Meaning of the Holiday

Although my Dad is a Vietnam War veteran I have to admit that my
attachment to the military in any real way is tenuous. I know that people
across the nation take certain holidays to heart, like the 4th of
July, Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day. I am not a rah-rah American flag waver. I
take these days off and usually spend them with family. We do not play
patriotic music or put up the flag. We do not wear red, white and blue or
attend fireworks displays. The closest we came today to acknowledging tomorrow’s
holiday was a red, white and blue dessert which one of our guests made (graham
cracker crust, cream filling with strawberries and blueberries, very yum.) I
actually didn’t even get the red, white and blue connection until she pointed
it out.

Interestingly enough, the only time that I felt truly like I wanted to
celebrate being an American on the 4th of July was when I was
stationed in Thailand in the Peace Corps. Whenever there was an opportunity to
hang out with other English speakers we usually took advantage of it. It wasn’t
that we didn’t like where we were but there was a level of cultural comfort that
could never be achieved with the folks in your village. A level of cultural
understanding with the other volunteers that helped to make the rest of the
time in a foreign culture be OK. I have no recollection where this celebration
was but we all went. It was typical 4th of July fare. BBQ, games and
such. I distinctly remember that when they played that “Proud to be an American”
song I actually felt a bit choked up. I felt that I was proud to be an
American. I was happy to be serving my country and grateful to spend this
holiday with others who felt the same. And I have never felt that way again
until today. Of course, feeling those feelings today just made me think that
the last time, I was mostly just homesick.

I was definitely feeling homesick today. Hawaii homesick. The family is
down the park camping for the weekend and Keanu has already spent way more time
down there than we typically would. This must mean that the fact that we spend
less time there when I am home is due to me. Or not. I think that the reason we
don’t go for the duration is because we lack everything when it comes to
camping. Truthfully, the only thing we have is a cooler and one chair. No tent,
no cots, no air mattresses, no cooking stove for outside, no grill (the
neighbor that moved took it with him accidentally), no tarps, no nothing. This
is mostly due to a lack of storage space on our part but in addition to this,
we are bad planners. We usually just bring drinks when we go for the day…..because
we only have a cooler; with no real thought about what our eat-every-two-hours
son is going to eat. Keanu told me that when he went down his cousins all
welcomed him with open arms when he arrived. He drank some beers and probably played
some basketball. Today he was going to try to water ski and he was hoping that
the big family kickball game was going to happen tomorrow. I am glad that he
was finding comfort with his family and doing things that he enjoys. It would
worry me if he was sequestered in Makiki. I am deeply grateful for everyone
down the park as well as his immediate family who continually check in on him
to make sure he is doing OK. I am glad that he can have some fun even if he is
missing us. We are missing him too.

About nematomorph

Living like the rich and famous, splitting time between Hawaii and New York.
This entry was posted in Hawaii, New York and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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