- Delray Beach, FL, Westport, MA, United States
- Undergraduate degree, Colby College; MA in teaching, Columbia Teacher's College; former high school English teacher in three states; former owner of interior design co. with advanced degree from R.I. School of Design. Published first book in 2009 titled, MINOR LEAGUE MOM: A MOTHER'S JOURNEY THROUGH THE RED SOX FARM TEAMS. Her humorous manuscript titled ELDERLY PARENTS WITH ALL THEIR MARBLES: A SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR THE KIDS was published in June, 2014. In 2015 A SURVIVAL GUIDE won a gold medal in the self-help category at the Florida Authors & Publishers Association conference. See website By CLICKING HERE.
Monday, July 9, 2012
A Taste of Freedom
Hope everyone enjoyed a memorable July 4th! The heat didn't deter hundreds of thousands from viewing the fireworks around the country, although in Boston the Esplanade had to be evacuated for a thunder and lightning storm that was its own spectacle.
When the boys were young, we used to housesit at my parents' place in Riverside, Connecticut. On the 4th we had a ritual of morning tennis, afternoon beach, and fireworks at Binney Park from a blanket. It was the same park where I'd watched, growing up.
When the boys got older and we had a summer place on the coast of Massachusetts, we began a new ritual with all of Charley's family. We went to the beach, then came back for a cookout at our house. Charley was the oldest of seven children, so some years there'd be fifrty of the Carey clan. The numbers began to dwindle when our sons were playing for the Red Sox and their cousins were working elsewhere around the country. Some years Charley and I took off to view the boys' professional games and the celebrations, wherever they were.
As our kids began to have their own families, we only hoped that the 4th fell on a day that would allow them some time off to stay with us. When that happened, we decorated the bikes and wagons and the kids put on special red, white, and blue outfits with hats or headbands to join in the parade along the beach. Boats became floats and family clans marched together in costume ("Yankee Doodle" band or fishermen or farm animals, of which there are many here). They still do.
This year, because the holiday fell in the middle of the week, Charley and I enjoyed the sights and sounds of the parade and a picnic at the beach by ourselves. Which was ok, since my definition of Independence Day changed on July 3rd.
That day I went to a Panera Bread restaurant for lunch. The table next to me was no more than twelve inches away and was occupied by two men in their thirties, both with food in front of them and one with an open laptop. I'd taken about two bites of my grilled chicken and a sip of iced tea when the man with the laptop began to invoke a blessing.
What to do? I stopped munching out of respect, since I could hear every word and figured it would be over in a jiffy. But it wasn't! The fellow went on and on in a monotone. Since I was the only other person in the restaurant who could hear him, I began munching again.
When he finally finished, he began reading to his companion from his laptop and took an occasional bite of sandwich. From what I could gather, it seemed like a sermon and his companion gave responses.
I hadn't been to church in a long, long time, so I figured it wouldn't hurt to finish my salad while I kept one ear tuned next door. Let's face it...I had some choices. I could move to another table, I could get a "to-go" box for my salad, or I could stay.
The men had made some choices, too. They were quietly observing their beliefs and not disturbing anyone, given my decision to sit in my seat and eat.
I had witnessed a perfect example of the meaning of July 4th. It wasn't in the fireworks or the family gathering or the parade. It was in our freedom of choice.