"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.