July 4, 2008

4th of July Comments


Thanks for joining me on Independence Day. I hope you are having a safe and great July the 4th! It's a day for celebrating not only our independence but also our lives. Because of the way my life has turned out I have learned to appreciate the small things in life I used to take for granted.

I can find the beauty in the sky, a flower, one of my dogs playing, the laughter of a child. All of the things I used to be too busy working my career to take the time to appreciate and notice as I was rushing through my life. HIV and AIDS have taught me to slow down and appreciate this life instead of rushing through it in pursuit of things. One thing I have never had someone tell me on their deathbed is that they wished they had had more things. I have heard people express regrets at not making up with someone, or hurting someone or nothing doing something they always wished they had done... but not things. A lesson my friends that died taught me early in life. But on to nicer thoughts for this beautiful day. The weather was hot as expected but the skies were clear so we knew we would have great weather for the fireworks tonight.

Gary and I ended up getting out of bed around 6am this morning. My back was bothering me, Sugar had someone made her way into the bedroom and Gary was tossing and turning. Those three things made it impossible to get back to sleep. Then once Chipper realized everyone was stirring he was ready to start his morning also with a trip outside. Neither Gary or I are at our best the very first thing in the morning so it is always interesting to see who will give in and take Chipper down. We both love him but making the way down the stairs in the morning take concerted effort. LOL.

Gary had to go to Publix to get the items for us to have a cookout in the courtyard this afternoon. We had been invited to a couple different events but decided to stay close to home. Gary is still getting back to normal from his trip to South Carolina and he is always worrying about me pushing myself too much. There wasn't much to watch on television this morning since the stock market is closed for the holiday. The foreign markets were down again with their concerns about the eroding value of our dollar and the constant increasing price of crude oil. Some of the advisors are expecting another big increase in crude oil prices in the next week. There are also a couple of significant economics statements coming out next week for major corporations so I will be listening for those. It will be interesting to see what the coverage is this next week since I think the panelists are still being too encouraging to the average investors during a declining market. Now I realize the super rich do not like seeing their long term portfolio stocks taking huge dives in evaluation and pricing but they are still better off than the average American. In fact, it's the same super rich that wine when they lose money who also do not want public service programs for those less fortunate. Go figure.

I spoke with Diane this afternoon to wish her a Happy July 4th. She wished me one back and we caught up on the news in each other's lives. I told her Gary was back. She let me know about Mark quitting his job and getting ready to go on a couple of trips. Mark is also hoping to visit Pensacola and visit Diane and her mom. Diane's mom is now over 90 and starting to have some minor health problems. They have a very close family like mine so Mark wants to see his grandmother again while she is still here. When Mark is working it is very hard to get time off especially since he will be starting a new job after his break. Diane had also asked me about our mutual friend Bill but I told her I had not spoken or emailed to him in a few weeks. Luckily she had gotten an email from him recently. Bill has been going through a ton of personal trials with a couple of deaths with his dad and grandmother. Diane, Bill and I have known each other for over twenty years when we all lived in Pensacola. In fact, Bill and I lived together for a very, very short time but decided we made better friends than anything else.

After I finished the call with Diane, I went down in our courtyard to start the grill for the hamburgers and hotdogs. Then I came back up and fixed the baked beans to go into the oven after I doctored them up some. Gary prepared some potato salad and macaroni salad to complete our picnic. He had also gotten some watermelon from his trip to Publix earlier. Everything turned out great and we enjoyed each other's company while eating and watching a comic on Comedy Central. Afterwards, we decided to take a nap for an hour before walking down to the park on the river to watch the fireworks.

When the alarm went off at 8:15pm, I could tell neither of us really wanted to get out of bed since we were both sound asleep. But since we wanted to see the fireworks, we got up and got dressed to walk to the park. I took my new camera and tripod. Thank God this tripod is very light or it would have been a pain to carry all the way to the Memorial Park. We stopped at Starbucks and ordered a frozen Double Chocolate Chip drink which was delicious. It was very chocolaty, loaded with whip cream and was a great thirst quincher. I was even tempted to get another one but we did not have time before the fireworks were going to start. So we walked over to our normal spot facing the bridge overlooking the downtown landscape. There were a ton of people this year and it amazes me how inconsiderate and rude some people can be. I guess it is a sign of modern times and not anything like the small town I grew up in the 1960s. It was great spending time with Gary but I think we were both disappointed with the very short firework display this year. While it was great to see some, the show was very short. We heard several people ask if it was over at the end because the show only lasted about five minutes. I guess because of state and city funding problems, they had to cut back on the firework expenses this year. Looks like the economy problems are hitting everywhere.

Then it was time for our long walk home. We were both joking with each other during the trip to keep our minds off how much further we had to go. Why is it the trip home always feels longer than the trip to somewhere? I guess it is the anticipation of going somewhere? Gary was tired after getting home so we sat on the couch and vegged to comedy for about thirty minutes before he headed off to bed. As soon as a I finish this I am headed right behind him.

I hope you had a safe and great 4th of July and wish you a safe rest of the weekend! Wishing you health, hope and happiness.

big bear hug,

Daddy Dab