Thursday, July 3, 2008

Celebrating My Independence

Even if we hadn't had that little tiff with the British, followed by a rather non-social tea party in Boston by the harbor, July 4th would still have been a holiday at our house. It was my Dad's birthday. Whether we celebrated at home or at his cousin's lake house, we considered that date Dad's, with America's birthday a footnote.

Dad use to call me every year on Juy 3rd and say, "Tomorrow's my birthday. Take the day off." Working in local government, that's an automatic holiday for me. I use to tease him, "One day, I'm going to get MY own holiday!" to which he would reply, "You were born in January. Good luck." When Martin Luther King Day became a recognized government holiday, I grinned. Dr. King and I were born the same day. So even if the government likes to mess with the date in which it's celebrated [the Monday closest to the 15th], it's still a holiday. I called Dad up the first year and said, "Hey, tomorrow's my birthday. Take the day off." He laughed, not at the holiday but because he believed I'd pulled off the impossible. Who ever heard of a holiday in the middle of January?

I miss Dad. I have his sense of humor...slightly warped but not mean. July the 4th will always be Dad's day....but Uncle Sam can come over for cake.

As for celebrating my Independence from a day of work and acknowledging the GOOD things about America [oh yeah, remove politicians and there are good things], I have a plan.

The Traditional Day: spending time at the in-laws, cooking hamburgers on the grill. No fireworks. Not because there are no longer little kids around...that never stopped us before. No, we're under a drought warning. Shooting Roman Candles and Bottle Rockets could result in torching an entire neighborhood when they once again become earthbound.

The Non-Traditional Day: which would be the 5th because I know the majority of the 4th will be spent away from home. I will shirk my housework duties. Okay, so I'll do the laundry early and have time for me. When "Me time" kicks in, I will sit down and read Rachel's new poetry book. {I've only had time for the postcards and they were a hit!} I might even revisit Shug's book as well. That's the nice thing about poetry...you can revisit and see what you missed the first time out. Now if Ken Armstrong and Dave King would add something to the mix, my reading list would be full.

Whether you celebrate this holiday or not, I hope you have a wonderful weekend! Don't eat too much and remember..... laughter is filling, but it has no calories. Is that a great deal or what?

2 comments:

TLC said...

I enjoyed reading. Your dad sounds like he was a great guy. I could feel your love for him, it shines through your writing.

Thank you for the kind comment on my blog, Send Chocolate, I really appreciated it. I liked Ken's writing (and yours as well) so it was a compliment that you enjoy my blog. Thanks again.

T.

Ken Armstrong said...

Hi Hope! I hope the whole holiday weekend is still going great for you.

One of my theatre plays is (hopefully) due for publication later in the year so maybe that will provide a little additional reading for you. :)

I'll be keeping you posted.

4th July was my birthday so I had a few metaphorical fireworks of my own, back here in Ireland.