Sunday, July 4, 2010

Vive la différence!

Photo from -

I have apparently taken on the roll of family event organizer, although it's a little like herding cats. Sometimes you just have to give up polling the masses, pick a place and time, and see who shows up. This July 4th has lived up to the herding challenge, and not just because of the usual need to take into account everyone's preferences and schedules.

First there's the Bible Belt challenge. Every time a major holiday falls on a Sunday, town councils get busy rearranging the corresponding events. I can see moving the 10:00 a.m. parade away from the Sabbath. Few will choose parade attending or marching over worshiping. One would not want to miss the patriotic medley carefully prepared by the music minister and choir. But was it necessary to reschedule the fireworks?

Then there's the weather challenge. Yesterday parades all over the city were rudely interrupted by an absolute downpour, sending teenage beauty queens and tuba players scrambling for shelter. Today promises more of the same, with sunshine mixed with drenching rain making it difficult to plan. Dear invited guests - please bring your swimsuit and rain poncho along with your covered dish.

Just when I think I have it all organized, plans start changing. That plan for family members to join OKC Kayaks on their social paddle down the Oklahoma River to view the fireworks in Bricktown? Canceled due to predicted bad weather. Why do I hear fireworks at 10:00 on Saturday night? Because Bethany is holding their fireworks display on July 3rd. I really need to read the paper. Do they print these things or are we just supposed to intuitively know it.

And then there are the personal preferences. I have a phobia about loud noises so if we watch fireworks, I'll be wearing noise-deadening headphones. I am a closet pyromaniac and will be spending a month's wages on things that go boom and need a place to blow stuff up. I (temporarily) don't have any teeth so I don't want to go out in public. I don't like being outside where there are bugs. I prefer to be outside participating in extreme sports. I don't like large crowds. It's exhausting!!

Come to think of it, I guess that's what this holiday is all about -celebrating living in a country where you can freely do as you choose. Today we'll celebrate the family diversity and celebrate the freedom. God bless America and pass the hot dogs. Or brisket. Or veggie burgers.

"You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness. You may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism." - Erma Bombeck


Stephen said...

Too funny. I never thought about the Midwestern Church vs. Independence Day conundrum. God, country, God, country... yeah that would be a tough one for some. :-)

Shari said...

The brisket was amazing. Plan on, oh family event coordinator. Job well done so far.