Monday, July 4, 2011

Summer Holiday Weekend Winds Down

We look forward to long holiday weekends, plan activities, hope for good weather, and anxiously anticipate three days of the three R’s: rest, relaxation and recreation. We shop for food if company is coming and pack our things if we are the ones hitting the road. The long-awaited weekend arrives…and before we know it, we are winding down as another ‘regular’ week beckons.
The Fourth of July is a special time of hopefully sunny warm weather, lazy activities with family and friends and beach time, at least in this part of the country. As owners of a beach house we are hosts to the comings and goings of relatives and friends all summer. The Fourth is one of the few holidays actually celebrated on the date and not on a Monday. When the date yields a three day weekend it is an added bonus.
We were lucky enough to experience fabulous weather most of the weekend. There was great food purchased at the local farmers market and delivered by our CSA. Local corn, blueberries, tomatoes and cantaloupe could not have tasted better. Each evening the grill was fired up and hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken, steak and veggies grilled to perfection.
Hub and I may grumble that people do not want to visit all winter – the shore? In winter? Why would we do that? – but appear on our doorstep beginning Memorial Day weekend. And we enjoy every minute. My mother-in-law was dropped off by friends, my niece arrived by train, and my sister drove down. We had friends and family for dinner each night. There were bike rides, walks, ice cream from our favorite stand and plenty of beach time.
The weekend was not without drama. Hub spent one night in the emergency room of the local hospital with a friend who needed treatment for an infected foot. My mother-in-law is a source of constant drama.  She turns 85 ½ on Wednesday—and makes sure everyone is aware of this—and continually laments the fact. She is remarkably healthy but refuses to lift a finger. She rejects any ideas to improve her situation; for instance she wants to move but turns down suggestions for assisted living or even a first floor apartment. She is on a second floor with inside stairs, but has fallen a couple of times in the past year (not down the stairs) and is scared of falling again. She won’t cook or clean or do laundry but refuses arrangements for regular help. Anyway…
Hub and I are exhausted but the weekend would not be complete without fireworks. We will walk down to the boardwalk and watch them explode over the Atlantic Ocean.
If tomorrow all the things were gone I’d worked for all my life,
And I had to start again with just my children and my wife,
I’d thank my lucky stars to be living here today
‘Cause the flag still stands for freedom and they can’t take that away.
I’m proud to be an American where at least I know I’m free…
-Lee Greenwood