Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Independence Day 2006

I think one of my favorite holidays is and always has been the 4th of July. It is a bit surprising actually because especially as a kid I have always been a bit of a chicken. The loud noises always made me a bit nervous and I was certain my dad was going to blow himself up. Unlike my “brother” Nathan, I wasn’t a pyromaniac and the thought of holding a firecracker until it was about ready to explode and then throwing it about made me wet my pants. (That activity stopped shortly after one jumped the fuse, blew up in his hand and he ended up with his hand in the dog’s water bowl.) I have had my hair light on fire from the sparks of a sparkler, watched in terror, certain the house was going to catch on fire, as my sister’s friends set off a spectacular fireworks display and played many a game of cow-pie baseball in the pasture. What is more American than a little fear, a little baseball and a lot of laughter?

This year, similar to last year, I was invited to spend the holiday with Uncle George, my adopted Uncle (Dear Uncle George – thanks for the sweatshirt. Love Kristin) out on his boat. This year was quite different than last year because he got a new boat (which he has decided to name Kristin Louise. Isn’t that nice of him?!) that had just arrived on July 3rd and wasn’t ready to take it out yet. Instead we spent a few hours in the afternoon hanging out on it in the marina and then went to a “block” party at his neighbor's house before returning to the boat for the Kirkland fireworks. We were joined by Leslie, George’s girlfriend, two friends of Erin’s, Monica and Amy, and a few friends of mine (and Erin's), Brandon, Becca, Linda (all the way from MN – YIPPEE!!!) and Pete who fit on the boat nicely seeing as he is a pirate. Actually, Erin’s parents stopped by for a bit too and many of George’s friends and neighbors stopped by to see the boat and watch the show. It was a lot of fun.

At the block party I was hoping to catch a glimpse of my favorite baseball player who rents the mother-in-law apartment from George’s neighbor but unfortunately he must have heard I was going to be there and stayed away. Gosh, it isn’t like you actually have to follow those restraining orders distance requirements! haha

Even though Jeremy Reed didn’t show up, we did have the pleasure of watching George, Leslie and Erin limbo, got to see George with his self-proclaimed “pimp stick”, watched some of the best dressed and good looking "old" men (the comment between Erin and I was that we both hope to have husbands even half that hot when we get older) learn to skateboard and almost kill themselves and watched Brandon and Becca show off their great dancing skills. It seemed a bit odd at first to have hired a DJ for the affair but actually it was pretty nice he was there and the food was incredible. You have to BBQ on the 4th but this was unlike any 4th of July BBQ I have been to lately. George’s neighbors are wonderful and welcomed the 6 strangers with open arms.

The fireworks display was definitely worth the price of admission. From where we were we could watch the shows on Lake Union, Elliot Bay, Bellevue and Kirkland. It actually got a bit overwhelming because I didn’t want to miss anything so I eventually had to pick a show and focus on it. Kirkland did not disappoint.

So, I could get all political here but I think I won’t – although I generally don’t pass up a chance to express my opinion about politics and how liberals need to get it figured out – but I will say this: I am excited about this next year for our country. It is sort of like the day after your birthday or January 1st. You may not feel any different but you know there is a clean slate in front of you. You can make any changes necessary, you can start something completely new, learn from and fix mistakes and continue to build on successes. As a politics junky that is sort of exciting. As Brandon and I commented last night, a lot can change in even a month, and while a normal human month is like three years in political terms because of its slow moving cogs, I think the next year will bring about some good changes in this country. On July 4, 2007 I look forward to seeing where this country has gone and to seeing the positive influence we have been on the world. My hope is that we will be able to look at the positives and see less of the negatives.

And therefore, as Erin wanted me to add: May you go out and let the pimp stick touch you all! (Just look out for the round toed heels.)

Signed “RRB” – at least in my dreams

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