If you're in the USA, a very special day is coming up and that is Independence day. It's a big time of year for me because my home has become the place for the family to gather every year. Being a single woman living on her own, this is a pretty big deal for. Since I moved into my current home, my family which includes my immediate family, plus aunts, uncles, cousins, 2nd cousins, and in-laws of cousins have descended on my house to watch the small-town parade and fireworks that happen at my doorstep. Everyone brings something to eat, and we all hang out for the day. It's the biggest gathering I have in my home every year. And every year I'm caught slightly off-guard by the event. I take the entire week off of the Fourth and try to get my house somewhat to rights. Today I've been vacuuming like a fiend and wiping everything with a solid surface. I need to go outside and trim hedges, and I'm hoping my lawncare guys shows up to cut grass, though it's beginning to look unlikely.
There are a ton of things I thought about doing like painting the chipping ceiling in my bathroom, digging up my overgrown garden and putting in actual flowers, painting my back porch's floor, buying new living room furniture to replace the stuff the cats have mangled, and curing cancer when I had a moment, but I'm resorting to damage control now. Throws are getting put on the furniture; I'm hoping no one looks up in the bathroom; I'm going to try to at least sweep the back porch; I'm hacking back the overgrowth in the garden so it won't trip anyone; and the cure for cancer will just have to wait until next year. But it's going to be a good time no matter what does or doesn't get done. We'll watch the parade. My mother will dodge between floats to pick up that one Tootsie roll that rolled away. We'll duck when the little league baseball teams go by because one of my cousins will heckle them, and they'll retaliate by spraying us with their super soakers. The baby twins will fall asleep even as the firetrucks blare their sirens, and we'll all slowly bake in the sun. Afterwards, we'll fix our sandwiches, use every seat in my little home, and have a good meal. A bunch of us will then drive out to the annual flea market to hunt for deals, and bake in the sun some more, and in the evening, most of my family will walk to the park to watch the fireworks while I stay behind with maybe one or two others and watch the action from my front porch. Afterwards, everyone will come back, pack up and go home and another 4th will be done.
To all of my American friends, have a wonderful Independence day, and to my non-American friends, happy Wednesday! :0)
P.S. In case you're curious, the derecho that came through Virginia Friday night left me relatively unscathed. I didn't even lose power except for a little flickering at the height of it. I was able to clean up all the storm damage in an hour the next morning. To anyone who is still without power, you have my heartfelt sympathies.
Photo by James Marvin Phelps used in compliance with Creative Commons liscence. Find more of his work here.