I spent the Fourth of July having lunch with a friend, then responsibly cleaning, doing laundry, and ironing the fat pile of clothes that sits in my room staring at me every day. I could have gone to a party, but decided to stay home and get things accomplished.
If I was any more boring, I would have to be dead. Going out would have been fun, but I told myself the same thing my ex-mother-in-law used to say, “Oh, I’ve seen lots of fireworks in my life, I don’t have to see them tonight.”
As the evening wore on, I ironed, watched a movie and a few episodes of Frankie and Grace, then heard the boom of fireworks and regretted not going out because no matter how old I get, I never get over the thrill of seeing those cascading sparkles against the navy sky. To let in some cool night air, I flung open the short casement window at the top of the stairs and noticed, that if I stood on my tiptoes, I could see flashes and sparkles in the distance.
The window is right above where my mom’s light up Jesus sits on a small wooden table, so I pulled up a chair, stood on it, and watched the show with Jesus beside me. Fireworks aren’t as spectacular far away as when you’re right under them with the colors exploding above you, in giant bursts of red, blue and gold.
But even from my little corner, they were a sweet reminder of the Fourth of Julys of my childhood — watching fireworks at the Spotlight 88 Drive-in — my mom thrilled by the beautiful colors. She always oohed and aahed with me, never losing her childlike sense of wonder. I like to think it was Mom who nudged me to look out the window for fireworks tonight, and sure enough, I looked and found them — and a little bit of my youth.
I wish you that sense of wonder all year long. May you always go out of your way to experience everything life has to offer — because the day you lose the ability to be awestruck by life’s magic — is the day you officially grow old.
Happy Birthday Mom and the U.S.A.!
lafridayJuly 28, 2017 at 7:21 pm
Aww… I’m with your mom on this one: I still thrill at the fireworks. This year I drove north to the largest theme park in the Northwest. It didn’t get fully dark until after 10pm, but we parked along the side of the road with a zillion other people and oohed and aahed as the night sky burst into glittery color. The 4th is quite celebratory here in small-town America.
LeslieJuly 13, 2017 at 10:40 am
Great story, Fran! I’m a big fan of taking note of the “glitter moments” in life and squeezing joy out of every last drop. I’m glad you had a chance to view the fireworks from your little portal of magic.
For us, the 4th this year was spent taking care of business and re-constituting our lives after a plumbing nightmare which occurred the day before, that required my husband to call in to work, cancel meetings and spend hours in the sun digging up the yard to find the broken pipe.
I must say that going without water for a day sure makes one appreciate the luxuries that we have in our modern world…. life without a flushing toilet humbles a person and makes for a grand realization of the joy in the “little things”.
As always, I loved your poignant post and your sweet memories of your mother.
Here’s to the magic — past and present, and the future moments to come!
NicolJuly 7, 2017 at 6:07 pm
Amen, my friend. Wishing life’s magic always xoxoxo
Fran TunnoJuly 8, 2017 at 8:35 pm
Pumpkin, you are the keeper of the magic. Of that, I am very sure! Hope your Fourth was magical too. xoxo
Chas MadonioJuly 6, 2017 at 7:17 am
We spent the 4th with Bernie and Donna. They came to our house and we made In-and-Out burgers from a recipe we found in the paper. For being 1000+ miles away from the nearest In-and-Out, they tasted pretty close to the original. It was a pleasant day catching up with long time friends.
Fran TunnoJuly 8, 2017 at 8:34 pm
Oh Chas, I am so glad! It’s weird not having my Dad around because we always congregated there, but they did get together at Patrick’s house, so there was some Tunno family bonding. So happy there was Madonio Family bonding too, even if you weren’t all official Madonio’s. Thank you for always reading and taking the time to write! And I will have to go looking for that recipe. It’s the special sauce that does the trick! xoxoxo
Matilda NovakJuly 5, 2017 at 3:24 pm
Awww, your Mama’s birthday was Independence Day? i’ll bet she Loved that! It was so great to read your words again, Fran….”If i were any more boring, i’d have to be dead”. You So make me laugh…and cry…(which makes you the best kind of writer). Much love to you, my friend. Your Mama would be insanely proud of you if she could see this blog!
Fran TunnoJuly 8, 2017 at 8:32 pm
Oh my God Matilda, she used to act like all the activities on the Fourth were specially for her! She loved it, you are right. Thank you so much for always reading and taking the time to write. Please give your parents a hug from me, even though they’ve never met me.Glad I make you laugh and cry!
Pam EllisJuly 5, 2017 at 1:03 pm
I don’t think you are boring. We didn’t watch fireworks either. I think it is more difficult getting excited about America these days (you know what I mean).
Fran TunnoJuly 8, 2017 at 8:30 pm
Hi Pam and yes, I do know what you mean. Thanks for your support on the boredom front also! xoxo
George A. MaupinJuly 5, 2017 at 12:59 pm
OK, now I feel much better about my own stay-in-Fourth-of-July. My laundry was successfully ignored; I spent a portion of the day listening and singing along with recordings of my Favorite Italian [known as Frances Albert to his mom]. More may follow on this life-long fascination with “Ol’ Blue Eyes” – as we, his fans, like to call him. [Question: Did you, or your mom, ever hear the song “Isle of Capri”]? Fun lyrics!
Fran TunnoJuly 8, 2017 at 8:27 pm
Hi George, Thanks for the fun comments and for making me feel better about my lack of activity. No, we didn’t listen to Frank much, we were more fans of Dean Martin, but my brother LOVES Frank! I’m sure she did hear the song, I just don’t remember her mentioning it.