Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Thoughts on the Fifth of July
We've finally returned to relative peace and quiet after the Fourth of July boomed a rather unwelcome litany...hours and hours of litany.
On the evening of the Fourth, Indy needed to go outside. He'd been in his crate and potty-time had long since passed. I knew he'd be reluctant to do it, since we were surrounded by people who felt the need to demonstrate their patriotic spirit as loudly as possible. So I planned to go with him as a reassuring presence. Perhaps it wouldn't be too bad. With his hearing loss, would he even notice what was going on?
Let me tell you, that dog still has hearing enough to detect fireworks.
He planted all four feet so firmly that I had to carry him outside. Booms and flashes of light filled the sky. Even I had to duck my head as missles and rockets exploded above us. Did we somehow get shipped to Afghanistan? And if so, where were the ruby slippers that could get us back home? Indy and I walked circles around the house, but no area was safe from the artillary. Pottying was not an option. I finally gave up and took him inside to wait for things to calm down. Sometime after midnight, we ventured back out. Luckily all that remained was a hazy cloud of blue smoke and blessed peace.
Somehow it seems the Fourth of July has gotten a bit out of control. Mega-monster gunpowder-packed explosives used to be reserved for professional Fourth of July displays. Now every wannabe G.I. Joe has them. Why do we need to detonate bombs to prove our patriotism? And am I the only one who thinks this practice is at best foolish, and at worst downright dangerous?
I liked the good old days of picnics, flag flying, and marching bands. Seeing straight precision lines of our armed forces never fails to stir patriotic feelings in me. Keep the fireworks. I'd way rather have my heart swell with pride than my ears ring with pain.
On July 5, I went outside to clean up litter from sticks and burned paper scattered in the yard. I glanced at the front porch and saw our old flag still waving gamely amidst the carnage. Faded red, white, and blue had never looked better.
And that's my idea of patriotism.