Monday, July 04, 2011

Fine, Fourth of July.

More evidence that I am a holiday-hating crank: ugh, fireworks. Unless I can watch them without any effort on my part, to wit: driving to a giant park; parking in a giant parking lot; hanging out with the humanity while we wait FOREVER for the fireworks to start; watching the fireworks (the good part, for sure--I totally concede this); gathering up your damp blanket and your whatnot and surging, slowly, with the humanity toward the exits; finding your car; getting into your car and burning up fossil fuel FOREVER while everyone else exits before you; getting home exhausted.

Go ahead, judge me. I can hear you from here: (A), take the train, why don't you? (TWO), what about freedom? and independence? and so forth? (c), grouch. (I respond: (A), good idea! why don't YOU take the train?, (TWO) freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose (or something like that), (c), don't I know it.)

The best recent fireworks happened up in Idaho the last couple of years, where we basically drove two minutes down the road, sat on a blanket on top of sagebrush while the owners of the Grub Stake Market put on a swell fireworks show across Highway 20. There was no "Proud to be an American" hoo-ha, just lots of light and gunpowder drift and so forth, oohing and aaahing from both sides of the road, and when it was over, we drove two minutes back home. It was awesome. Basically, all the good parts and almost none of the grouchy parts.

But hey! We're having a BBQ at my daughter's house, so that will be great. And here's a photo of the Idaho fireworks from last year:

And here's a little mix of relevant America songs, courtesy of Scotland daughter's mixing talents:

And in conclusion, some American things I love: the Gettysburg Address; Frederick Douglass's autobiography; the Declaration of Independence; blueberries; watermelon; ice cream; Title IX; basketball; the movies; hot dogs (don't get me started); Target; Yellowstone; the great rivers of the West; the Idaho bluebird and the Western tanager; community colleges (for real); my whole dang family; and the persistent hope, however slim, of the electoral process.

Happy Fourth, everyone, however you celebrate.


  1. Right there with you, sister, with all of it. And was there pie on your list of American goodness? Surely, there should be pie.

  2. Also I feel the need to add "Jesusland" by Ben Folds and "Coming to Americca" by Neil Diamond. There, I said it. Neil Diamond. Listen now and I dare yo unot to get chills!

  3. Oh, so close, HT! You almost pulled off cranky. You had just worked up some snarkiness about fireworks and July holidays (And how could you not? The crazy neighbor can now legally buy Arsonist-in-a-Box fireworks and rain Chinese embers down on your roof 24/7 for an entire month. And soon a plodding parade of dour pioneers will join the festivities. Meh.), but you couldn't help yourself. By the end of the post it's all blueberries and bluebirds and life is good. You're indomitable. And, truly, thanks for that.

  4. What Radagast says. Thank you.

  5. My concession to the holiday this year consisted of skipping Peachtree City, GA's golf-cart parade (that's right -- our city's parade was comprised entirely of star-spangled golf carts!!); helping to tie off balloons for some kids who I'm pretty sure were re-enacting a Civil War battle in their neighborhood water fight; and eating a lot of watermelon.

    Good luck with those new fireworks laws out in Utah, L!

  6. Also, speaking of hot dogs. J-Dog in Provo. We're going.

  7. I am also fireworks weary and snark-o-fied. Small town fireworks are the best, bar none.
    I am so glad I am going out of state for the most heinous of the fireworks month, but lo, I will be back for the dour pioneers. Sad.

  8. I love your list - Gettysburg address, community colleges (which I only now know are remarkable institutions), western rivers, tanager, blueberries . . . I love all of those, too.

    I wish I had had time to sit and talk with you over lemonade this last week - I looked longingly at the exit as I barreled past at 6 in the morning - at least the whirlwind that is eating my life these days allowed a fireworks display 2 blocks away, walking back home in the dark, carrying folding chairs and a blanket. No booming rhetoric or hoohah. Which is by far the better way.



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