Saturday, June 25, 2011
Holidays,good food, and liberty
As I was reading the question of the day “Do you plan to buy fireworks" my mind drifted back and to the days when we celebrated July 4th by popping firecrackers. Yes, we did the crazy things like blowing up ant beds, scaring the girls, doing other irresponsible things, but it only happened once or twice a year. I don't remember any burn bans, but we probably didn't have sufficient law enforcement to enforce it. When I got old enough to have my own family, we spent most of our 4th of July in other states that were vacationing in, so we just enjoyed the firework's spectacles at Disneyland, ballparks, or county fairs. In the last few years before I retired, we still owned a house close to the Community Center. Our house became the meeting place for my extended family to watch fireworks because my parents were becoming too old to host all the holiday events. I remember when the grand kids started giving a firework display to me maw and that gesture became a new family tradition, sometimes invoking jealousy in my children. I remember my daughter saying “how come you didn't give me that beautiful fireworks display?" There were plenty of firework displays to go around, so eventually everyone got to own one. My oldest daughter lives in the country, so they still enjoy popping firecrackers on New Year’s Day and the 4th of July. I’ll watch some ball games and my wife will catch up on her soaps because the grandchildren are grown and doing their own thing, but I hope they start their own July 4th tradition when they settle down and raise their families.
When my mother and stepfather were still alive, holidays meant good food, plenty of refreshments and lots of family. We had long lost cousins driving through Victoria just drop by my mother's house because they knew if it was a holiday, we were celebrating. Last month when we went to visit my older sister in Texas City; I asked her about some recipes for some food we hadn't tasted since my mother died. I even asked her if she knew of a restaurant that served the Syrian food that my mother used to cook. My mothers was a housekeeper for a Syrian family in Victoria where she became an extended part of their family and learned how to make some delicacies like stuffed bell peppers, squash, cabbage and grape leaves. I've tried some grape leaves at Greek Bros, but it left us disappointed.The store bought frozen stuff dell peppers are good but they are missing a spice or two. I should have known that my sister didn't have the recipe, because, although she was a great cook in her day, she told me she has scaled back quite a bit. That explained the store bought salsa, tortillas, and dessert she served us that day. Those delicacies are gone but not forgotten.
It's funny how an innocent question can turn into a gripe session. The question “do you plan to buy fireworks" turned into a discussion about cigarettes, wasteful purchases and waywardwind's laundry list of liberties he has lost.That thread reminded me of several blogs I've written, where I wrote about one thing only to come back and find a different topic. Bill Maher discussed the issue of our liberties with his guest last night. It turns out, our gripes pale in comparisons to what others have in third world countries. As we approach July 4th, we need to be thankful that we still have clean air and water, plenty of food, and just enough rules regulations and laws to irritate us, but not strip away all our rights as Americans.
Posted by Mike at 12:05 PM