Saturday, July 04, 2009

Free Range Holiday

Hey now. It's the 4th of July. Depending on one's time on the planet, the 4th of July will be a family day, a day to burn burgers out back on the Lanai and suck cold brew out of cans that turn blue when they are cold enough. Or for many past the oblivion inbibement age, this weekend will be grandkids and sparklers, or maybe spreadin a few small flags around the local cemetery on friend's graves who did not make it home alive.

The 4th offers up any excuse one wants to use to celebrate it anyway they want. Some folks will go camping and toss M8Os at each other in drunken stupors after burning some food on an open fire. Thankfully the majority of us, either of the age that signifies surviving the stupidity of youth or those too young to know what's coming will keep the weekend mostly sane and keep things from getting totally out of hand. Regardless we all seem to tolerate a bit more craziness than we would, say, on a Monday in March.

The common denominator is the 4th is a day to do something, anything you do not normally do any other day of the week. Or make it just another day on the planet. Go to work, work at home, or do something nice for a neighbor, the town, or a church. Bottom line - The Fourth is a day to celebrate being an American. No flag waving needed, but no one notices if you do.

Of all the holidays I have celebrated over the years, the 4th always seems to end up being my Free Range Holiday. The central theme of Independence manifests itself in infinite ways. I have played marathon games of softball. I have been in the outback with nothing on but some sandals and a smile. Once I floated around the Chesapeake on a boat that had no gas. Got towed to shore by Marine cops and had to eat a ticket for being drunk at the wheel of a boat. Didn't matter that it was dead in the water. And I wasn't even the pilot. One Fourth I spent in a lockup in Mississippi after getting too much of an early jump on the holiday the night before. Camping outside Dallas, Texas in 1977 with 6 other whacked truck drivers, we touched off some booming rockets and they touched down in the campsite across the lake and burned it to the ground. Mix some bone dry knee high grass with tents, coolers and sleeping bags and let me tell you Mr. Man, it makes a for a pretty good blaze. Yeah, I have found many ways to celebrate the Fourth over the years.

Here's hoping your Fourth leaves you smiling as you pass out from too much food, spirits, or fun.


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Snave said...

Thanks, MrM.! I had a good fourth, although I think it might have been better. I will do some things differently next year.

This year my band played music from 7 to 10:00 p.m. at the local stadium prior to the fireworks display. We have had that job now for four years running, it pays us $250 apiece, and it's fun.

Yesterday though, I got to thinking about how nice it would be to spend my 4th of July doing things I always USED to do on July 4 prior to us getting the band job... some of the more average or mundane things like you mention in your post (maybe not like your boating adventure!)

I know the music gig pays well each year, but July 4th, 2010 will be spent having a picnic at dinnertime instead of setting up musical equipment, the bulk of the evening will be spent visiting with family and setting off some little fireworks of our own, and then we will go to the stadium and watch the fireworks display... and I'll be home with Mrs. Snave by 10:30 instead of being out until midnight taking down the music equipment and the stage and packing all the stuff to where it goes.

I think it has to be a time to do things with family for me to fully appreciate it. But then again, I think family stuff ought to be celebrated every day of the week all year around, in some way!

Next year, it'll be back to burning burgers! 8-)

El Cerdo Ignatius said...

Belated Happy July Fourth, Macrum. Hope it was a good one in York County.

I note (with some skepticism and caution) that the weather is supposed to break on Wednesday. We may just get a summer after all.

Randal Graves said...

Since you haven't posted since then, I hope you didn't try to relive your youth with some gleeful games of Toss the M-80. ;-)

BBC said...

I went camping, fuck the 4th, it's just an American monkey thing.

Bill said...

I have missed so much in my peaceful, law-abiding life.