Sunday, July 5, 2009

July 4th 2009

 The holiday which began like just another work day, but turned into a Holiday at about 4 pm.  I went to work in the morning, but came back home to check on Howie who was still asleep at 11:45, so I hung out with Howie and avoided the deli rush at the store and straightened the house instead, getting ready for Grandpa Stan.  I vacuumed, I swept, I did laundry, I cleaned his bathroom.  By then it was almost 2, Howie had gone to Hannah's to play.  I looked outside and it was gray cloudy and raining so either I sat down in a chair and read a book or I went back to the store to work.  I called Lauren and she left it up to me, but they were slammed, but they could get by without me.  So I went down to the store.  The deli was a messy disaster. It appeared that they had handled the rush well, but the aftermath was ugly - the garbage cans were overflowing, there was food on the floor, the big deli sink was full of milkshake and smoothie containers.  The triple sink was full of dirty dishes, Lauren was slicing meats and cheeses.  Holly and Matt were still making sandwiches and lattes, we were totally out of soup.  But it was all good.  I just started doing stuff, took out the garbage, swept the floor, cleaned the slicer, did some dishes, helped some customers, made some ice cream cones.  We were completely out of Moose Tracks. It was July 4th in Big Sky.  Where else do you sell out of soup and ice cream on the same day?  

But somehow I was actually enjoying myself.  I was excited for the day as my dad was flying in from New York and he was giving me the play by play of his trip.  First call, "I'm at the gate in Laguardia, they charged me for my bag, then they gave me the money back."  He was over an hour early.  Then he called me from his seat on the plane.  "And they changed my seat for the next plane so I have a bulk head on that plane as well. We should be taking off any minute."  

After I felt the deli was all good I restocked beer and wine.  Then I remembered the produce section.  I restocked bananas, corn, cucumbers, zucchini, peppers, lemons, limes, cherry tomatoes, whatever I saw that I could replenish.  Back and forth from the walk in to the produce case.   Lauren said to me, "it's nice to see you frantically restocking produce, it reminds me of winter."  "yeah, I realize when I work here I'm always running, that's not good."  

At about 4 o'clock I ran out of steam.  And so I left, the weather was miraculously clearing.  The sun was coming out, I called  Howie at Hannah's and spoke to Chris, "they're just playing, No I'm good, don't need anything."

When I got home, Buddy who was supposedly in Howie's care at Hannah's house was in the driveway.  Murray had been with me, but both of them seemed like they wanted to go for a walk.  I turned on the Mets - Phillies game for a second and saw another Mets error turned into opposing team runs as Santos missed a foul pop up which popped out of his glove and then the next hitter hit a single and then the outfielder threw the ball away and a run scored.  ugh.  I couldn't watch anymore so I called Chris again, "Do you think Howie and Hannah want to go down to the river with me?"

"Yes!" Chris said and then asked them and they came right over.  I geared up and we walked down to the river and had a fun time, the sun was peeking out burning off the clouds.  I was casting and watching my drift when my phone starts ringing. I know it's my Dad because of the ringtone.  As I answer the phone I see a fish jump up take a look at my fly and shy away.  No chance to set my rod, "Hi Dad."

"Well I'm at the gate in Detroit.  They escorted me over here in the wheelchair, I had to take a train. 2 young girls at the gate offered to help me over when they saw me waiting in the wheelchair. The woman who wheeled me over was Indian, she was really nice, but I couldn't understand a word she said.  It's so hard when you can't communicate.  There are some nice people you meet when you travel."  So he was all good.  I fished.  Hannah and Howie played with sticks and my little camera.  Then it was back home with a pit stop to Jim and Margy's to wish them a happy Fourth of July.  Jim had just made rhubarb pie, so Hannah and I both had 2 slices of pie.  I had a beer, Howie ate chips, he didn't like the rhubarb pie.  It was a great visit. Yesterday Margy told me again about Howie crying when Andrew blew out his candles and she told me she had to look at it like a 2 year old, looking up at the brilliant light from all the candles and then seeing your older brother just blow them out.  It made sense that a 2 year old would be upset.  Today Margy was talking about her parents - she was wearing a locket with their photographs inside and I asked her about it.  She said with tears in her eyes, "I was so lucky to have such great parents."   

Yesterday at the party we were talking about doing for the kids.  And Margy asked, "Didn't they go out of there way to do for you?"  And with tears welling up in my eyes, I replied, "No, they just worked, they didn't have time, they just worked."

It was a great 4th of July visit.  But it was time to get home so we could head over to the music and festivities at the park. Climbing wall, jumpy room, food and friends.  We got there at about 6:45.  I had to leave to pick up Dad at around 7:45. Dan and Denise showed up just a few minutes after us.  Jackson found us at the climbing wall.  The music was getting started and the band was really good Mingo Fishtrap.  They were playing a song "I love you too much."  I was thinking of Jackie and realizing their trip was at the midpoint. The kids and I got slices of pizza.  We sat down with Dan and Denise, I enjoyed the music until I had to leave.  Howie and Hannah stayed with Dan and Denise and I drove away heading on my 1 hour drive to the airport.

In the canyon a deer crossed in front of my car and then again in Gateway, both times with plenty of time to brake and let them go by.  Passing farmland with the big irrigation sprinklers going, with the sun shining it was like a moving rainbow rushing back and forth from the far end of the sprinkler to the road.  I was parked at the airport for maybe 5 minutes when Dad called.  We are taxiing into the gate.  I waited about 10 minutes and then went in and the passengers were just showing up.  And there was Dad, walking slowly and blindly forward.  He looks good.  A little bit dazed, but good.  We waited for his bags, Sue, Dale and Christo Spartas were at the airport.  Dale was on Dad's flight. Dad tells me, black bag with blue ribbon and I see someone taking a black bag with a blue ribbon, but that's theirs not his.  His is of course the last bag off the plane, first one on, last one off.  It seems that Dale is missing one of his bags, which is a bummer, but I need to get moving on - we want to get back in time for the last couple of songs and the fireworks.  We load up his bag into the car.  The sun is setting at Gallatin Field and the moon is rising - almost full.  Dad remarks immediately about how beautiful it is in Montana, how much open space there is - how big it feels.  I tell him, I agree, I feel very lucky.  

It's good to have Dad in the car and driving back to Big Sky.  He seems really well.  He says he's in a blizzard, but really he's not.  We drive up to Big Sky - we arrive back at the concert by 10:15 - there are cars parked everywhere, people setting up all over to watch the fireworks.  I do my plan which is to drive all the way up to the front drive through the handicap spaces and park on the grass behind the stage.  Easily done, the music is blaring and rocking and rolling. We find Dan and Denise easily.  Hannah is totally covered up in a chair freezing to death.  Howie and Jackson are on the softball field watching everyone shoot off their personal fireworks, the band is winding down, they don't want to stop. The personal fireworks stop, Howie and Jackson appear.  Howie goes straight up to Grandpa Stan and gives him a big hug. I ask him for a hug too and give him his sweatshirt which he never put on.  At 10:30 they start playing just one more song and the fireworks start going off.   It's quite spectacular and kind of fun to have the live music as the background to the fireworks display.  It goes on and on, with red, white and blue stars shooting off into the sky.  The finale is incredible, lights of all colors and shapes, orbs and planets, stars and patriotism flying through the sky with the almost full moon hovering, taking in the show.  Happy Birthday America!!!

Then we pack up, get Grandpa and the kids to the car and head home.  Howie walks Hannah to her door.  Grandpa walks slowly in the dark, complaining there's no light.  I grab his luggage and rush into the house and throw on the outside lights.  "That's better," he says and still almost trips coming up the five steps to the porch.  In the house he is immediately greeted by Buddy, who actually kind of ignores him.  Murray comes upstairs to greet him.  Ziggy has left a dead bird on the porch for him.  Finally in the house, we bring his luggage down to his room where we are followed by Murray, Buddy, and Ziggy.  I fix my Dad's watch, try to get him situated and comfortable and realize he needs night lights which Howie and I find and set up. Then Howie and I take the dogs for a quick walk.  I put a leash on Murray because there are still lots of fireworks going on in the neighborhood and I worry Murray might freak out and run away.  A ten minute walk and then Howie and I get our jammies on and have a late night snack.  Then I show him all the videos Hannah took while we were hanging out.  And finally after midnight bed.  Happy 4th of July!

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