Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy Fourth of July

It's the Fourth of July which means two things: BBQ and watermelon!
Unfortunately I won't be indulging in either of those today but I am turning to the depths of my many fond memories of past fourths and secretly relishing the taste of those hamburgers, potato chips, and hotdogs...mustard only please; skewered tofu and veggies(summer of '01); and that special feeling of biting off chunks of watermelon with the juice dripping down your chin as you spit the seeds into the wild yonder. (hey, i was just a kid and those seed spitting contests were the best!)
*just as a side note, Italy has the worst hamburger buns I have ever tasted in my life. They are dry, yucky, and the middle soaks through with liquid while the rest just crumbles away mercilessly into your fingers and on the plate. Yuck yuck yuck. And they taste like cardboard.*

When I was young the annual fourth of july parade started at the end of our street so every year we had prime seats on our front lawn. Before the paraders lost their stamina, before the floats started to come undone, (or to be more precise bikes with crepe paper and balloons), before the sun started beating down and forcing everyone under the safety of the magnolia trees, we were there. Bright and early excitement bursting over our folding lawn chairs to see who has the best costume and best float of the parade. After they announced the winner we were always soarly disappointed and the hypothesis that perhaps the contest was rigged because every year they chose the ones that sucked the hardest started to form in our fragile little minds.
We would spend the day swimming and slathering sunscreen on our skins. A few snowcones (rainbow flavor was the only way to go) and cokes and we were set until night falls. This is when the fireflies would come out and we would chase them catching the magic in glass jars. Of course when the boy across the street started to smear the ones he caught on his clothes to make them glow it somehow ruined the magic. But he was a weird kid.
The fireworks usually started at 9pm sharp and lasted for about half an hour. And of course we had our very own sparklers which kept us entertained for a good 10 minutes until we finished the whole box and whined for some more. The black cat was my sister's favorite but it scared the crap out of me. In fact anything that had sparks of fire flaming in all directions and made loud noises scared the crap out of me. If it was high in the air with about a mile between me and it, fine. But if it was on the ground lit by a 12 year old pyromaniac, i ran screaming the other way.
Those were the days when everything felt safe and the only fear was the crazy kid across the street. The days when staying up till 10pm was really late. The comfort of my mom and dad was just an arm's length away and I had not a worry in the world.
ahhhhh, memories. Times have obviously changed and the last 3 fourth of July's I spent in nyc were tinged with a touch of fear. Maybe nobody else felt that way but I sure did. But I tend to be a bit on the paranoid side. You can't really blame me after growing up with a freak neighbor who is probably in jail or wanted at large now.
So I wish everyone a happy and safe fourth!
Today, by the way, is also Garibaldi's birthday. He was a brilliant Italian soldier who helped in the unification of Italy. There are many monuments in Rome attributed to him but I don't know my Italian history very well (shame on me!) and I don't have fond memories of Garibaldi as I do of the 4th of July so I'm not going to talk about him. Oh, except there is a statue of Garibaldi in Washington Sq. Park in nyc! How's that for being an international icon!


Blogger Shelley - At Home in Rome said...

Happy (late) Fourth! I think the hamburger buns here are gross because no one buys them, so they are basically nearly stale by the time you get to them. Same goes for the Old El Paso "taco kit" in the "etnic foods" section of the supermarket... stale taco shells b/c Italians have no idea what in the heck you would do with a taco shell.

Next year let's have a 4th BBQ!

Thursday, July 05, 2007 1:50:00 PM  

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