Tuesday, July 04, 2017

The Fourth, with all its glory

My Fourth of July feast for one—homemade potato salad, a hot dog with kraut (the way I like it), and corn on the cob. My family is off to watch the fireworks at the country club, a huge display, beautiful but noisy right on top of you. And crowded. At lunch today Jordan asked earnestly if I was all right staying home alone. If not, she said, she’d make it happen for me to go with them. Sweet of her, but the last thing I want is to sit on the ground (probably not physically capable, certainly not of getting up) in the midst of a huge crowd and have fireworks thunder in my ear. And stay out too late. No, I’m happy at home, with the TV showing Macy’s fireworks show but the volume muted—I can look but not listen.

I have friends who are staying home because, as they said, “We have dogs.” So many dogs are terrified, and the number of frightened animals who end up in shelters is appalling. Sophie bless her sleeps through the nightly display that ends each Concert in the Garden, not far from us.

Maybe being alone on a holiday makes you nostalgic, but I’ve been thinking about past Fourth celebrations. When I was a teenager, I went with the older kids to Soldier Field in Chicago where there were stock car races—amazed now that I found that entertaining. Also a bit amazed that my parents allowed those outings. But what was then a marvelous fireworks show followed—I suppose it would pale in light of advanced pyrotechnics these days.

When the kids were little I remember going to the 8th floor of the medical school where their dad worked and watching the city display. Later, single, I took them to various places all over town with a good view—the parking lot of the same medical building, a bridge over the Trinity River (their uncle and I both suddenly became uncomfortable on that high bridge, and the kids had to lead us off). Traffic coming home was always a tangle, and it was a late night. One year I went with friends to a historic cemetery on the river—we had a good view. And for a few years I went to the country club with Jordan. But I really don’t like to have fireworks explode in my face as it were—makes me think my heart is going to stop with the next loud boom. I am content at home with my dog. I may watch on TV, but only with one eye—I’m deep into a good mystery, What You See, by Hank Phillippi Ryan. She’s a master at capturing tension—or maybe what I mean is angst.

Jordan, Christian and I went to lunch today at a relatively new place, HG Supply. I’d not yet been there. Split a club sandwich with Jordan—one of the best and most flavorful of those concoctions I’ve had. French fries were unusually good, and the lemon aioli/ranch dressing out of this world. Christian had Frito pie which was huge but looked delicious—I may try it another time if I can get someone to split it with me.

You have to park a ways from the restaurant, so I got some good walking in, albeit with the walker. We passed an attractively landscaped area that sent my antenna up immediately. “That’s not grass!” It was fake. Christian said he loved it. “You don’t have to mow or water.” Still protesting that it was fake, I said, “It’s not contributing oxygen to our environment,” and he replied, “That’s why they put in these other plants” which is clearly not true. They put in some succulents for appearance. Jordan, ever our arbitrator, commanded us both to stop, and Christian said, “Your mom always starts it.” It’s a good thing it’s all light-hearted. But, damn, that was ugly fake grass, a color green God never created. Makes me so angry!

Happy Fourth everyone. Go plant God’s green grass, water it, and mow it.

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