The most authentic things to me are my dreams. --Eugene Delacroix

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Nature never breaks its own rules. --Leonardo da Vinci


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August 5, 2002

A Turn of Events

I am a planner. I sometimes have more fun just thinking about what I am going to do than I actually have doing it. When we entertain, I plan the meal, usually centered around some sort of theme and think about the music etc. When we go on a trip, I like to plot a course so that we can maximize our leisure and not end up going around in circles and wasting ever precious time. But I realize that time is never truly wasted. We are all exactly where we are supposed to be. Sometimes it just doesn't mesh within the framework of my mind.

Take this 4th of July for instance..... In previous years, we've hosted the big blowout BBQ/swim-fest. With our fine free front yard view of Devonshire Downs fireworks, it was fun and convenient. This year, however, there were to be no fireworks viewable from the luxury of our front yard. Oh what to do! My husband and I mulled over a few of our options and none sounded appealing. We really didn't want to drive anywhere late at night with our four bambinos.

I kept getting these hopeful phone calls from our friends who had joined us in years past asking me if we were going to have a BBQ this year. I felt awful telling them, "No". I had mentioned to my husband that we could still have the BBQ sans the fireworks and perhaps drive out to Filmore beforehand and buy the do it yourself kit but he wasn't "in" to that idea. I just let it go for the time being and figured that I was off the hook for preparing a big meal. I didn't care what we did that day as long as I could get some roller-blading in.

Then I received an email from my husband informing me that he had invited one family over for the BBQ. His friend at work had mentioned that his two daughters had asked him with puppy-dog eyes if they would be spending the 4th of July at our house this year. That prompted him to ask my husband who didn't have the heart to tell them that we weren't planning on it. So they were invited.

What about all those other people I had already declined? It's about the same amount of work cooking for ten as it is for twenty but I decided that ten was enough.

We had a lovely dinner and then decided that we would drive and park somewhere near Porter Ranch to try and see some fireworks after all. I was not "in" to this plan, but like I say, I wasn't steering the boat, I was simply rowing the oars.The rest of the San Fernando Valley must have shared our plan. We drove through the backwoods of residential neighborhoods trying to find the perfect vantage point with little luck.

Finally we parked the car and walked about a half a mile up the street, then through a broken fence, and across a construction site full of ditches to our vantage point. There were many people and few fireworks to be seen but we hadn't yet given up hope.

Just then, my middle boy announced that he had to go to the bathroom and it wasn't "number one". My husband told him he would just have to hold it. My son clutched at his stomach and informed us that it couldn't wait one more minute!. My husband took him over to some bushes so he could set his monster free. I was told to go and round up some Kleenex. Just then, the fireworks began. Unfortunately, I failed miserably at my paper finding task. I had neglected to bring my purse and our friends had nothing with them either. Oh what to do! I knew we had supplies in the vehicle so I opted to stay with my son while my husband, bless his heart, sprinted to the truck for the paper. It was too bad since he was the one who so wanted to see the fireworks, but I couldn't trust myself to find my way back in the dark.

So there we were, on the 4th of July stuck in the bushes for what seemed like an eternity. After about 15 minutes I asked my son how much he wanted to keep his spider shirt. I thought it worthy of sacrificing at this point. My son preferred to wait for his Dad to return. I guess his spider shirt has sentimental value.

About five minutes later my very breathless and exhausted husband returned with an artillery of Kleenex. After he had returned, he mentioned that once he had reached the truck and retrieved the Kleenex, he realized that the socks he was wearing could have been used to do the job. Ah well, we came, we saw, we took care of business.

We then joined the rest of our group to see the remaining fireworks, drove home, and did our own firework show in our front yard. Our neighbor happened to drive out to Filmore and buy the goods.

It didn't go as I had planned but I will never forget this 4th of July.

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Next Post Date: September 2, 2002