Saturday, July 4, 2020

It's the 4th of July!

Independence Day is one of my favorite holidays of the entire year. Not that I'm all that patriotic, mind you. I do love my country, despite our many problems and faults, but I'll never be a flag waving, "love it or leave it" faux patriot. I say "faux" because denying our many big and troubling issues and our sins of the past doesn't do a damn thing to move our country forward. Real patriots, in my opinion, want to make the USA better even if that takes facing hard truths and a lot of hard work. Still.....


"America the Beautiful" gets me every time. Right in the feels.

If you're in the USA, what are your plans on this 4th of July? With the pandemic going on and lots of people staying home I imagine it will be a little different for some this year.

I went to the farm stand yesterday to pick up tomatoes, sweet corn, and various other vegetables. While I shopped I heard plenty of people talking about how they were "headed to the lake" or "headed to the beach" with their families for the next week. One man bought 6 cantaloupes, 3 watermelons, and a giant bag of green peanuts for boiling and I heard him telling someone that his whole extended family was already down at the lake at Santee and he was picking up last minute supplies before joining them. So obviously some people aren't too worried about the pandemic! I understand that big family vacations this time of year are part of the local culture, but damn. You'd think people could skip one year in the interest of keeping everyone safe!

Full disclose, though: I'm a little envious. When I was a kid, my mom's family rented a beach cottage at Cherry Grove beach for a week every July 4th. My grandma and granddaddy, mom and dad, aunt and uncle, and me and my two first cousins on that side would all be there. My granddad would bring sacks of produce from his garden, and would spend most of his time sitting in the shade just outside the cottage. He didn't much care for the actual beach (it was half a block away, within sight of the house) and he refused to ever get in the ocean. When asked why he wouldn't dip his toes in the water, at least, you know what he'd say? "With all these drunks sitting on the beach drinking beer the water is probably half piss!" Hahahaha!  Actually, he probably wasn't too far wrong. In those days, adults could sit on the beach with a cooler full of beer and no one bothered them about it. The adults in my family certainly did, and when we were at the beach even grandma might be caught sipping a little something in the evening when the sun went down. Playing in the ocean was my very favorite thing to do when we were there, piss be damned. My second favorite part of vacation was playing video games in the arcade that was right on the beach in those days. Pac-Man, Ms. Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, and my personal favorite, Centipede! This would have been in the 80s. You could buy footlong hot dogs and ice cream in the arcade if you got hungry, and there was a wooden walkway leading out the back straight onto the beach. My cousins and I spent hours there while the adults did whatever it was they did. I remember how sweet it was to fall asleep at night on cool cotton sheets with a sea breeze coming in the open windows after a long day of sun and sand and salt water. Those beach vacations around the 4th of July are some of the best memories I have of growing up. Days gone by. I thought of all that yesterday when I overheard the man talking about his family's lake house vacation.

Getting back to 2020, I'll be firing up the grill tonight after Gregg gets off work. Grilling out is essential for a proper July 4th in our house. Last night someone at a small business just down the road from our neighborhood fired off a solid 20 minutes of fireworks just after sunset. They were beautiful--we had a decent view from our back porch--and we're hoping they'll have even more tonight since today's the actual holiday. Years ago we'd sometimes buy fireworks to set off (they're legal and very available here), but they're too expensive to even be thought of these days. Plus, they scare Ginger which is almost enough to put us off them altogether. Last night I turned on the tv kind of loud for her to drown out the sound of them, and combined with her recent hearing loss, she didn't seem to notice them much. So that's good! Maybe tonight we'll get another free firework show!

So I'm off to mix up marinades for the meat and veggies I'll be grilling later, and then I'm debating about taking a friend up on her offer of going to her house to swim. She has a nice pool and we can easily keep a safe distance from each other. Gregg is working until 7 tonight so it's going to be a long, hot afternoon at home by myself if I don't go. And I haven't seen this friend in months and I miss her. So that should be a fun way to kill a couple of hours.

Happy Independence Day! Be safe, be well, and have fun.


30 comments:

  1. Well, good for you for making the best of a bad situation! The Fourth of July was never all that significant in our household when I was growing up -- maybe because all our extended family lived far away -- and Dave and I aren't even really paying attention this year. We'll live it vicariously through you!

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    Replies
    1. My parents worked in factories when I was a kid, and they always got a week off at the 4th. That's why it was our vacation time. It wasn't really a patriotic thing.

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  2. I am feeling what May said about the 4th yesterday- Can't we just let this one slide? We don't have much to be proud about our country for anyway right now.
    I've never been a big celebrator of the 4th. Glen asked me if there was anything I wanted to do today but I can't think of anything. I'm staying right here, being safe, picking beans, shelling peas, doing what I do.
    Hmmm...
    I sound depressed. Could be.
    So like Steve said- I'll live it vicariously through you. Have fun for all of us! And yes, GO SWIMMING!

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    Replies
    1. I love the fact that the 4th is about summertime, cookouts, fireworks, and vacations. The patriotic stuff, not so much, really. There's a lot more than usual to be depressed about this year, isn't there? Let's all hope for a good result Nov 3 so our country can get back to some kind of normal.

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  3. A very nice post!!!!! A Happy Fourth to you and the gang Jen!!!! Certainly the holidays have a different feel this year.

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  4. hopefully you went to the pool!

    we are at home with burgers and gin and beer.

    my great aunt had a beach house at sea isle city NJ. each family (and my great aunt was one of 7 kids) had a 1 week stay during the summer. her house was 1 block from the beach. it was a carefree time in the early 60s.

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  5. I loved hearing about your holidays of the past! We used to have a big family celebration at our house every Fourth but now that the grandkids are grown everyone does their own thing. We are not doing anything, except I did get a watermelon and we will be grilling steaks tonight. I think you have to grill on the Fourth of July don't you? ; )

    I hope you and Gregg enjoy the evening and see some beautiful fireworks!

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  6. As it has been a lovely summer Saturday here and I am spending the weekend at O.K.'s, we had a family BBQ with the parents, sister and husband at the parents' allotment. It was nice and relaxed, nothing to do with Independence Day, as it is not observed over here, but it fits, doesn't it. The funny thing: Someone in the village set off three (exactly three!) firework rockets shortly after we came home! Maybe a private birthday or other celebration, but even so, just three is odd.

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    Replies
    1. I'm glad you're having a great summer weekend with people you love! Three IS odd. I wonder what that was all about?

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  7. Happy Fourth to You! I love the beach. We rented houses when I was growing up, Stone Harbor, NJ. It was great! I miss it.

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    1. I never go to the beach these days, and I miss it. Maybe next year Gregg and I can spend a long weekend or a week at the shore...

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  8. What great childhood weeks. Happy 4th to you and Greg.

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    1. I hope you're having a good weekend, too! Thank you Joanne.

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  9. Oh you do do it well.
    I think one needs others to have a good 4th; when you are alone it isn't much fun.

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    Replies
    1. I agree that a good 4th is best celebrated in groups! Alone would be bad.

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  10. This morning our newspapers were filled with pictures of flag burning, black panthers, white supremacists, and just about everyone carrying serious weapons. Is that a typical 4th July?

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    1. I'm going to assume, based on our long friendship, that that was a flippant remark and you didn't intend to be as rude as this comment sounds.

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    2. Not rude at all, I'm absolutely serious. According to the UK newspapers, it looked as if everyone had gone crazy, wandering about dressed in battle dress with machine guns etc. I hope the papers were being very selective, but they gave the impression that the USA was almost at civil war!

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    3. We're still having protests here and there because of all the police killings of black people, not to mention our insane president. Your papers were being very selective. Portland is 3000 miles from here and nothing like that is going on in SC.

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  11. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8491691/Police-declare-riot-twice-July-4-amid-protests-Portland.html

    This is an example of what we were getting.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hope it was a great Independence Day Weekend.

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  13. I hope you enjoyed the fourth. We did our best here. Still made me nervous.

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