It’s almost eight o’clock on the Fourth of July and I just put down the novel I am reading to go to the kitchen for ice cream. A Capitol Fourth is on the television and every few minutes the crackle of firecrackers erupts somewhere in the neighborhood. This is how I celebrate these days. Just a few blocks away at the park there is free watermelon and a band playing. Later there will be fireworks and lots of people on blankets and in golf carts, soaked in bug spray, sipping soda or maybe beer, will ooh and ahh at the fireworks behind city hall. I am glad they are having a good time. I used to join in, but now I like my air conditioner, my recliner and the far away entertainment on television.
The last few days have had highs and lows, as is often the case. But sometimes they come too close together to allow me to transition from glad to sad and back again as fast as events warrant. Friday, after taking the mother-in-law for her cardiac rehab and some quick shopping I met a friend for lunch at my favorite restaurant. I always enjoy getting together with someone who is not family to catch up on their world instead of keeping up with my own. There was a gathering at my old high school that night that would have been a lot of fun, but after being out all day I just didn’t have the motivation for the forty minute drive, so I settled in at home and made a simple dinner for the husband instead.
Saturday I was looking forward to the alumni celebration for my high school and spent the day with my hair in curlers working on projects around the house until time to get ready. That’s when I got the sad news that my brother’s father-in-law passed away after a difficult illness. My little brother and his wife are very special people to me, so when they hurt I hurt too. There is really nothing useful to say or do at these times. Just send condolences and wish for them to find comfort.
Then, as I was filling my flask to put in my purse I got a call from my dearest friend from high school to tell me she would not make the dinner because her husband had fallen and may need to get to the hospital. One more time, nothing useful to do or say so I express regrets and my hope that things turn out alright.
I checked my make up and decided it would have to do. I look seventy years old, but then I am seventy years old, so there’s that. Kiss the husband good bye and into the minivan I go with a golden oldies cd playing for the drive into town. The alumni meeting was a success. It was so good to see old friends that I do not keep up with at other times and to learn about their lives since we last met. I relived some favorite memories with friends from all the way back to childhood, remembered too many school mates no longer with us and caught up on gossip that seemed very much like the same stories from the last time I was there. The flask came in handy to liven up the tea served with dinner, but only one splash because I had to drive myself home.
Sunday morning I got a text from the granddaughter wanting to get out on the lake with our boat. The husband was having one of those days when he could not decide what he wanted, so first I said yes to the kids, but then had to tell them there was a change of plans, then change plans again and finally he said he wanted just he and I to take the boat out. So, pack the cooler and picnic basket, grab a bathing suit and towels and to the marina we go. As we were idling out of the marina we noticed the southern sky getting an ominous grey and turned around to put the boat back in the slip, just in time for the sky to open up and poor buckets. It was actually nice to listen to the rain on the roof and enjoy a cold beer. Much later the sun came out long enough for a short boat ride before heading back home.
Monday the number one grandson had to have dental surgery and part of the evening was spent helping him deal with that. One more of those situations where when he hurts I hurt.
Now here I am settled down at the end of Independence Day after only minor issues today. The house has been cleaned, dinner done and yard work caught up. There is nothing on my list to accomplish tomorrow, but somehow I feel something will come up as it always does.