Wednesday, July 04, 2012

It is the fourth of July. I have mixed feelings about Independence Day, partly because loud, crowded public festivities are a real turn off for me but also because it's so militantly nationalistic in tone. I love to watch the fireworks. I do not like to hear them, particularly the mortar shells. If I had my way, I'd hike up either trail that overlooks Lake Pend O'Reille with a sleeping bag and minimal food, water, etc, watch the show from a distance such that the sound was muted, sleep there, and come down in the morning. This would avoid being startled repeatedly by loud BOOMS and coping with seething masses of humans, traffic, commercialism and constant pleas to buy fireworks. Yeah, I know- I am such a stick in the mud.

When I was a kid, it wasn't like this. The Fourth meant that there would be a huge family get together, with aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, fresh corn on the cob, hamburgers, bratwurst, crudites, salads, watermelon, beer. There was always a lot of beer at these events, yet I don't remember anyone acting like an obnoxious drunk. They played frisbee and drinking games, card games, Scrabble, ping pong, just goofed was fun. I miss my family at times like this.

I know, people will say that the ball's in my court, it's up to me to recreate and start such traditions here. But it isn't the same without extended family and without intending to offend anyone here, having a holiday with exes is probably beneficial for the children but is acutely awkward for me and makes me feel defensive.

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