Fourth of July


Its the Fourth of July and I’m supposed to be in England. At the last minute a business situation came up that prevented me from going, but Louise went and is, at this very moment, renewing her Englishness. I’m missing it because there are very few things in life more fun than taking the piss out of the Brits on the Fourth of July. They even Facetimed me to show me that, this year, they actually had ice just for me. Personally, I think any country that doesn’t put a lot of ice in their drinks is probably not completely civilized. Anyway, I’m here on Cape Cod without the Lovely Louise, but not to worry. As I look out at the pool I see both daughters and their families having playtime in the pool. They’re here for a few days so they invited some friends to come join them. It wasn’t supposed to be a problem since neither Louise nor I would be home and they could have the run of the house. I can see twelve adults and it seems like about twenty kids from age three to twelve. Fortunately we have a very large pool. In addition to the refrigerator in the kitchen, we also have one in the garage. The one in the garage is full of ribs, steaks, burgers, chicken and a number of cases of beer. Can’t have the Fourth of July without beer. I don’t normally drink beer, but I think I’ll make an exception this year because its damn hot and nothing tastes better on that kind of day than a cold brewski. The grill is clean and a new tank of gas is waiting to start the cooking. Our huge grill is way too much for me and Louise, but with the hungry hordes waiting to be fed, its now the perfect size. There’s some sort of volleyball game going on in the pool while next to the pool there’s a vicious game of wiffleball-to-the-death happening. Between all of the yelling and cheering you can’t hear the music on the outdoor sound system. I don’t think anyone cares. There are bags, towels, toys, clothing and tons of other stuff all over the place. I must be careful where I step. The only rule I have is that I get the master bedroom tonight. We have two other bedrooms that have both been claimed and the couches in both the living room and family room will be full tonight. Not to mention the blow up mattresses for the kids. I wonder if I’ll be expected to get up and make pancakes and eggs for everyone? I don’t mind. I’ve always wanted to run a restaurant. I guess we’ll see. I’m a private person and I tend to get very introverted when there are lots of people around. Most people would not suspect that about me because I’m very good with groups of people. It just wears me out. Louise gets energized by it and she’s the real people person. I know she’s loving England, but I also know that she’s missing this giant party with family and friends as well. I’m going to Facetime her soon so she can sort of be a part of it. Years ago I would not have been completely happy having this many people interrupting my day off. Instead, I’m loving this. I’ve realized that there really is nothing more important than family and friends, except possibly your health. As I gaze out my window while I’m writing this and observing the chaos that looks like a party, I realize that I’m blessed. It reminds me of the words of my grandfather who, in the middle of a family party, would pound his fist on the table until he got everyone’s attention. Once he did, he would announce “You know, I started all of this!”. RIP, Grampie, because - yes you did.


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