Do you know what’s over and done with?
The 4th of July weekend. And reading about it now — on the 9th of July — is sort of like reading last week’s weather report. Nobody really cares any more what we did to celebrate America’s independence, because WE’RE MOVING ALONG WITH OUR LIVES, HAROLD, AND WE ARE THROWING OUT THE OLD NEWSPAPERS. SHUFFLE ALONG, SON.
Which is something that I actually did yesterday, because listen to me. My parents buy the Small Town Press, and a little paper boy delivers it straight to their mailbox, day in and day out, in the sunshine and the hail and the wind and the tsunamis. After they’ve read it, and after my dad has meticulously folded it back up, Mam and Pa give US the newspapers to read, because we’re all about recycling and saving money here.
Except not, because I just threw two glass jars into the trashcan today, and I didn’t even feel an ounce of remorse.
But yesterday, I looked at my stack of newspapers which I had neglected, and I got right down to the business of reading them all, so that I could end the circle of recycling and throw them away.
In the garbage.
Because I’m a recycling sinner of the worst kind.
Please don’t judge me.
I did learn, though, that there was a delightful little play in town TWO WEEKS AGO, which I would have liked to have seen, but that’s the sorry price a girl pays for not getting to the news in a timely manner.
It was exactly the same feeling I had one day last week, when I found a 25% OFF OF YOUR ENTIRE ORDER coupon for Gymboree in my kitchen drawer, and then discovered that it had expired three days earlier.
Our 4th of July weekend went smashingly well.
That morning, to cheer for the fact that our brave forefathers broke free from England all those years ago, I had chai tea in the park with Sister, Carrie and Lindsay. (Yes. Carrie was here from Major Thriving Metropolis, and Lindsay was in town from Texas, and you’ll never believe this, but that girl and her husband DROVE from the Lone Star State, with two toddlers restrained in five-point harnesses. I felt like we should throw some confetti, but we didn’t. Even though I disregard the code to reduce, reuse and recycle, I flat-out draw the line at littering a public park with bits of colored paper strewn everywhere.)
Here we are, post chai tea consumption, which means we had our party on.
Because these girls? Well. They are the very girls who married the three rotten neighbor boys that Sister and I grew up with. They were the boys who threw snowballs at us… who shot pop bottle rockets off at us… and who left ham sandwiches with mayonnaise under the backseats of our cars in the dead heat of summer. I had suspected that God had planned those boys’ lives out to marry icky women, who wore pink foam rollers in their hair to Walmart and chain smoked Virginia Slims while watching All My Children every day, because they deserved some retribution for the way they terrorized Sister and me.
And, if you’re recalling things, Sister turned traitor and married the oldest neighbor boy, which meant that I was stuck with him AS FAMILY forever and ever, amen.
Because of God’s great love and mercy for us all… even sinners who hit girls in the face with icy snowballs… the remaining two brothers (Keith and Jeff) met fine and upstanding girls who are seriously BUCKETS OF FUN. I adore those girls.
Well played, Jesus; well played.
We sort of lost track of the time in the park, what with us HAVING NO CHILDREN TO ATTEND TO, so we talked for a couple of hours.
Or very possibly it was three hours. All I know is that we’d still be talking if Carrie hadn’t needed a ladies’ room something fierce. We had to break up our little sorority party, because the porta-potties in the area weren’t acceptable.
So that wrapped up the morning of the 4th of July. Sister, Carrie and Lindsay went to their mother-in-law’s house for a barbecue, and that woman was plum dadgum happy to have all three of her boys and their families back under her roof for a few days.
Hubs and I dashed out to his parents’ house in Small Mountain Town, where we met up with Brother and his family. The cousins all lit off fireworks, because it’s what boys do. Exploding things and burning things is a love language that I will never understand.
…I took exactly zero snapshots.
I know. I’m already feeling the talons of regret. I don’t know what happened, except I encounter a delicious bacon burger with cheese, hot off the grill, and I forgot all about the fact that my camera was sitting nearby.
Until Thing 2 ate six Oreo cookies, that is.
(And don’t judge us for that, either. It was a holiday, and Cousin M likes the outsides of Oreos, but he has this aversion to the goop inside of an Oreo. His solution was to twist them apart and funnel twelve half-cookies, complete with DOUBLE STUFF FROSTING, straight at Thing 2, who happily accepted them.)
The rain eventually came down on the 4th of July and forced the boy to quit lighting things on fire. We drove home in a downpour that would have made Noah exclaim, “This seems like a rather big rain…”
On the morning of the 5th, Thing 2 let us know that he had an ear infection. I mean, why not, what with it being the holiday weekend and all. We saw our pediatrician, who prescribed a nice shot of antibiotics in his thigh.
And THIS is how our boys spent the rest of Friday:
Unlike the wives I thought Sister’s Husband, Keith and Jeffrey should have ended up with, I can’t bring myself to be seen in public in pajama bottoms.
(Even though mine are really cute, what with them being bright red and covered in white sheep and all.)
On Saturday, July 6th, I realized that Thing 2 had actually turned 16 months old THE DAY BEFORE. On the 5th. And then I realized that I’d completely spaced that out, because obviously I’m a stellar mother and all. The poor second child…
So, a day late (which is how I roll), I snapped some photographs of our SIXTEEN MONTH OLD BABY. My OCD can barely take the fact that these are his sixteen-month snapshots… taken the day AFTER he turned sixteen months old.
I like to call this my RELAXED PHASE OF BEING A MOTHER. It’s so much better, let me tell you. My iron and I haven’t spent any quality time together in months.
For lunch on Saturday, we hit a family reunion.
Oh, it was OUR family, because we do draw the line at spontaneously showing up at the reunions of strangers and getting in the buffet line for fried chicken and scalloped potatoes, while we pretend to know Chuck and Lori Beth, who are wearing matching jackets and drove all the way from Tallahassee in their RV.
My dad’s aunt hosts a family reunion for their side of the family ever year. She’s been doing it since Abraham and Sarah brought Isaac in his Pampers.
The Lord showed His favor on us on Saturday, because someone brought an enormous Chocolate Lasagna, straight off of the Pinterest pages! There are no words to express my love for this newly found dessert. I could have put my entire face in the pan and behaved like a hippo at a trough.
Thing 2 did some sliding with Mam at the reunion…
Do you know those crawfish boils that folks have? Where they boil up whatever critters they find in the creek beds, along with some potatoes and corn? And then they dump it all onto tables lined with butcher paper?
That is what we did on Saturday night. We hopped on over to Sister’s house, because BIG BOIL FOR DINNER!
(Sadly, there was no Chocolate Lasagna at this party.)
(My heart was saddened.)
The cast of characters include these rapscallions…
…Sister’s Husband, Jeff, Keith and Hubs.
Plus? He’s a lot cuter than my three neighbor boys from years gone by.
And then we have the pack of children:
They’ve got THAT going for them, at least.
The boy LOVED the boiled crawfish. I cannot bring myself to even try one, because listen: I have issues with bones in my meat. Do you honestly believe that I can deal with a dinner that’s still wearing it’s head and feet and eyeballs?
No, ma’am. I cannot.
Thankfully, we had headless shrimp and sausage and potatoes and corn in that giant, boiling pot, too.
And… bless her heart! Sister tried one and came up with the same assumption I had: Crawfish are a food staple best left to folks on Swamp People.
The crawfish boil had to be moved indoors in a great hurry.
And? This next photo? When we were all young whippersnappers in our twenties (So… you know… just last week.), Keith had a Dallas Cowboys ball cap that was so ratty, it was held together with duct tape. His very proper, Southern mama declared that it was an abomination for him to wear it in public, and yet he did. We were all on the same co-ed softball team one summer, because throwing snowballs at girls paid off for our neighbor boys… they could all throw a very mean softball, and we were the VERY FIRST PLACE TEAM.
Keith insisted that our lucky streak of being TOTALLY UNDEFEATED FOR AN ENTIRE SEASON… our lucky streak that included us winning the league and rocketing to first place in the championship game of the tournament… was all due to his LUCKY HAT… the one that had to be assembled and re-taped every day before he could keep it on his head.
I think he may be going for Round Two in the ratty hat department, as evidenced by the one he wore last Saturday night.
Bless his heart.
(People, don’t try this at home. Keith is a pot-watching, trained professional, and this is a closed backyard.)
I have no words.
…THAT IS SO GROSS!
And if I ever decide to quit my day job, I think Carrie and I could both work as a FOOD PHOTOGRAPHER. The Pioneer Woman actually wants us to do some snapshots for her next cookbook.
With propane torches.
I don’t claim to know any of these people.
(Also? Well, I can’t claim any of these fireworks snapshots. Carrie took them all. I don’t want to plagiarize and try to pass them off as mine. I don’t recycle soda cans very well, but I do like to give credit where credit is due.)
Our Sunday was rather laid back and low key, because the Lord declared it should be a day of rest. Our boys spent a lot of time hanging out together on the deck.
He escaped uninjured, and his All State insurance agent was there to pick up the pieces and help him out.
And with that… we’ve wrapped up our 4th of July weekend.
It was one of the best ones of ever, even if I did bite into a potato and find a wayward antennae to a dead crawfish in my mouth.
Y’all have a happy Tuesday evening.