The Little Things: On a Relaxing July 4 Vacation and Work

Happy late Independence Day to all of us Americans who celebrate. Understanding many of the nuances of this nation’s history gives me much to ponder on that day, but I suppose I can get down with good food and family fun, as well as knowing that I’m fortunate that people have worked hard so that I have what I do have.

And what I did have on this July 4th was mostly blessed quiet, the calm before the storm one might say. My wife just had one of her sisters over, and she threw some steaks, dogs, burgers, and even chicken on the grill. I ate till bursting, then topped the night off with some of her homemade butter pecan ice cream. That takes me back to my childhood, when we so often ate the boxes of that stuff my mom would get as it was her favorite. “Eat the strawberry I got for y’all” she would say. But such is life when you have kids I guess, as many times someone would not only eat all of her butter pecan, but also put the empty box back into the freezer.

Ah, the glory days. That piece of waxing nostalgic done, I return you to your regularly scheduled programming, already in progress. Friday was more of the same, as I opted to take it off and not have to return to the office immediately after the holiday. I spent much of the day in a groggy fugue, as I had awakened kind of early. And I spent most of it indoors, as we topped out with heat indeces in the low 110s. That’s smokin’!

As that heat finally, sort of, broke over these parts on Saturday, my wife put up the summerish swinging bench she got for the back porch. That thing is pretty cool too, another piece of childhood though they don’t make them like they used to. My grandma had a bit metal swing chair thingy on her porch that I loved to sit on for hours, listening to the world go by. This one is more plastic, with a cloth canopy overhead and tables to either side that can hold cups or phones.

And as the heat continued to mostly hold off on Sunday, we took a stroll through Raleigh’s Dorthea Dixx Park so she could see and I could put my hands on the sunflowers. As we did so, a light, warm rain fell that actually felt good walking through. And, I got to feel and sit in a hammock, which I’ve often tried to visualize but could not quite understand. I love when I get to discover how things I’ve only read about actually work. That rope is kind of tricky to get into, and I could quickly understand how you could easily lie in or sit down on one. Cool.

So all of that had me relaxed and ready to enter what I knew would be a fast-paced week. My work is picking up, as we begin the training I alluded to in the previous post. Turns out I’m going to help someone at least acquire the basics of braille, and I will work with another on Customer Service stuff. I think the most enjoyable part of this is getting to express and expand my creativity as I work with others. It was a good day, just long and ending with a rewarding sense of exhaustion (there are multiple kinds of exhaustion). So just remember to ake heed of and be thankful for those little things that make up a life.

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