Today is July 4, 2009. Happy Birthday, America! I awoke around 7:30, but hearing nothing stirring around me, I rolled over and went back to sleep. Around 9 a.m. Aaron knocked on the cabin door and entered smelling of bacon. I figured it was as good a time as any to get on up and get dressed. Alisa & I actually had leftover fajitas for breakfast with some fruit then the kids were ready to head right back down to the river. Renee and Doreen went down with the kids, and I went to change into my swimsuit so I could join them. The water was a little cooler than the day before which was quite nice. I tried my hand at kayaking, and found it to be pretty fun just A & A told me it would be. We played for quite a while in the water then headed back up the bank. The men-folk had put some meat on the smoker to cook and then headed to the store for an ice and water run which I’m certain included a detour to the liquor store as well. Everyone was taking bets on how long it would take them, but they returned well ahead of the projected 3-4 hours. They were only gone about 1 ½ hours. We snacked on hot dog and brats for lunch. I think everyone was anxiously awaiting the pulled pork and ribs off of the smoker. I read some of my book and played UNO with Alisa for a while, then I left to take a nap. Boy, did that feel good! I had no concept of time and wasn’t really worried about it. That's about how the rest of the day went as well. PaPa enjoyed holding court and showed the "young whipper snappers a thing or two...like how to "smoke" a dried grapevine. It looked an awful lot like he was smoking something else, and eyes (including my own) were bugging out all around the camp. Of course, that just egged PaPa on. Then, he spotted a deer in the field adjacent to Pee Paw's house. "Look, y'all, there's a deer over there! See him?!" he yelled out loud. The poor deer was probably thinking, "Oh snap! I've been spotted! I'd better make a run for it." PaPa forgot all about using a voice that wouldn't scare the tar out of the poor woodland creature.
After a fine dinner of grilled meat (including quail stuffed with onion and jalapeno pepper strips and wrapped in bacon) and salsa & guacamole with chips, everyone migrated in from the heat to enjoy Blue Bell Homemade vanilla ice cream with peaches. PaPa was once again the center of attention when he splashed a little vodka over his ice cream "to soften it up a little." BK followed suit and said he'd never have to soften his ice cream in the microwave again. In his words, "Old school teaches you something new every time!" There were no fireworks--all along the highway there were "burn ban" signs posted. It was simply too dry to risk burning down half of the countryside shooting off fireworks. But PaPa & Pee Paw (Mr. Pairsh) got into a heated debate about politics and they were noisier than any fireworks I've witnessed to date! The conversation began with Pee Paw talking about alternative energy sources and "tree huggers" who were against nuclear energy and flowed toward Three Mile Island. Having retired from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (in conjunction with the vodka over the ice cream) this topic perked up PaPa's ears, and the discussion was on. How they transitioned to politics I'll never know.
I had gone upstairs to the loft to read to Alisa & Sasha for a bit, and I tried desperately to tune them out as I read.
In Alisa's book, the main character was having a spelling bee at school. One of the class' best spellers missed the word "geriatric." Sasha asked what "geriatric" meant. I explained that it meant "having to do with old people, like a geriatric doctor, (Alisa threw in "geriatric nurse") or geriatric equipment to help old people. Sasha then looked at me with a grin and said, "E, you're geriatric." I didn't know whether to laugh or take offense. Naturally, I laughed. I was hoping beyond all hope that Sasha, being the concrete 4-year-old thinker that she is wasn't referring to my gray hairs, but to the "geriatric nurse" Alisa mentioned. Either way it was too funny. What are we going to do with that little girl? Four years old going on 15!
After I finished reading the chapter, I went back downstairs and out of the door as Pee Paw and PaPa were discussing how the rich get richer and the poor get poorer and the poor middle class just gets hit coming and going. That much they agreed upon at any rate.
I retired to the paper roll cabin, which was cool and empty, to crack open my book once again. I managed to read about 100 pages, but still have 500 to go. Oh well. I fired up my laptop to "blog" a bit then turned in for good around 1 a.m. Outdoors the party continued. Things got pretty quiet after Brian and PaPa finished howling at the moon. Good night. Until next time...