Posts Tagged ‘Independence Day’


Many steps from house to pool.

Thirty years ago, when we built our little house in the country, we had an in-ground pool installed at the same time.

I insisted we live by water and Bill insisted on a woodstove instead of a fireplace.  It was a compromise.

The end result was a heavy-duty woodstove in the middle of the living room and a swimming pool!

As it turned out, that woodstove grew on me, maybe because it saved our lives through many a frigid winter.

And the pool meant happy memories with our son and the grandgirls, friends who visited, and our two golden retrievers who loved anything water.  Swimming in the shadow of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia has always seemed to me to be the ultimate luxury.

Oh, and I forgot – there was once a horse in our pool, but that is another story.

But now (due to sheltering in place from Covid-19)  we are pretty much the only swimmers.  We invite Elsa-the-dog to join in but she is suspicious of so much water.

On July 3rd I was determined to get into the old pool and paddle around as a prelude to celebrating Independence Day 2020.  A swim would also be good for Old BigFoot.

But as enticing as it is, getting to the pool is now an enormous challenge.  Navigating all those steps is out of the question since there are many steps down, and the only other way (I thought) was walking down over uneven terrain.

Then there were the endless preparations… What to take…

  •  A water dish for Elsa.  Treats for Elsa.  A leash for Elsa.
  • Towells, walking stick (cane), suntan oil, bug repellent, sunglasses, first aid supplies.
  • How to get down there.  The pool is not far if you can walk.  May as well be to the moon for BigFoot.
  • Bill to the rescue!   “We will take the car!” said he.  And Elsa jumped into the backseat thinking it was another ride.
  • And off we went for a one minute drive around the house to wind up at the pool.

It was an unceremonious but successful arrival. 

Elsa would not even consider getting near the water.

Instead she began tentative explorations and found shady spots (to shelter in place).  In fact she found a cave under one of the big evergreen bushes where she was cool, hidden from danger, and could watch for bears in case the peeps needed protection.

BigFoot loved the swim and was already plotting how to get down there again without the mortification of being driven! 

The only concern is that Bruno-the-Bear or his sister would decide to join in, but there is always Elsa for protection.

Do you think she would emerge from her new private dog-cave-digs to scare off another bear? 






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Elsa Desk 2.jpg

We are still trying to figure out how to make Elsa-the-Rescue-Dog happy.  Mostly she is tough, strong and independent.

Unless there is a mysterious noise.

Like thunder of course.

Or fire crackers.

A backfire from a distant Virginia highway.

Or just any unidentifiable noise that indicates the sky might fall.

Lately we are having regular afternoon thunder storms at the time she has her dinner and most especially when she needs to go out.  And of course Independence Day was yesterday so right after the storm there were far off cracks and pops in the neighborhood.  That was enough to start her shaking shivering and pacing in a mad search for safety almost all day yesterday.

Go out?  Wanna go out? Ha!

Eat her dinner?  Ha!

Well, she can afford to lose a few pounds.

Elsa has a “Thunder Shirt” which wraps snugly around the middle to combat anxiety. Trouble is, it doesn’t fit.  We feed her well and Elsa has outgrown her Thunder Shirt!  It will not wrap around her anymore.

Elsa has anxiety.  Me too.

We both worry about everything.

We both worry about the sky falling.

The Thunder Shirt will not fit me either.

Lately, Elsa’s safe place to hide out and shiver is in the foot well of my desk.  She is still worrying about the thunder storm from yesterday and is now under there.  What a sweet blogging companion, except when the shivers hit or when the thunder claps and we both want to run for our lives.

It is all quiet now, but the prediction is for thundder storms this afternoon.

Elsa has taught me one important thing.

There is no point in worrying about the weather.

But if I could get under my desk with her,

I would be there too.


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A Drizzly July 3rd Entering Town

Bill and I rode to town this morning for errands.  It is a drizzly day today and supposed to be the same tomorrow.  But, I almost forgot tomorrow is Independence Day until we crossed the bridge that leads into and out of our nearby downtown.

The U.S. flags were flying gallantly patriotic and stood out, even in the drizzle and even through our never-too-clean, rain spotted windshield.

And then we saw it.  A magical hot air balloon!  I have always admired them from afar but have never really been close to one.

Saw it from a distance

What a thrill!

Bill parked the car and we were within steps of a mighty colorful hot air balloon!  Somehow I caught the fever and excitement.  A little crowd of families, young and old were waiting to take a tethered ride. Balloon Rides Here

And although flying balloons of this size were never a part of my July 4th holidays growing up, this one colorful beauty practically screamed, “CELEBRATE!  IT’S THE FOURTH OF JULY!”

Surely the enormity, power and grace of a floating giant must symbolize our American concept of freedom as it defies earth’s gravity and soars majestically into the skies.

We didn’t take a balloon ride this time but it’s on my bucket list for an un-tethered experience.  For now, it is enough just to have been close.


Happy Fourth of July



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I always feel a bit down on holidays like the 4th of July since our family is so scattered and so far, but I wistfully went through the motions this morning  planning for the usual hot dogs and burgers w/trimmings.  The fun was missing though, and there was still shopping to be done for the necessary ingredients.  Bill warned, “It’s gonna be crowded.”   He knows how much I HATE crowds.

Stop# 1 – Herman’s Roadside Country Store.

Herman's Market

 Yep, it was crowded.  Inside was abuzz with laughter and activity.  “Do you have lime to add to the soil?” asked one woman.  The jovial checker lady said, “Hang on!  I’ll ask.”  And she hollered at full volume to a gent at the rear of the store, “HAVE WE GOT LIME?”  And then she whispered to me, “Watch – I’ll bet he says Huhhhhh?”   And within 10 seconds he hollered back as if on cue, “Huhhhhh?”

This may not sound funny in writing as it did in person but everybody in the place cracked up.  I left laughing and with some great tomatoes.

Stop #2 – The YMCA Treadmill.

Merrily proceeding I decided to stop for 20 minutes to stroll on the treadmill to assuage pervasive guilt over sedentary slothfulness and imagined again the gym would be too crowded.  And yes, it was, but there was one treadmill available.  On the way out I met four friends and  stopped to chat, finally leaving energized and smiling and feeling noble about conquering slothful urges.

On the way out, there was this great old beat up farm truck that begged to be photographed!  Old Farm Truck

Stop #3 – The Grocery Store. 

Surely the supermarket would be mobbed and it was, but with a happy crowd.  A favorite member of my book club appeared in one aisle so we stopped to chat about the current book, Factory Girls.

Leaving the store and expecting a hot muggy trudge to the car, there was instead a lovely breeze to nudge me to the far end of the parking lot (favorite spot to work in extra steps).
The air felt so good I wanted to keep on walking but the frozen yogurt might have melted.

Stop #4 – Home.

Arriving home meant unloading (if Bill was snoozing or mowing the South 40) putting away all the groceries, washing all the fruits and veggies, then slicing, cutting and preparing for a traditional Independence Day feast.  I was happy but tired and had not begun the slicing and dicing when the phone rang.

Good friends suggested we all go out to dinner to the Natural Bridge Hotel.  Great idea!

Stop #5 – Natural Bridge Hotel.

Natural Bridge Hotel

“It will probably be empty,” was the day’s lament.  “Everybody’s home barbecuing.”  But the hotel dining room was mobbed and once again with a happy bunch of people.  We were seated right next to a talented guitar player who was playing at extremely close proximity, so table conversation was at the shouting level.

Our waitress had a name tag.  It said her name was Andrew.  “IS THAT REALLY YOUR NAME?” I yelled.  “I WEAR FAKE NAMES ALL THE TIME,” she yelled back.  That started us all laughing and it was hard to stop through the entire meal.  Her real name is Michelle (we think) and she says she has another job as a fire truck driver!  She also goes by the names of Brad or Francine.

I still sorely miss my family and friends who are scattered so far away but the fates must have conspired to force smiles and laughter on this particular Independence Day.

A song kept trying to erupt as the day progressed (and of course, you do not want to be around for that).  I think Perry Como made it famous and here are the lyrics.  Do you remember this song?

It’s a Good Day

Yes, it’s a good day for singing a song
And it’s a good day for moving along
Yes, it’s a good day, how can anything go wrong?
Good day from morning till night

‘Cause it’s a good day for shining your shoes
Yes, it’s a good day for losing your blues
Everything to gain, nothing to lose
‘Cause it’s a good day from morning till night

I said to the sun
“Good morning sun, rise and shine today”
You know you gotta get going if you’re gonna make a showing
And you gotta get the right away

‘Cause it’s a good day for paying your bills
And it’s a good day for curing your ills
So take a deep breath and throw away your pills
‘Cause it’s a good day from morning till night

When I woke up this morning, I was feeling all wrong
Couldn’t find any reason for a happy song
Then I combed my hair and I washed my face
And my little world fell into place

‘Cause it’s a good day for paying your bills
And it’s a good day for curing your ills
So take a deep breath, throw away your pills
‘Cause it’s a good day from morning till
Good day from morning till, good day from morning till night

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