Here’s to Our Lady

It is almost Independence Day and I’m listening to Blake belt out Your lips taste like sangria (you must click on the song while reading). Just for the hell of it I lick my lips. Nothing. Nada. They taste a little like chapstick and peanut butter. I won’t be falling into a wild warm kiss any time soon. Story of my life. And then as if I were able to materialize shit right from my thoughts, a tub of sangria walks through the front door, and lands on our overly laden counter. Well the tub didn’t actually walk into the house, it was carried by Cole and Ned, but I’m fairly certain my lips will soon taste like sangria. 

When the cars are stacked up like dominos in the driveway I think “It’s time to get this party started…Tippin’ n’ spilling that home-made wine.” The house is fully stocked, sangria is flowing, and there is no chance we’ll go hungry, thirsty, or lonely for the next three days. #whoareallthesepeople? The snapchats are posting, tweets are rolling out, and the weekend hashtags are taking form. Our top three: #frontallobing (I didn’t hear a thing you just said), #slushietime (adult beverage for adults that want to act like children), #where’sAudrey (self evident). The age range this year is fifty-eight to negative four weeks (Taylor’s about to pop). It somehow works. My youngest son is MIA all weekend. I still don’t know where he is, but I keep telling myself he’s 21, let him roll. He does return my texts, so unless he’s being held by a hostel texter, I believe he’s fine. I begrudgingly remind myself we are celebrating our independence from the motherland (And now #Briexit, paybacks a bitch, we might even see a few fireworks across the pond). 

All week there are these incredible pyrotechnics displays hosted by towns and casinos all around the lake, like a dress rehearsal for the big event, and we made it to all of them cheering, “Here’s to our lady.” The script is the same, you boat out at dusk, drop anchor with hundreds of other boats dotting the lake, and sip sangria. During one of the shows we literally hooked up (the boats not the people) with our tulip festival friends from several blogs ago. How we found them in the pitch dark is still a mystery. Yelling, “Terri” did not help at all because her name is TAMI. Note to self, read old blogs before trying to find new friends. What the hell were we thinking? I blame the homemade wine, deteriorating memory, and #frountallobing. It was good to see you all again Charlene, Paul, and Holland. 

Fourth of July is like Ground Hog Day, it repeats every year, even though the cast of characters seems to ebb and flow. We don’t have Tony this year and my mom ditched us for a bunch of high school friends who are whooping it up in Atwater (don’t worry no one else has heard of it either). Independence Day. Damn. I hate the reminder, as I plot and plan how to entice my son Tony out of Aussie country, and back into the nest. He is not having it. Playing rugby, working for a fine company, living in a swanky apartment on the coast. I don’t even have a carrot to dangle. I’m proud of him. Livin the dream…

All good things must come to an end. The last car pulls out of the drive, flags waving from the back of Rosie as the train exits Kono Tayee, horns a honking. I decide to stay back and indulge in some light house keeping. I spent the day putzing around, eight loads of laundry, three blessed toilets (for which we are thankful), miles of sticky floors (sangria much), and a pantry that has gone completely insane. I listen to pandora as I work, until that magical song comes on, “Your lips taste like sangria,” and I take that as a sign. Time to wipe the sweat from my face, put down the toilet brush, and go in search of a fruity beverage. Plant a flag because I found a pitcher of leftover sangria in the fridge! I pour a glass and dump my weary ass in a lounge chair on the back deck. Everything is quiet and calm. The vacationers have pulled out, #Clearexit. I love this quiet and I embrace it like a lover. 

I let my mind wonder, casually reviewing the weekend, my stomach still hurts from laughing, or maybe it was the five mile hike straight up the face of Mt. Konocti. I think about all the good things that happened this weekend, Ana Russo’s grandson was born, Audrey on deck, incredible wine, long boat rides, we even found Keira, selfies of Kelley, the Kono Tayee parade, great meals, good friends both near and far. I am languid with happiness (or sangria).

Seth Godin says, “All of us have a narrative. It’s the story we tell ourselves about how we got here, what we’re building, what our urgencies are. And within that narrative, we act in a way that seems reasonable. To be clear, the narrative isn’t true. It’s merely our version, our self-talk about what’s going on. It’s the excuses, perceptions and history we’ve woven together to get through the world. It’s our grievances and our perception of privilege, our grudges, and our loves.” 

This is why we celebrate our independence or freedom of thought. As we build our lives we get to decide who fits into our narrative and who doesn’t. I think that might be our only true freedom. I realize it is difficult to understand each other, mostly because #frontallobing has become a national obsession, and we certainly don’t want to make the difficult journey, one if by land, two if by sea, to empathize with each other. Your thoughts are as foreign to me as mine are to you. But here’s the newsflash. We occupy the same territory in glory or defeat. I am so happy to run through the streets yelling, “the regulars are coming.” The people in my life who show up, brandishing the wine, and are thrilled (or at least reconciled) about ending up in my damn narrative. Life is a privilege, friends a rare blessing, and now my lips taste like sangria. 

A penny for your thoughts?

You might also enjoy: Grab Yourself a Cozie or Celebrating our Independence


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  1. Hi Charlotte! It was great seeing you all again even if Patrick didn't remember us! HaHa. And Terri didn't like her new name. I think we need to meet up at the Richmond Grill and enjoy a few swirls! #loveourlake


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