Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Fourth of July: In and Out Like a Ghost

It's Tuesday July 6, and Independence Day just zipped on past me. In fact, yesterday zipped past me. I think it's the first Fourth of July in years that I really haven't thought much about the day or longed for July 4ths of years gone by.

This picture probably describes what I was doing on the Fourth better than I can.

Or maybe this one? 

We were on a bridge, driving back from Connecticut with a UHaul full of the rest of our "stuff." I didn't see a single burst of fireworks, and I only heard a smattering of poppage. It was depressing, mostly because where I come from, that is to so say where I grew up in Southern Missouri and Eastern Nebraska, the Fourth of July was a big deal.

I remember attending one year an installment of the dualing neighbors in their fireworks displays that rang in at $2,000+ at each house. Other years I went out to the lake with friends and watched the fireworks. One year I even hosted people at my parent's house; it was the July 4 after graduating, in 2006. We grilled out, had a water-balloon fight, and accidentally blew fireworks off in the garage (much to my father's dismay). Afterward, we went across town to watch the big display. That, folks, was a year to remember. A few years back I was in Oak Park with my then-boyfriend, drinking bears, playing bags (Chicago style), and ogling a friend's new baby. The year after that -- my last in Chicago -- I schlepped out to the local harbor, plopped down with hundreds of other people, and waited for the fireworks to begin. I watched people order Latino corn treats off carts, children edging near the water and parents pulling them back. It was a peaceful, calm, and, for me, perfect way to celebrate Independence Day.

And this year? Moving boxes, packing boxes, emptying boxes, staring at boxes, wondering when it will all be done. Painting, trying to find time to eat, nursing back pain, knee pain, leg pain, arm pain. One thing's for sure: I was never cut out to move heavy or light objects up and/or down stairs.

I was joking with Tuvia that I am a thinker, an intellectual. Worse came to worse, I wouldn't be able to snuff it physically with the rest of them. Thinking about the Holocaust, the camps, those who couldn't snuff it, it depresses me. Would I have been one of them? Such a morbid thought for Independence Day, but that's the way the cookie crumbles right now.

We hope to have everything painted and unpacked by Friday. Hopefully Shabbos will come in to a well-organized, settled, comfortable house that feels like a home. Come Monday, I'm back to being a student (for the time being anyhow, as I have to start and finish my grad exam in two weeks). It'll feel good to be back doing something that I'm good at: learning, writing, positing.

Back to the unpackin' and paintin' grind, folks. Be well!