Thursday, July 5, 2012

Patriotic Kicks, Adult Beverages, and Heroics on the Sea

I hope your Fourth of July celebrations were fun, patriotic, light-filled and sparkly, loud and booming, and cooked-out-on-the-grill delicious.  Ours was relatively quiet, but wonderful.  Our second oldest son and his girlfriend came for a dinner of hot dogs, hamburgers, pasta salad, and corn on the cob, and then we watched Jim Gaffigan's "Mr. Universe" comedy show on Netflix, planning to go to our town's fireworks display (which started at 9:15) afterward.  But by the time the show was over (and my husband and I--who have become a couple of old geezers, I guess--had napped through portions of it), we all decided that we were too tired and it wasn't like we'd never seen fireworks before, so maybe it would be okay if we missed them this year.

So my husband didn't get a chance to show off his patriotic kicks to the masses last night, but he wore them all day long nonetheless.  As I think I've told you before, from the time I first met him as a high school freshman up to the present, my husband only wears one type of shoe: black, low-cut Converse Chuck Taylor sneakers.  If he's not on the job or dressing up for Mass or a wedding, that is what he has on his feet.  But July 4th is a red letter day--er, um...a red, white, and blue letter day; so once a year he breaks out his special, uber-patriotic high-top Chuck Taylor's.   (He breaks out his patriotic boxer shorts, too; but I don't think I'm going to show you those.)
My better half had a college buddy who worked as an accountant for Converse for a number of years, and he was able to procure this pair of American beauties (which he bestowed upon his old roommate as a gift).  My guy breaks them out of the closet once a year only; at that rate, fortunately, they will never wear out--because I don't even know if these were ever sold in stores and I doubt they can be replaced.  

Our real Fourth of July celebration will take place this weekend, when we travel to Upstate NY to stay with a bunch of my husband's siblings and their spouses and kids at the Pearl family homestead on Lake Champlain.  The weekend will be kicked off with the annual round-robin golf tourney (an event held yearly as a memorial to my late father-in-law, the duffer extraordinaire).  Then there will be an after-golfing party.  A keg will be tapped, beers and other adult beverages will be consumed, voices will be raised in storytelling and laughter, and we will all be in Heaven.  We are so spread out across the U.S. that whenever we can get together, the good times roll and we have a ball--just soaking up the pure joy of each other's company.

We need to make room in the trunk for our contribution to the festivities.  I know this looks like overkill, but there are going to be a lot of people up there.  People who really, really like beer.  Miller Lite beer.
And by the way, we got some good news for beer drinkers in an e-mail a few days ago, from "Doctor's House Call" (featuring a web doctor named Al Sears).  The title of the article was "Can Beer Make Your Brain Better?"  A new study has been done, reports Dr. Sears, and apparently it shows that beer can improve your mind by increasing your ability to solve problems.  It also brings out your creativity.  Add that to the fact that it has already been determined that moderate amounts of beer can reduce the chance of heart disease by 41% and even lower the risk of cancer, and all of a sudden, beer sounds like a health food that should be part of a person's daily diet.  I rarely drink beer, preferring the occasional Mike's Hard Lemonade; but I may have to start increasing my beer consumption!

I've got to sign off, because soon we have to pack up those cases of Miller Lite--along with our suitcases, of course--and get on the road.  But first I wanted to share a story with you about a true American hero in our family.  My niece--who is an intelligent, vivacious, absolutely stunning, blond and blue-eyed, petite dynamo--is a Navy helicopter pilot who recently began a nine-month deployment on an aircraft carrier.  She'd been gone less than two weeks when she was called on to fly the helicopter that was sent to rescue a French pilot who'd had to eject from his airplane and was stranded in the ocean.  I can't even imagine how happy that pilot was to see my tres belle niece's helicopter arrive on the scene.  The Pearl family is so proud of this niece, whose service makes it possible for all of us back home to enjoy the freedoms we sometimes take for granted.  When we're together this weekend, we'll all raise our frosty Miller Lite's and make a toast in her honor.  I should have dedicated my post to this heroic girl yesterday--that would have been a truly  fitting way to mark America's Independence Day.
My niece when she was in flight school.
Please remember this brave Navy pilot, and all of our troops, in your prayers.  God bless her...and God bless America!

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