Monday, July 6, 2015

What did you do... by Anna Adams

...this past weekend?

Low-Country Boil
How did you celebrate the 4th of July? These days, people like to say it’s not about a barbecue, but I look back at the early days of our country, and I think family celebration might have been in order. Our forefathers (and mothers) built a new home in a new land for their families. A country where we make our own laws and forge our own destiny. 

I’m thinking when they announced the Declaration of Independence, people celebrated this frightening, unbelievable, independent new venture with the people they loved best. 

We’re a little bit stranded around here. The husband had a knee replacement several weeks ago, and he’s much better, but he still has a bad day now and then. We had friends over and we made a low-country boil. I roasted some vegetables, and we had a strawberry-blueberry shortcake, with homemade whipped cream.

Afterward, the husband was apparently a little too sore from standing over the cauldron, adding potatoes and sausage and shrimp and corn and crab legs. After we ate dinner, we watched fireworks from all around the neighborhood, and he iced his knee. Our celebrations were not fancy, but we were together, and we remembered that it was the day our country was born. It was a good day.

Under Construction
Sunday, I painted my office. I can’t wait until it’s finished. It’s my own personal place of independence, where I can shut a door and work without interruption. I love the people who interrupt me most often, but when I’m in the middle of one world, it’s like waking from a deep sleep to find myself needed in reality, and then I have to burrow back in again. Pretty often, in my busy house. The office is a room over the husband’s new garage. (Doesn’t every man need two garages?)

I was painting in the heat and humidity of a July day in the south (a/c comes after the paint), when I thought of carrying everything I own on my back, wearing a woolen coat and trousers. I was in shorts and a T-shirt, with sweat pouring off me. I’m painting an office because I love to write, and it’ll be a nice place to work. But I’m doing what I want to do on a hot July day in 2015 because some guys in 1776 conceived of liberty. And come to think of it, I know the names of the men on both sides of my family who fought in that war, so their many times great-granddaughter could be free. Remembering them, I’m celebrating family and the birth of my country.

So—what did you do?

Tell me how you celebrated, and I'll choose a name from the comments. I’d love to trade someone a new book for a good story! 

37 comments:

  1. Anna - what a lovely post! I made blueberry/strawberry pancakes for breakfast (great minds?) then we had hot dogs and potato salad while watching "1776," one of my most favorite movies! Every time I watch it, I think about how I imagined they were all of one mind, loving each other and the noble thought of freedom - but it wasn't that simple at all. The compromise that had to happen is a good lesson for today's Congress. Your office is going to be so cool!

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    1. Muriel, I discovered I'm diabetic last fall, and I have to tell you, the two things I dream of are sweetened, creamy coffee, and pancakes! Mmmmmm. I'm sighing with envy and vicarious enjoyment! :-) I've never seen 1776, but you make me want to watch it. You're so right about the strong minds and opinions coming together. We could all learn that lesson!

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    2. Anna - Ron's a big-time diabetic and I make crepes for him using 1 tsp of sugar in an entire batch, then sugar-free syrup. He loves it and it doesn't affect his blood sugar because the crepes don't cause the carb-to-sugar thing that can happen with pancakes. Can email you the recipe, if you like.

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  2. I hope your husband is back to full health soon. Thank you for sharing your Fourth of July celebrations, and the great pic of your soon-to-be office!

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    1. Kate, thanks for your good wishes. He's really doing better most days. I'll definitely post a pic of the finished office when I manage to get everything done. And a belated Happy Canada day to you! ;-)

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  3. Anna, I echo Kate's wishes for your dh. And your about-to-be office is going to be so great. I didn't do much exciting at all. I picked up Chinese and went to my sister's house where she'd invited a few mutual friends. We ate and watched The Capitol 4th and then Macy's celebration on TV. I heard a lot of fireworks around my area after I got home. I'm thankful nothing majorly bad happened in conjunction with the 4th like some in high places expressed concern about.

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    1. Hey, Roz! Sounds as if you had a good day with family and friends! And I was sorry I missed the Capitol 4th! I'm also glad nothing horrible happened. Peace is a beautiful thing!

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  4. Your own room is a definite necessity. You’ll really enjoy the privacy.
    In 1976 our family dressed in period costumes and celebrated with the town, a treasured memory. However, a woman from Laos, new to our country and joining us for the festivities, hovered in the backseat of my car during the fireworks display because it reminded her of the war. Since then, I haven’t enjoyed fireworks.

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    1. Oh, Marion, I'm so sorry about the woman from Laos. I can't imagine. I've seen the signs online about soldiers with PTSD. Around here, we had fireworks and a storm going on at the same time. It was pretty loud and explosive. I love the idea of dressing in costume and celebrating, though.

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  5. It sounds like you had a nice 4th, Anna. We grilled out and spent time with neighbors. We also watched the Capitol 4th on PBS. I grew up in the D.C. area, so it always makes me homesick...but in a good way. :) I hope your husband's recovery is fast.

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  6. Hi, Jill! Now I'm even more sorry I missed the Capitol 4th. It was a tradition for us for many years. We also lived in D.C. area, in Herndon, VA, for a few years. I've always missed it. One of my favorite places to live! Thanks for your good wishes for my husband!

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    1. Wow! What a small world. We liked in Oakton and when I moved out from my parents, I lived in Reston for several years. Boy, the traffic is crazy up there!

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    2. Wow--that is a small world! I worked at AAHPERD in Reston! After I posted about the Capitol 4th, I was thinking about the times I'd gone to Wolf Trap to see the National Symphony do the 1812 Overture. With a blanket, a Napoleon, and a mini-bottle of champagne! :-)

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    3. So did I! The husband and I often don't have the same taste, so I watched ballet and the National Symphony by myself. He came along for Pete Seeger and Arlo Guthrie. I'd never heard of Pete Seeger at the time! Thanks for reminding me!

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  7. My best wishes for your dh, too. Mine had his knee replacement two weeks ago today and, while he's doing great, we had a low-key day. I love your office! Mine's in the garage, too--it's actually a car and a half of what was a three and a half car building--and I love it. It's the best gift my husband (with some help from our sons) has ever given me!

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  8. Oh, Liz, I hope your husband feels better soon. It's such a difficult thing, but mostly every day, the beloved's is a little better. I hope your husband will progress quickly, too! I'd love to see photos of your office! That is a great gift! Until we built the second garage, my car got to languish outside, while the husband's car and motorcycle cuddled up together indoors. I'm not thinking he'd have been able to relinquish garage space! :-)

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  9. That's going to be an awesomely wonderful office! All writers need her own place to close out the world. Hope your husband and Liz's are back to their normal routines soon! Around here it rained so I went to Cracker Barrell with friends. I know, that doesn't sound to Fourth of Julyish, but we did watch the Capitol Fourth. :-)

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    1. I love Cracker Barrell! That sounds like a great way to spend the 4th--and I clearly missed a great concert! I'm really excited about the office. I can make it as cozy as I want, without the beloved curling a "but that's kind of girly" lip! ;-)

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  10. Hubby and I decided to have a quiet, totally lazy weekend. We ate some good food, watched some TV, read some good books, mags and newspapers and just totally vegged out. It was great!

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    1. Lynn, that's a great celebration! Doing exactly what you want--sounds very relaxing!

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  11. Your office looks like it's going to be a great space, Anna :) It's definitely nice to have a space dedicated to your craft. And your husband sounds like quite the cook- how nice to live in a liberated country where it's not the woman's "job" to make the meal but our choice!

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  12. Thanks, Karen. I'm thinking there might also be space for a quilting corner in the office--but that also sounds a little distracting. The husband is the best cook in this house. When I cook, there's always a chance the firemen will be joining us for dinner, but he manages to whip up something delightful out of whatever we have in the fridge. (That is a mystery to me!)

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  13. I'm so jealous of your office. That would be heaven!
    In Canada we had our holiday on Wednesday (July 1st...Canada Day) and we spent the evening at a local winery watching fireworks explode over the vineyard. Very nice!

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    1. Marcy, it's slow going, and I'll probably be on hiatus from painting when the temps and humidity climb again starting tomorrow, but I'm really excited about using it! Your celebration sounds beautiful! I remember as a child, sitting in our yard, watching fireworks off over the ocean on Tybee Island. So beautiful, and your vineyard reminded me. A belated Happy Canada Day to you!

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  14. Your celebration sounds exactly right. We had strawberry/blueberry/whipped cream, too. The perfect red, white, and blue dessert for summer.

    I'm envious of your new office. A room of your own, with a door! My family doesn't seem to understand how every time they interrupt, I have to spend time reemerging myself in my fictional world before I can move forward. I find myself running in to write whenever hubby's occupied, like it's some secret activity I don't want him to know about.

    Happy Independence Day.

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  15. Beth, how funny we had the same dessert. So tasty! And that's exactly how I feel about writing! Running off to do it as if it's my guilty pleasure! :-) Looking forward to my own spot in the world--where writing is supposed to happen!

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  16. We stay at home types.... watched PBS Capital Fourth and had BBQ ribs with fixins..

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    1. I can't believe I missed out on the Capital Fourth! And ohmygosh, I love ribs with fixins. An excellent celebration! (Honestly, I love to watch fireworks, but not in the middle of a huge crowd!)

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  17. We went to a bbq. I was in charge of bringing pies.

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    1. Oh, gosh, Pam. I so want pie! I miss apple pie with all my heart! :-)

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  18. That's so cool about your ancestry, Anna! We celebrated with fireworks at the park :). Hope your hubby recovers quickly! I hope you post 'after' pics of your office. Congrats!

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    1. Rula, I'll have to tell you the story of how we discovered our ancestors sometime. (Shocking!) Thanks for the good wishes for the husband. He's doing so much better, and I'll definitely post the after pics of the office. I think it's too hot today to paint, but I'm hoping to get back to it at the first sign of a thunderstorm!

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  19. Hi Anna!! I was at a wedding! I had back to back weddings this past week, one on Friday and one on Saturday. On our way home from wedding #2 on Saturday, there were many people camped out all around town watching the fireworks. Since I don't celebrate holidays, etc., when we got home all tuckered out we went to bed. Sorry my story is so boring, and hope your husband is totally recovered soon.

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    1. Two weddings cannot be boring, Laurie! Thanks for your good wishes for the hubby. Now that he can drive again, we're both feeling as if we've been given our freedom! :-) I'm so glad you had a nice weekend!

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    1. Lynn B and Marcy, using the scientific method of putting names under pieces of kibble, my cat, George has chosen you all for a copy of either of my Heartwarming novels out so far, Christmas, Actually, or Now She's Back. If you'll send me your choice of book and either digital or print copies, I'd love to send them to you. You can reach me on my website by leaving a note on the Contact page. www.annaadams.net Thanks so much for dropping by!

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