In the U.S., we’re heading into a holiday weekend as we prepare to celebrate Independence Day. Although the topic of this meme may be inevitable, independence never is, so it couldn’t hurt to stop and think for a minute about independence in a general way and holidays in a more trivial way.
1) Do you celebrate 4th of July (or some other holiday representing independence?)
Well, last year we went to a charming small town parade, and then had strawberry shortcake to eat. We grimaced when representatives of one political party marched by and cheered for the other, so in some ways it felt like watching the news. I’m not sure what we’ll do this year. I can’t go back to the parade in Adorable Town on the River this year because I’m on call at the hospital that morning. Whatever happens, it will not involve a cocktail.
2) When was the first time you felt independent, if ever?
When I acted as my own general contractor in renovating this house, bought after my divorce and my father’s death. All the choices, good or bad, were mine. It was a great feeling, but a little scary at the same time. And a little sad that I didn’t feel that way until I was 37.
3) If you’re hosting a cookout, what’s on the grill?
This year, probably garden burgers (The Princess is eschewing the consumption of four-legged animals.) and regular burgers. I like chicken cooked on a grill, but we haven’t been too successful at cooking it evenly.
Pure Luck will man a grill once a year. It either happens on The Princess’ birthday or the 4th of July. Since the birthday has gone by, I’m guessing we’ll cook out on Tuesday afternoon, if it isn’t raining. Which would be a miracle.
4) Strawberry Shortcake — biscuit or sponge cake? Discuss.
Why, biscuit, naturally!
5) Fireworks — best and worst experience
The Best — I was about 9 years old the year some well-off friends of my parents invited us to a 4th of July party on their sprawling property in Northern Virginia. They had an incredible professional fireworks show, and because we were all so close to it, the ground really shook!
The Worst — Sparklers in the driveway just before a huge thunderstorm — someone who shall remain nameless put a still hot sparkler on the bumper of my minivan and left a melt mark. (Okay, it may have been me.)
And a bonus 1776 category for the Broadway fans among us:
1) Favorite Patriot — John Adams
2) Favorite Tory — John Dickinson
3) Favorite Wife — Abigail. Or Martha. Oh, I don’t know!
4) Favorite Song — This one’s too hard. I love “Cool, Cool Considerate Men,” but I also love the little song Abigail sings at the end about the saltpeter, and of course I love the opening number, which we all love to sing together and frequently reference. I think that has to be it. “Vote for in-de-pen-den-cy!” “Someone ought to open up a window.” Or maybe it’s “The Lees of Old Virginia.” This question is too hard. Who thought this up? (Oh, that would be me.)
5) Favorite Line — This is hard, too, but I think it’s Abby’s response to John’s discouragement: “Have you forgotten what you used to say to me? I haven’t. Commitment, Abby, commitment. There are only two creatures of value on the face of this earth – those with a commitment and those who require the commitment of others.”