Sunday, July 13, 2014

Day 246 - July 4th

Thomasville, AL
The 4th of July. Independence Day for the nation. The inception of a crazy, beautiful brain-child imagined by a cadre of uncommonly brilliant men. The Founding Fathers are often invoked by people who claim they would be dismayed if they could see the country today, but I’m not so sure. The world certainly looks different than it did in 1776 and they couldn’t have envisioned everything that’s changed but there is much to be pleased about. In the realm of progress I’d say a lot has been accomplished. Knowledge has been painstakingly gathered from examining the universe. We are a top world power and the leader of the free world. Violence has dropped precipitously though you couldn’t tell from the media which flocks to bad news.

But enough global reflection, let’s zoom back in: We were having a barbecue! This morning Carol made us all scrumptious blueberry pancakes and Perry kicked the kids outside to play and I went with them. Perry cleaned the grill and I talked with him. He’s hoping to retire in a year and he’s looking for ways to change his situation but for this holiday those problems were set aside. He brought out his old rusty pistol and took a few shots at an old wooden target. Alden (7), Bam-Bam (11) and I used BB guns to shoot down cans from the deck. Man, was that fun. I need to get me a BB gun! Perry, meanwhile, manned the grill (you always have to man grills) and had ribs, chicken and sausage onboard with a delicious sweet sauce slathered on top.

The kids and I spent the whole morning running around in the yard playing freeze tag and hide-and-seek tag. There weren’t many places to hide and we had to have two people tagging in order for the freeze tag to be fun but the conditions never matter when you’re playing with kids. Barefoot and shirtless, I darted across the lawn and on the dirt road endlessly in circles, avoiding the agile kids as best I could until my feet were stone-bruised and dusty. Bam-bam and I got along super well and he said I was cool! Lunch was ready by the time we were worn out and we piled into the house to tuck into the feast: ribs, chicken, Conecuh sausage, corn, salad, beans, squash, sweet tea and Coke and cake for dessert. It was marvelous. And in the afternoon Perry cut up a gorgeous watermelon, deep red in the center, and a cantaloupe which we ate with gusto before chucking the rinds into the bushes.

Brandi and Jamie returned from Mobile in the evening and Jamie brought in her preciously small newborn. She was born at 7 months so was quite small but simply beautiful as any baby I’ve ever seen. I watched Jamie and tried to see the person I’d been told she was but I never wound up spending much time alone with her. The only evidence was her being there with three kids and no plan. Herbert, the baby daddy, came over and held his new child then left. Supposedly Jaime is moving in with him once he gets a place but this was said in a skeptical tone and Brandi doesn’t exactly hold him in high opinion.

Jaime’s arrival signaled to me that I should crash at Brandi’s house. Brandi was eager to get back to her own home as well, having been mired in circumstances other than her own for too long a time. I hauled my gear into her car and zipped off with Brandi and the kids. When we pulled up at Brandi’s old house I was suddenly very but Bam-Bam and I wound up playing video games for a bit before bed. Bam-Bam was an exceptional host and gentleman, checking if I needed anything and even bringing me the blanket from off his bed. Learning this, I asked him to use his blanket; I would be perfectly comfortable with a thinner one. A big fan whirred in the dining room to keep the house cool. Bam-bam slept on the recliner next to the couch where I was sleeping and we fell asleep with the TV flickering with a bad zombie movie. 

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