Last weekend was 4th of July and truthfully, one of the worst 4th of Julys I can remember. No traditional foods were consumed. No napkins were required to wipe dribbling juice, sauce or ice cream from my chin. No fireworks lit up my life.
No, instead, I was a “mole person”. I stopped for groceries on Thursday on my way home from work and did not emerge from my house until Saturday (the 4th) when I walked ALL THE WAY to the mailbox to see if the mailman left anything on Friday (when I did not venture out at all). I tell you this, because no actual people on the outside seemed to have missed me.
I started the weekend with a blender full of orange juice and vodka, skillfully mixed with ice cubes to create a refreshing beverage full of froth, slush and… yes, vodka. I admit… I did free-hand the pouring and since it was “Friday” (it was really Thursday, but no work the next day) I was feeling festive and I allowed the pour to be ample. Too ample, I’m afraid, because my lights were out by 9PM. [Truth be told, my lights are out most Fridays by 9 owing to the earliness of my waking hour.] It was about this time, while listening to the rain pattering outside, that I decided that if I could not go away somewhere or do something fun, I’d make my own fun. Thus the virtual tropical holiday began. Instead of sitting in my house, drinking my frothy drink and listening to the rain outside, I was on a tropical beach, drinking an umbrella drink and listening to waves lapping on the shore – a story I perpetuated all weekend with random blurbs on Facebook about what a great beach, island, palm tree, etc. I was enjoying.
Then on Friday morning – pretty early – I was stricken with a charley horse the size of an egg in my right calf muscle. This was followed by extreme soreness in the area for several hours. Hours during which I decided my best course of action was no action at all… just laying quietly in bed, with the TV on and computer perched atop my tummy. After a breakfast of coffee & English muffin, I resumed my vacation by taking a “stroll on the beach” and enjoying a “tropical beverage under a palm tree”. It beat a status of “laying in bed like a slug all day.”
Having decided to dedicate my weekend to “vacation” rather than “cleaning” – what I aim to do most weekends… I tried freeing my mind of cleaning claptrap but was only somewhat successful on Friday. I eventually sorted through my 4 containers of felt, felt cut outs, thread, and felt cut out patterns and finally got them into what I considered “organized” containers. With a good feeling of accomplishment in my heart, I had another beverage – this time without the blender. I substituted lemonade for the OJ – after all, it WAS a summer holiday weekend and lemonade just seemed appropriate.
My weekend diet left something to be desired. The English muffin was probably the highlight of my culinary adventures. Intermittent rain and thunder left me lethargic and my bed and I saw a lot of each other on Friday.
Saturday, July 4th, started much like the day before – but without the leg cramp. It started EARLY – not only because I’m now used to getting up at the crack of dawn, but because the TOUR DE FRANCE (TDF) was about to begin in Utrecht, Holland. I listened to the “pre-race” commentary from behind my eyelids, but once they were set to go, I sat up and took notice. (BTW, I’m rooting for Teejay again!)
Actually, it was a time-trial day and they’re not the most interesting – especially for Day One. I was able to go down to make coffee & a muffin and mosey back up paying “some” attention. The big news was that one young Australian rider had broken all former time-trial records and was happily sitting atop the standings waiting to see if the next rider out of the gate would knock him off his pedestal. Down to the last dozen or so riders (they ride in a ‘reverse’ order so the better riders from last year were the last to take off) the tension built until the last possible contender had crossed the line. Rohan Dennis (who looks all of 14) beamed as he slipped on the first yellow jersey of the competition. And the green jersey for the best ‘sprinter’. And the white jersey for the best ‘young’ rider. Being that it was Day One, the first across the line took all the accolades. The green & white jerseys went to the ‘next in line’ the next day, however, as (1) Rohan would not want to wear all 3 at the same time… and (2) the yellow is the only one that counts!
Finally on Saturday, I emerged from my cocoon and walked all the way to the mailbox. I was looking to see if the mailman had left anything on Friday (since I hadn’t gone out all day). There was an orange Shutterfly envelope containing the most recent ‘free’ cards I’d ordered.
This milestone (ha ha) having passed, I was now free to watch my favorite all time 4th of July movie – “1776”. I love the idea of our all-singing, all-dancing founding fathers. The three hour movie kept me busy until… the recap of the TDF started at 8 PM. Of course, I enjoyed another “tropical” beverage… to keep the illusion alive.
Now, I have to make this perfectly clear. I LOVE FIREWORKS. I am an avid fan of the “ooh” and the “aah” that fireworks inspire. At a respectable distance, I don’t even mind the noise. This year, I didn’t see a single live firework – even though someone outside my door was busy shooting them off for about an hour or two. I sat in bed (with the race rerun on) and listened for rockets landing on my roof. I am NOT a fan of street fireworks. If a neighborhood wants to put something together in a safe area, that’s different. But just shooting rockets and so on from the cul-de-sac in front of the house makes me nervous. Maybe it’s from horror stories of fires and injuries from improperly handled rockets, roman candles, and so on, from my childhood, but whatever the reason, street fireworks make me very anxious. I was this way until the noises subsided and no flames were appearing to emanate from my home. Then I drifted off, dreaming of Gouda and yellow jerseys.
Sunday: Awake again at 7AM to watch Stage Two where there was to be actual road racing by all the contestants, I enjoyed my familiar ‘breakfast’ (yes, I’m a creature of habit and I don’t believe in making dirty dishes where I don’t have to) and watched the riders go from Utrecht through Gouda and Rotterdam in the rain. The weather at the finish line looked horrible – rain, wind, and the sea pounding behind the stands. Alas, I had to leave for church at 11:10 – just 11 short minutes before the end of the race. With all the wet roads, I was sure there would be a pile up toward the end and hoped one of my least favorites would be tossed aside in the skirmish. But, I’m a good girl, and off to church I went – after pausing the TV so I could resume watching from that point when I returned. Sadly, by the time I came home, the resume feature had already begun and could not be reversed. I missed the end of the race and now would have to wait until nearly 11PM to find out who won.
Having learned this, I changed my clothes and headed out for a Sunday paper. And more English muffins. The weekend had eroded into just another day before work, and I set about doing my ‘getting ready’ chores – setting up the coffee pot, making lunch, deciding on (and packing) breakfast and selecting an ensemble to wear. I made a quick pot of macaroni & cheese which can be used for a fast dinner before Monday night Bunco and a “theresnothinginthehousewhatwillIhaveforlunch” lunch. I tried to clean up the kitchen (there’s more cleaning than I’m ever prepared to do at one time), gathered some trash (Monday is trash collection day which means Sunday is trash gathering day) and continued my crappy diet which consisted of 3 chicken tenders (previously frozen) 2 (or 3) spoonsfull of macaroni and … need I tell you…. another tropical beverage (OJ this time).
My weekend had come to an end. By 8PM I was in bed playing one of my word games, and occasionally watching the TV to see when they reached the point I’d already seen. (I did enjoy re-watching the crashes and flat tire dramas unfold again). Finally they reached the point where I had previously hit the “freeze” button and watched for 11 minutes as the riders completed their day’s journey. No crash, but the guy I had picked “to” crash gave up the ghost about 2 pedals away from the finish because he realized HE would not be the day’s winner. This is what I don’t like about this man. If HE is not the victor, he just doesn’t care. He doesn’t care who he hurts or whose way he gets in. I don’t see how he can consider himself a ‘team’ player. Yeah. He didn’t do anything wrong. Yeah. (Yeah, is his favorite filler word.) Yeah. When he’s not whining. Yeah.
And so it ended. Pretty much the WORST 4th of July I can remember for a long time. There were no tall ships, no trips to an actual place with sand, no cookout with overdone hot dogs, no watermelon seed spitting, no potato salad, no laughs with friends over a beer (or a frothy tropical beverage). There was me – the Mole Person – and my TV and my blender.
Oh well… there’s always Labor Day to look forward to!