Slam. "Hey, peoples, what's up! I have arrived home.'
It was #2 Son, age 13, back from his vacation with the neighbors.
"Hey mom, guess what! I'm going to have to give up energy drinks for a few months cause I drank 4 Monsters and 5 Red Bulls on the drive up and back, and I hardly slept at all."
"Fruit! I want some, I haven't had a piece of fruit since I left!"
Son, I know they had fruit on the cruise.
"Oh, they had it, but I didn't eat any, and for 5 days I lived on the free pizza and ice cream they had!"
Did you have a good time?
"Yea, even if I did almost get arrested for harassing the endangered iguanas on St. Thomas Island. Boy it feels good to take my shoes and socks off. I wasn't allowed to take my socks off in the RV, and for good reason! Speaking of which, you guys come help me bring my stuff home."
They troop across the street to neighbor's house, and come back heavy laden.
"We had lots of fun. We went to the lounge every night and I had my first girlfriend. She is 14 and from Tennessee, and we danced and made out every night!"
Crash, bang. "Look what I bought! Bongo! They called me Bongo Joe when I went to the lounge like this." I turned to see him in a Bob Marley jacket and a knitted cap with braids looking like they came out from under the cap, bongo in hand.
"Ooh, and we had two massages. It was so nice, we did it twice. Pierce got the ugly therapist both times."
More purchases and souvenirs come pouring out. "Look, a ship made of soda cans! And we stopped at this candy store in New York and I bought about 5 pounds of candy and ate most of it on the cruise, but I still have this, including this huge gummy snake, and this big gummy bear, and these gummies." He hands some to his younger sister.
"Oh, and I spent most of the money you gave me on the claw machine." He throws two stuffed animals at his younger sister.
"Look, bathtowel, and this robe like thing (wraparound for after showers), and slippers." He looks like a walking add for the cruise line.
So you almost got arrested. "Yea, it's a year in jail and a $1,000 fine! But I got a picture of me holding one of the big iguanas!"
"And look at this picture of us when we got into one of the ports!" He is wearing the cap, and a skull and crossbones t-shirt.
"We were allowed to load up our key cards in the arcade, but there was a $70 limit, and I hit the limit almost every day!"
"I want my room, oh room!" He runs in to see, as he knew I would do a bit of tidying while he was gone.
"Whoa, this doesn't look nearly as bad as I remember." I dryly wonder why.
Put all of your things in your room, and your dirty clothes down in the laundry room.
"Oh, you might just as well take the whole suitcase down there, it's all dirty."
No, you take it down there, please.
"Yeah, ha ha, that's right, I'll do it."
"And look, wooden xylophone and a wooden flute for Uncle, and this hat for dad!" The hat says Rebel in red on a blue background. "I put the hat on once while we stopped at a rural diner in the mountains -- we drove through mountains! -- and it was full of people who looked at me funny." My child of this flat Louisiana landscape, who has been to the coast often, but never the mountains, was awed by the people and sights of rural Carolina and Virginia mountain towns.
"Also, I miss all that healthy food you were always trying to stuff down my throat."
Ring, ring. The phone. Others in the neighborhood already know he is back, somehow they always know.
"Hey, what's up? Yea, I'm coming over. I'm bored."
"Bye, mom, I'm going to Gabe's! And I'm glad dad is at work, cause when he gets here I want to ask him, 'What you doing in my house, foo'!' and where's Jeffy, the cat? Love-A-Pet! Cool! And by the way, no one is stopping me from watching Monday Night Raw tonight! I haven't seen it in two weeks and they aren't going to tell me no! Later, guys!"
Welcome home, son. At least he still gives me those little boy hugs. Behind the bravado, there is love.
Blueberry Festival, Montrose, Pennsylvania
Coast Guard Day
Constitution Day, Cook Island
Fairy Drying-Out Day, Fairy Calendar (Makes sense, as we washed them yesterday. Now it begs the question, how does one dry a fairy?)
Independence Day, Jamaica
Munchkins of Oz Convention
National Chocolate Chip Day
National Day, Burkina Faso
National Night Out
New Brunswick Day, Canada
Nicole Robin Day (Celebrates her safe return to the Virgin Islands after being held by Cubans,)
Peer Gynt Festival Days begin, Norway
Vigil of St. Oswald
Cole and Dylan Sprouse, 1992
Billy Bob Thornton, 1961
Roger Clemens, 1962
Raoul Wallenberg, 1912
Louis Armstrong, 1901*
Elizabeth, The Queen Mother, 1900
Percy Bysshe Shelley, 1792
Today in History
A supernova is observed in constellation Cassiopeia, 1181
The first printing of Zohar (Jewish Kabbalah), 1558
A hurricane in the Carribean kills thousands in Guadeloupe, Martinique,and St. Christopher, 1666
Dom Perignon invents champagne (traditional date), 1693
First edition of the Saturday Evening Post, which was published until 1969), 1821
*In several interviews, Satchmo claimed to have been born on July 4, 1900. Historians always disputed that claim, saying it was too neat and tidy, and his baptismal records, found in a church basement, proved otherwise. Some biographies still give the July 4, 1900 date in error.