Celebrating our Freedom (Updated)

My apologies! I accidentally hit the publish button without knowing! Most of you enjoyed reading an early version of the first draft! New bloggers mistake…

“Day is done, gone the sun, from the lake, from the hills, from the sky.  All is well, safely rest, God is nigh…” I remember singing that song many a night, sitting around a roaring camp fire, with a bunch of girl scouts, under a blanket of stars.  Those memories are almost always entwined with my sister Nancy and my cousin Vicky.  We ended up in the same troop year after year with my Auntie Neva as leader.  Those were good times, laced with a budding sense of independence, I’m still struggling to bring forth. 

I loved all the camping paraphernalia from mess kits to pocket knives, canteens and collapsible cups, hard earned badges, and crazy camp songs. I remember the joy of consuming darn goods (Bisquick balls fried in grease) every morning and making s’mores around the camp fire at night. If you’ve never heard of s’mores, google it.

I’m sitting here at the lake house, well into my third night of isolation, and I’m watching the sun settle down for the night. It is a stunning sunset, with all the usual colors, a sight I never tire of watching. I wonder if the feeling of loneliness has anything to do with this sudden flash of memory. I would always get homesick at Girl Scout Camp, cried myself to sleep almost every night, annoyed the hell out of my sister and cousin. I am a hopeless homebody. I feel most secure when surrounded by family and the familiar, not that the lake house isn’t familiar, but it is usually full of people. I suppose all this isolation is good for my independence that continues to emerge. As I mentioned before I’m slow to process. Tomorrow the troops start arriving and most everyone will bring a friend or two. I think every bed and most of the floor space will be utilized.  I can’t wait. I haven’t used my voice in three days and my thoughts are all backed up. The first one to arrive is in big trouble!

My mom will be with us this year and so will my granddaughter. I’d quote the age span but my mom would not approve. We’ll consume dozens of grilled hamburgers, steak, and chicken, Belgian waffles every morning, and a few rounds of slushies when the heat overwhelms us. Slushies are a concoction of limeade, vodka, and ice. I have no idea why, but they only taste good, lakeside, on a hot day.  It is an odd phenomenon.

On the fourth of July we’ll enjoy a neighborhood parade, where the locals decorate golf carts and bicycles, then drive up and down the streets, whooping and hollering.  It really is a lot better than I’m making it sound. I always enjoy celebrating our independence. Franklin D. Roosevelt said, “In the truest sense, freedom cannot be bestowed, it must be achieved.” I’ll have to chew on that a while but I believe freedom is attainable if we’re willing to take a risk. Something we have to decide on our own, and yes, I see the connection.

On the evening of the 4th we will all crowd into the boat and head to Lakeport. Anchored in the middle of the lake, we’ll sip red and white wine, whoop and holler, as we celebrate 239 years of independence. Then we have to endure a scary ride home with a hundred other boats finding their way in the dark. 

We’ll enjoy campfires and s’mores, we’ll watch movies under the stars, that my son Dante projects off a makeshift screen. Now that is super cool. We’ll linger on the patio, late into the night, talking loudly, and counting shooting stars. We’ll put down a lot of good memories this year. I guess it’s not so wildly different from Girl Scout camp? Except I won’t be crying myself to sleep at night. For some reason I can’t get that song out of my head, “Day is done, gone the sun, from the lake, from the hills, from the sky.  All is well, safely rest, God is nigh…” 

 Enjoy the 4th everybody! 

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