Loving the fourth

We walked down the street this morning. In near silence. With only birds and our own footsteps serving as a soundtrack. Cars had nearly disappeared from the landscape, the only transportation an occasional stroller or bicycle. Even the busiest of streets was vacated, with an expanse of space spanning its width where vehicles usually crowded.

We wondered, where is everyone?

Easy. They’re at the lake. They’re in their backyard. They’re with family, friends, scattered throughout the state, the nation, anywhere but Sioux Falls, anywhere but the place they typically call home, in an effort to run away from the approaching heat and savor the three day weekend.

They’re at the grocery store. They’re buying beer and chicken and chips and condiments. They’re sitting back in a lawn chair. They’re hiding the firecrackers as a police officer slowly rolls by, though what they don’t realize is that the police officer doesn’t give a damn as long as no one gets hurt.

I’m not jingoistic America monster, my friends. But this is the Fourth of July. The summer’s first real getaway. Memorial Day signifies the arrival of summer. Labor Day promises a bluster of fall. But the Fourth of July? It’s pure. Pure heat. Pure relaxation. Beers and grills and water and a whole bunch of nothing.

Everyone is out. Living life. And loving it.

So what are you doing at the computer screen?

This was lovingly handwritten on July 4th, 2008