Our 4th was very quiet.  Michael can’t eat, so he is relegated to liquids and jello before his operation on Wednesday, so we didn’t accept an invitation to a friend’s barbecue.  We are surrounded in the South by wonderful cooks especially those who love to barbecue and the smell was driving both of us crazy.  I handled my anxiety with exercise at the track and then some spot cleaning.  Michael withdrew into a thriller and read.

I seem to have that mentality that when I am anxious I clean…it may be a part of my Irish heritage but I know my mom was always glad to have me stay for awhile when they retired in Alabama especially as she got older.  I helped her clean while she made her usual gourmet meals.  That is how I learned to cook:  by watching her and then imitation.

Thinking of the best 4th for me was 1976 when my parents had their little ice cream stand in the Catskills and we closed early for the fireworks but not before we had some visitors including the star of the tv show Flipper.  He was a good looking country boy who became an actor.  We had a few celebrities in the Catskills who retreated from New York City including artists, big business owners, actresses, models, and even Patty Hearst visited for a stay.  I remember my brother Michael’s friend stating I saw her during the kidnapping (everyone was looking for her) and everyone was like oh, yeah because he could tell a story.  It turned out to be the truth.  Patty Hearst did hide out the summer of 74 in Jeffersonville. And my brother’s friend became a writer/English Professor.

That was the best summer because it seemed to be everything moved effortlessly like music.  My parent’s business was doing very well and people were coming to see us.  It was  like one big social calendar and we were all very happy.  I still remember Flipper visiting our store and my mom said go ahead wait on him.  I looked into this blue eyes and at the shock of whitish blonde hair and I just smiled.  Fireworks come and go but memories never leave you.