Melanie and I skipped Thanksgiving in 2012. A variety of health problems preceded the holiday, and by the time Thanksgiving was upon us, we just weren’t prepared or even all that motivated to go through the rigmarole that a proper celebration would’ve required. Our initial plan was to celebrate Thanksgiving on some future date. We were committed to that idea for quite a while, but eventually we gave up on it. Thanksgiving was too far in the past, and we didn’t even care anymore.
For 2013, it’s Independence Day that didn’t get a proper celebration. Health problems weren’t the downfall, although it didn’t help that my gout flared up this week. It attacked my right ankle, making it stiff and sore for much of Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. (It appeared on Sunday, but wasn’t a big deal until Tuesday.) I felt better on Thursday than on Wednesday, so I was hopeful that hobbling around to watch fireworks wouldn’t be too much of a burden. Mother Nature had other plans, however. It rained, and rained, and rained, and rained, quite heavily, almost the entire day. The breaks were few and far between, and it was drizzling even when it wasn’t a torrential downpour. Melanie and I kept looking things up online to see if fireworks celebrations in the area were going to be cancelled. We couldn’t ever find much information about it, and everything we saw suggested that things would proceed like normal. One article’s sole purpose was to inform readers that rainy 4th of Julys are not the least bit uncommon in Tallahassee, as if nobody should expect it to matter one whit what the clouds in the sky were doing. Melanie and I were skeptical that we would try to see fireworks from anything other than our car, since there was no way the ground wouldn’t be saturated and squishy. But we figured we’d do our best to participate in the festivities, one way or another. And so, just after 8pm, we set out to our preferred Tallahassee fireworks destination in a neighborhood called Shannon Lakes.
When we arrived, a large sign had been posted with “Cancelled” written in big, red letters. We were disappointed but not completely surprised. Shannon Lakes is a smaller venue, and we figured it would be cancelled more readily than would a bigger fireworks show. And so, we decided to drive to Tom Brown Park, which is the premier location for fireworks in Tallahassee. When we saw that the Tom Brown fireworks had also been cancelled, we were more genuinely shocked. We knew of only one other fireworks show in the vicinity, and so we drove toward it, though we now didn’t expect anything. Sure enough, there was nothing to be found. Ironically, the weather was the best it had been all day. We did see a handful of small but colorful explosions as people set off their own modest fireworks, so that was good. Even better, there was almost zero traffic. It’s been nearly two decades since I’ve been able to navigate the streets with so much ease on the night of July 4th.
When we got home, Creegan had fallen asleep. We laid him down, and then we stepped out on the porch with some sparklers that a friend had given us. Eddie and Peter were too nervous to handle the sparklers themselves, but Melanie and I did our best to demonstrate just how much fun they could be having if only they’d muster up some bravery. Once we’d sufficiently burned images of glowing circles into our retinas, we brought our modified 4th of July celebrations to an end. Eddie and Peter went to bed, and Melanie and I made it through almost an entire episode of Sherlock without falling asleep. Then we went to bed ourselves.
Here’s hoping our holiday celebrations get back on track. Heaven knows what kind of a hissy fit I’ll throw if my Labor Day isn’t absolutely mind-blowing.