If not now, when?

One American woman. Twenty acres and a 1650 farmhouse in Tuscany. Random introspection and hilarity, depending on the day.

03 July 2005

A bit ... just ...

Just... I don't know. Floating? Disconnected? Strangely empty? There's really no word for how this feels. Thankfully I'm starting with an easy holiday (not like it's Christmas morning and I'm sitting here by myself), but it is ... odd. Our family always had July 4th festivities, ever since I can remember. It was a week-long celebration. A bigger deal than Thanksgiving (which is just one big meal and some football); a more significant holiday for us than Easter - heathens that we were: July 4th was the undisputed event of the midwestern summer. Parades. local festivals. The Hickory Nuts, and all the crazy antics my parents made their neighbors participate in. Block parties. Fireworks at the racetrack. Serving Pizza & Beer at the Festival. Coupons for ice cream. Buttons the Clown. The Dunking Booth, Cherry Pie Baking contests. The auction and the flea market. The team water fights with the firemens' hoses and the empty beer keg. Behind the Main Stage at Frontier Days. Riding the ferris wheel at night.

Danza Sorellina and The Mom are both walking in the hometown parade tomorrow morning - DS with her kiddlies from dance class, I think, and The Mom with her local theatre board. Logic clearly tells me that even if I lived in the US, I wouldn't be there (and haven't been for years, I might add). But it feels even further away today. It just doesn't FEEL like the fourth of July - though my calendar tells me that it is. It's the little things, really -- no annoying car sales advertised on TV. No R/W/B cupcakes in the grocery store. No roadside fireworks stands. No flags hung out on front porches. No patriotic medleys playing on the radio.

And as for my 'adopted' hometown, DC (swampy summertime that it is there) is probably all at the beach for the weekend and flipping burgers on a grill, or boating on the Chesapeake, stopping to eat Maryland crabs & beer, -- all of which I rarely was -- because for the last 8 years I have had our annual meeting breathing down my neck to prepare for (2nd week in July). Which I do again this year, so I'm working this weekend. Being here definitely makes THAT easier!

But being here, I do definitely feel - independent. That I have made a decision to do what many people would never have: to go out on a limb, by myself, not entirely sure where that road may lead. And if that spirit of change, independence, seeking a different life when the answers are not clear or easy is what the spirit of July 4th is really all about, then I guess - gulp - I'm living it. I saw a post tonight on my 'expatriats' message board that definitely rang true:
we cannot discover new worlds - without or within - unless we have the courage to lose sight of the shore.

Sail on, baby. Happy Independence Day.

6 Comments:

Blogger tommyg said...

OHHH my gosh, you forgot to put in all of the great carnival moments we have had over the year. Jeez, I was preety sure we were friends. But i guess now, I see how it is.

1:29 AM  
Blogger Viaggiatore said...

Ciao, il mio amico aquila! (That's Italian for 'my friend the eagle'...) Golly, there's nothing like a website to bring people in droves to say hi. Thanks for stopping by and reading, especially on "our" holiday weekend! Okay, so I THOUGHT about talking about all our great carnival moments -- but then, I didn't want to make all your latest girlfriends jealous. You know women can be. :)

11:23 AM  
Anonymous Corey said...

IH:

After reading your "missing the 4th," I went to a party and I lit a sparkler for you. Unfortunately, it burned my finger and caused me to go to the emergency room. On the way, I got into a bit of a fender bender which delayed the trip to the ER by about and hour. Then I waited for about 2 hours to see a doctor as I only incurred "minor trama".

Happily, I made this whole thing up (other than going to the party of course).

SMILE. You rock. You are what Independance is all about (and don't go changing baby).

5:30 PM  
Anonymous Peter said...

Hmmm.... seems like we need a little reality adjustment. Let me get this right:

1) You wake up in Tuscany .... we wake up in DC
2) You eat in Tuscany .... we eat in DC
3) You commute to your office without getting out of the villa in Tuscany ... we (not worth typing out) in DC.

We do have the fireworks .... but as I recall the Italian summer evenings provide a much more interesting backdrop for drinking wine and planning one's next great adventure.

BTW, the fireworks in Firenze are suppose to be incredible too. Not for the 4th, forget which festival.

7:49 PM  
Blogger Autfall said...

Happy 4th! Thinking of you!

8:07 PM  
Blogger Danza Sorellina said...

Pi Man and I are off to the fireworks tonight- and yes did walk the hometown parade and ate lunch at Frontier days- And as you sit back and remeber it all- look out at your beautiful Tuscan sunset and know that you are beginning a new independance! Thinking of you on the 4th-
DS

12:39 AM  

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