Thursday, July 4, 2013

The 4th of July (getting older....)

Getting older is very entertaining. You get to encounter lots of open spaces where memories used to be.

I was thinking about writing about the 4th of July and fireworks and then I remembered I know someone (though I don't remember who...) who was born on the 4th of July. Which made me think of that song (which came to me then as) 'huh, huh,huh,huh went to town riding on a pony, stuck a feather in his hat and called it Macaroni...."

Well now I remember it was Yankee Doodle who went to town and couldn't tell a feather from pasta.

But the reason I thought of that song in the first place was that I remembered I knew someone who was born on the 4th of July, maybe a first cousin or something, and I thought 'born on the 4th of July' was in the macaroni song...but now I'm not sure that wasn't another song....

See, when you get older you have lots of stuff to wonder about and ponder since there are blank spaces in your memory from time to time.

I remember talking to my friend, Brendon, and telling him I often forget names. "Does that happen to you?" I asked.

"Not me, Robert," he said. (Of course, my name is 'Jim', so he was....oh, you already got that didn't you...

We were at Jack and Sherry's house this evening eating hamburgers and hot dogs and all the other stuff it is required we eat on the 4th of July, when, somewhere in a conversation, I said, "it don't matter, it's just going to be you and me."

Sherry said, I love that joke but I don't remember it. Wonder of wonders, I did remember it, though, growing older I remember fewer and fewer jokes...or I remember everything up to the punch line.

So I told the joke. It goes like this.

A burned out lawyer from Washington DC moves to a mountaintop in West Virginia to get away from it all. He's there for several months, only occasionally seeing another human being. Then one afternoon someone knocks on his door.

He goes to the door and there is a big mountain fellow there. "How are you?" the fellow says, then he says: "I've come to invite you to a party Saturday night. I live two mountains over, you can't see it from here.....

The lawyer realizes he has begun to miss human contact so he tells the mountain man he'd love to come.

"I have to warn you," the Mountain man says, "There's going to be some drinkin'..."

The lawyer nods, "well, I like a drink myself," he says.

"And there might be some sex as well," the mountaineer tells him.

The lawyer remembered some DC parties that ended up with some of that after some considerable amount of alcohol. "Well, those things happen..." he said.

The Mountain man nods his head a while. "And there might be some fightin'...", he warned.

The lawyer said, "well, with alcohol and sex that might just happen....What should I wear to your party?"

"It don't matter", the big man replied, "it's just going to be you and me...."

(Now, I'm beginning to wonder if I've told this joke before in my blog. Stuff like that happens as you age--you don't remember WHO you told WHAT and stuff like that....)

Out on our deck, you can hear lots of fireworks, but because of all the trees, nothing is visible. I've never quite gotten the attraction of fireworks. I grew up with cherry bombs in every kid's pockets, but the loudness I never liked. I do like the spectacular stuff, especially over water like they do in New Haven. But the stuff there has been all the warnings about--the loud, local stuff...that I've never understood.

I wonder if there were fireworks in Philadelphia on the first 4th. Ben Franklin could have cobbled some together, no doubt. I know fireworks are ancient and like most digital devices these days, native to China. But the connection between the 4th and stuff exploding is something to ponder.

My next door neighbor is blowing up some stuff in his yard right now. Maybe I'll go check it out and see if anyone's hand has been blown off....

All in all, I can't be thankful enough to be an American and to celebrate this holiday each year, though it seems to have more to do with hot dogs and beer and fireworks than with patriotism....

Something to wonder about, I guess....And ponder.

Happy 4th!

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some ponderings by an aging white man who is an Episcopal priest in Connecticut. Now retired but still working and still wondering what it all means...all of it.