Posted by: chlost | July 4, 2011

Red, white and perhaps just a little blue


It just doesn’t seem that the Fourth of July should be quiet, but it is this year.

No picnic, no family gathering, likely no fireworks.

My mom and I went to a movie. Larry Crowne. A cute movie. I enjoy Tom Hanks. I endure Julia Roberts, sometimes more easily than others. My mom didn’t like it. She didn’t understand most of it. She was not able to follow the plot. She didn’t recognize the characters. That made me sad.

Husband works today. He could have had it off. He prefers to receive overtime. It will increase the “high five” calculation for his pension payment over all the years of his expected retirement. I hope that works out the way he anticipates. I have to wonder if he is being presumptuous to assume that there will be many years of retirement. My sister keeps whispering in my ear, “Forty-nine, I was only forty-nine.”

It’s hot. The way that the Fourth of July is meant to be. Sunny, a soft breeze is coming over the windowsill. The diagonal tracks left by the lawnmower are browning up at the edges, resembling the circled letters of a word-finding game. The neighborhood is very quiet. Just one lawn mower is buzzing down the street.

Our state is on shutdown. But other than the highway rest stops and the state park campgrounds being closed this weekend, no one seems to have noticed. Maybe things will heat up after the holiday.  After we celebrate our country’s independence, then we will see the elected officials get down to business. Maybe the green, red, white and blue explosions tonight will jolt them all into action.

My granddaughters came to visit yesterday. Their mom brought them out just to get together. My son was working. We had a great time. I told my oldest granddaughter that she cracks me up sometimes. She didn’t know what that meant. She was quite interested to know.  I think we will hear her say that to her sister sometime soon. Her memory amazes me. She remembered a story about my dad, who died several years ago. She remembered that he was not going to be coming back, but she has not been told that he had died. She wanted to know if he was sent away because he was naughty. When I replied that no, he had not been naughty, she then wanted to know if I had told him to go away. When I told her that I had not, she wanted some other explanation. Her parents have not discussed death with her, and I don’t feel it is my place to do so. I changed the subject. Her mom told me a story that she was explaining to her two-year old sister that I was their daddy’s mom, as well as the mom of his sister and brother. She wanted to be sure the two-year old understood this. Her sister very solemnly nodded when she asked if she understood what the big sister was telling her.

She cracks me up.

Hope you had a good holiday.



  1. Sounds like you had a good holiday!

    • It was pretty good-hope yours was, too.

  2. I’m a fan of Tom Hanks, too. If I ever see the movie, it will be on DVD.

    It sounds like you had a nice visit with your granddaughters. Kids ask a zillion questions – like you, my parents have had to dodge a few and leave them to us. Makes life fun!

    • I am going to the movies much more often now that my mom lives near me. This grandparent role is so hard sometimes. I feel like kids’ questions should be answered. It is hard to ignore them and hope they talk with the parents.

  3. *hugs* Sounds like a bittersweet day. I had one of those today too.

    Hopefully your state lawmakers will get down to business soon. I was amazed this year that the twits running California actually passed a budget on time … usually it’s months late.

    • Bittersweet is a good word. The sentiment here is that the shutdown has no end in sight.

  4. I am so sorry that things are still shut down. I wonder just how far it will go.
    It is hard when youngsters ask the tough questions and you feel it is the parents responsibility to answer them At least she now knows what “cracking someone up” means. How cute.

  5. Our 4th was quiet, except for the morons in the neighborhood shooting off illegal fireworks over our house. Hmmm I wonder WHY they are illegal??

    On identifying family relations for little ones – Our kids have made photo books for the grandkids with all the parents, uncles, nieces and nephews, and of course, grand parents pictures in them. They love it.

  6. Perhaps your mother is losing her hearing — keeps me out of movie theaters! At least at home I can choose to have close caption so I don’t miss the dialogue because the background music drowns it out… Just a suggestion.

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