing a rain jacket and holding an umbrella, but still ...

    And we did get to see fireworks too ... well, if you count the fireworks being shot off on either side of the road as we drove home. Not quite Disney quality, and certainly not synchronized to any music that we could hear, but, still, fireworks.