If you’ve become a reader of mine (I’m thinking of making you t-shirts and a secret handshake) in the past year, you might not know that Independence Day is my favorite holiday.
I love the Fourth of July so much that sometimes I make a countdown starting on June fourth. That’s an entire month of pre-Independence day anticipation, and it never disappoints me.
We make a big deal of the holiday in my parents’ neighborhood, so I grew up with friends who think of the Fourth of July the same way I do. It is a day for friends and family, for reflection, for way too much food, for the occasional slash annual family fight, and for the excitement of lives growing and changing. One year, a neighbor went the hospital just before dinner and gave birth early the next morning. It was a hard year, the Fourth after our neighbor Frank died. This year, they’re all celebrating the engagement of my former babysitter turned friend.
I can’t be with all of them this year, and I am grieving in my own way– very quietly and in the corner of Starbucks where no one can see my tear stained face as I am overcome with wracking sobs of despair. But all is not without hope! I do have a place to go tonight to enjoy some company and much anticipated explosions of a controlled and colorful variety.
I’ve been adopted!
Because my job has me jumping around the Great Northwest, occasionally I need a bed to sleep in and a microwave to make some tea. (And preferably a bathroom nearby.) Dave and his wife Chris have been gracious enough to give me their guest room, and I have found the place I’ll be coming next year if I ever need a home cooked meal.
Truly, these are some of the biggest-hearted people I have ever met, and I pray that they will be a part of my life for a long time. If I ever decide to actually make Christmas cards– I’m envisioning obscure animals dressed as wise men or perhaps a drawing of an angel which I will claim to have done in the stupor of a coma caused by a horrific scooter accident– you can bet they will be on the list.
Never one for raucous parties (Shut up!), I spent last Saturday night with them playing dice games: three rounds of Yahtzee, one full round (6 games) of Bunko, and a round of 10,000 (which they taught me and which requires a lot of adding that I didn’t not appreciate). Although we had talked about how Dave likes to play craps, and Chris and I both enjoy slots, thank goodness we weren’t playing for money.
Chris won two of the three games of Yahtzee and the game of 10,000. Dave won a game of Yahtzee and five games of Bunko. I won once.
You have to talk to the dice, Dave told me over and over again. Ask them what you want and they give it to you. It’s like some secret calling, the dice whisperer. He’d say the word “six” and there it’d be! Which got me to wondering: What other opportunities have I been missing because I didn’t talk to my inanimate objects enough? There are so many chances for me to get my way in this world, and I’ve been too blind to see them!
Chicken not cooking fast enough? Come on, chicken, baby. How ’bout you finish up so we can get you on the table? What’s that you say? This sounds entirely inappropriate when taken out of context? Good thing we never do that and we’re just talking about sitting down to a wholesome family meal.
Can’t get the car to start? Roxanne, sweetheart. (My car’s name is Roxanne. Like the hooker.) You can do it. We’re gonna get through this together, and in the end, you’re going to be so happy. I know you will. Thereeeee you go. That’s my girl. I’m so proud of you.
Pants not sliding on so easy as they did last year? Hello, my old friends. You love me, right? We’re so good together. Really, everybody says so. Let’s prove it to them again. You can’t let me down this time; you need me too. That’s it. Just a little more…
All it takes is soft hands and a mind to win.
Also, an oven that actually gets up to temperature, a good mechanic, a low-fat diet, and weighted dice.
Dave never mentioned those.
Have a safe and happy Fourth of July! Go thank a service member, register to vote, and share a little of what you have with those who have little.
No guarantees on my next chance to get Internet, so please keep sending people to my blog if you think of it. Possibly some time this week, a post I wrote will be up at the Young Female Professional. That’s to prove that I haven’t been totally slacking in my writing duties. Keep checking with her until it gets posted, since I might not be “around” to alert you to it.