The Bare Bones of a Tradition

Independence Day is one of my very favorite holidays because it doesn’t come with any pressure. In-laws don’t fly in. There’s no need to buy gifts. The dust bunnies can continue to reside languorously under the bed. You don’t even have to cook if you don’t want to. You can make it as elaborate or low-key as you want.

Since this was to be my very first 4th of July in Seattle, I wanted to make it special. For me, special is low-key with fireworks thrown in for good measure. I put a lot of thought into this. I didn’t want to fight traffic (which is horrific in Seattle even at the best of times) and because I would be alone, I didn’t particularly want to deal with crowds, because I’d feel lonely enough as it was.

I formulated the perfect plan. I found the one parking space in the entire city that no one else would think of, and a circuitous route to it that was far from the madding crowd. I found the one location that I’d almost be guaranteed to have all to myself, and it would have a sort of, kind of, semi-good view of the fireworks (which is why it was virtually deserted). And it would only require the tiniest bit of trespassing. (But hey, I’m a fat old woman alone with a lawn chair. It’s not like I constitute a terrorist sleeper cell.)

I got there two hours early, and sat in a nearby park. I didn’t want to do the trespassing part until the very last minute. It’s a lovely little park with a nice view of the water. I sat there reading my kindle and watching the boats go by. I also could observe Venus and Jupiter on the horizon as a balmy breeze kept me cool.

While waiting, it occurred to me that all traditions have to start somewhere, and perhaps this would be the start of a long-standing one for me. I could definitely get used to this. It was a delightful evening.

I looked into the future and imagined doing this someday with a friend by my side. Or even better, a lover. Or even better than that, a lover and a few friends. And some hamburgers. Yeah. That would be perfection. Maybe someday. Heck, if I’m dreaming, let’s throw in a boat and an even better view from the water!

But I had to stop that line of thought or I might get sad, focusing on everything I still didn’t have. Now was not the time for loneliness. Now was the time to trespass and see some fantastic fireworks!

So that’s what I did.

And before you even ask, no, I will not reveal my secret location. It’s priceless. You couldn’t even get it out of me if you tried torture. This is my tradition, not yours.

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