Wednesday, July 4, 2012

I Love the 4th of July

Yesterday I made tentative plans to meet my sister Linda and go to the July 4th parade in our little town of Novato. I woke up this morning stiff and sore as if I had run a marathon yesterday- without warming up or what I think that would feel like since I’m more like a fifty-yard dash person.

I woke up at 5:30AM like I always do but convinced myself that sleeping in was wise, forgetting that if my body lies still for too long it gets stuck. When I finally got up at 8:00 I made some coffee, sat down to reply to a few real estate related emails and then called Linda.

“I just got up; I’m stiff and can barely move.” I said.

“Me too.” She replied.

But we wouldn’t miss the parade just because of a few aches and pains- we just wouldn’t. 

I showered, applied my sunscreen,  put my red, white, and blue ensemble on, to show my July 4th spirit and gave Toshi a couple of cookies to make up for not walking him and making him sit in the heat for two hours while watching a parade of Bassett Hounds march down Grant Ave. (That would annoy any Shiba Inu)

I walked downtown and met my sister and niece in front the Always Pampered facial salon where my niece has a part time job on top of her full time job. My niece set up the chairs, and was surrounded by friends and surprised to see me.

“Mom said you probably wouldn’t make it because you were so tired.” She said.
I always make it.

July 4th is my favorite holiday- at least it used to be. Something about today made me sad though and I’m not quite sure what it was. Maybe it was many things. At one point, I felt tears well up and I forced them back, like I always do. I can’t remember now what it was though, so I must have forced it back farther than I needed to. 

The parade audience was like it always is. Lot’s of people lined the streets, sitting and standing six deep, kids cross-legged on the curb, dogs looking for water, old folks looking for shade, drunks looking for beer. Me looking for (and not finding) anyone I know.  

The parade itself was not bad, or I have lowered my expectation, which is likely the case. There were marching bagpipers, lots of army & Marine Corps vehicles; the Coast Guard was well represented. The Boy Scouts, the Girls Scouts, and of course my favorite the veterans. A few less than last year as the WW2 Veterans and Korean conflict veterans are moving on to greener pastures.

Speaking of pastures- there were some beautiful horses, ponies and a few mini horses all decked out in glitter and horse paint. There were fire engines, police cars, the usual politicians (who I thankfully missed) and the Rip City Riders of course. Finally, a face or two, I recognized. 

Two hours later, we all left. I walked back home and immediately laid back down on my bed. Toshi came and melded his body into my back and as I drifted off to sleep I knew I had gotten shingles from the sun and being worn out already and I could feel my back on fire where Toshi was snuggled in but I didn’t move. I was too tired.  

I woke up with a shingles headache. Now as I write this, I know why I was teary. I just didn’t feel well. Sometimes, I don’t pay enough attention to myself.

 I still love the 4th of July, even though this was a quiet one for me. Even if seeing the few Marines march made me miss my son (who I just saw 3 days ago, so I’m just being a baby) even if I ended up with shingles from sitting in the scorching sun for two hours. (maybe it wasn’t really scorching- just hot.) 
It’s my favorite, because it celebrates our Freedom and Independence; two things I value as much as I value the air in my lungs. July 4th allows me to thank a few old timers (and some young ones) for their service, and cheer the people who serve the city & state. We don’t thank people enough. That’s something to think about.