Thursday, July 2, 2009

Holiday Weekend

Somebody asked me today if I had big plans for the weekend. My answer, as usual, was no. The July 4th holiday typically represents a weekend of cookouts, parties, and fireworks for most Americans. But for my family, it's generally just a regular weekend.

My dad was a career and volunteer firefighter. He was incredibly devoted to this "calling" and I credit that with the development of my passion for serving others. But, it came with a price on a variety of levels for our family. One of those was the lack of normal holidays...particularly the July 4th tradition. Everytime that someone catches something on fire or nearly blows their hands off thanks to fireworks, someone's family member has to respond to that emergency. Similarly, everytime someone gets behind the wheel after one too many drinks and causes an accident, someone has to respond to that. That person, for 25 years of my life, was my father. July 4th is a very busy time for such emergencies and it was not unusual for us to not see my dad the entire night and/or weekend thanks to these emergency calls.

That said, my older brother stepped in quite a bit when I growing up to provide some sort of holiday celebration. He, like most boys, had an obsession with fireworks. I remember him having a desk drawer full of firecrackers. So, he and I would go out and light some relatively benign fireworks just to say we did it. And throughout the year, he would have bottle rockets...we would attach our Star Wars figurines to those and shoot them off. Poor C3PO hasn't been the same since. As adults, we have often regretted these actions in retrospect. Those original figurines that we blew up are now quite valuable.

So, this weekend will most likely just be normal. I do have a four-day weekend so I'll be focused mostly on getting my apartment in order. After living here for nearly 2 years, I still have a room full of unpacked boxes! I have had some time to deal with this before, but didn't tackle it as I had planned. So, I'm hoping to finally get it taken care of this weekend. And, of course, I'll most likely be heading over to visit my parents. I wish the weather wasn't so cloudy/stormy! I would love to have at least one day at the pool, too.

Happy July 4th weekend! Please be safe in your celebrations - for yourself, your family, and the families of the emergency workers who leave their own families to respond to your call for help.

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