Vacation, day 9. Our Independence Day.

Watermelon, fireworks, independence. Traditions have a way of etching the Fourth of July into a certain shape in our minds. Our shape does not include watermelon.

Today marks our third consecutive July 4th holiday returning home from Cornerstone Music Festival. We always embark on this journey with a week’s worth of experiences and interactions to process during the 14 hour drive. And by process, I mean scheme. We attempt to brainstorm all the ways in which we can hang on to that vacation feeling (and prepare our defenses against the daily grind feeling). Do you know which feeling I mean? I suppose it depends on the types of vacations you’ve had. Suffice it to say, the overall longing in our hearts is to be caught up in what matters, and to never mind what shallow distractions might threaten to drain our energies.

Our holiday tradition also involves a lot of laughter. As the sky grows darker and fireworks mark every town that lines Interstate 70, we remind each other of which moments proved to be medicine to the soul. And even though you weren’t there, I’ll do my best to recap some of my highlights:

  • Seeing our friend Andy play the electric guitar for his buddy who raps… all the while wearing ‘rapper shades.’ This would be similar to seeing Woody from Toy Story wear a heavy, gold chain around his neck with the word ‘THUG’ on it.
  • Hearing band mates recount the horrors of having to sleep in very close corters while on the road. Let’s just say that someone we know is a very heavy sleeper and accidently mistakes people for mattresses in the night.
  • Witnessing a friend discover that she’s pregnant; then watching her husband perform on stage in complete ignorance as she waited to tell him until after his show. What a thrill to know that there would soon be a different story behind his eyes!
  • Brian and I finding ourselves deep in an argument over cake and ice cream; and being so heat-stricken that neither one of us could remember how we even got there in the first place.
  • Enjoying the shopping tendencies of a new guy friend who takes as long as I do to make up his mind; then – after his extensive deliberation – witnessing the worry in his face as he fell for and believed us telling him that he, in fact, should NOT have gone with the white shirt because it *gasp!* didn’t “go with his skin tone.”
  • Discovering that there’s a pleasant band named Gungor; then having more fun with all of the ways that the name ‘Gungor’ sounds like it belongs in the Lord of the Rings.
  • Witnessing Brian describe boredom with the words, “It made me want to drown myself in a porta potty.”

Happy Fourth of July! Just five hours and 22 minutes until we’re home!


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