Friday, July 3, 2009
Red, White, and Nostalgic
As I sit here on the eve of the celebration of my nations independence, I feel perturbed that I still have to work. For the health care field, unless your holiday falls on a day you already have off then your expected to haul your keester into work.
As a staff person at a group home for clients with varying degree's of mental retardation and other physical ailments,for most of the company's employees holiday's just mean extra pay. Being the sentimental sap that I am, however, I always try and make a big "to do" and usually end up getting burned trying to cook outrageously large dinners, complete with festive decor and treats like cupcakes, brownie's, pies,etc.. I love to cook and I suppose that shows not only in my hips, but on the faces of the people who enjoy my food.
Very few people with my company know how to cook well. I don't say this to slam on anyone...it's just me stating a fact. Because most of the clients we care for are their own guardian, without diet restrictions, they can pretty much eat whatever they please and they opt for take out about 80% of the time. There are only a handful of houses that have staff that actually cook regularly, and my house is one of those. I am not a cook, chef or sous chef...I'm just a gal who loves not only eating food but making meals for others so I opt to do most of the cooking on my shift (along with all the other things such as medication disbursement, showers, and community involvement.)
For the first time in 7 years I will be off on July 4th. I was both excited and unsettled by this. Because I consider my clients to be a second family I was concerned that they would not receive the usual celebration to mark the holiday in their home. SO, I planned to have a shin dig today so that I know they're taken care of! Perhaps I'm a glutton for punishment (HA! I say that like I don't know, pfft!) I have 30 cupcakes to make, 30 brownies, cookies, hamburgers, hotdogs, homemade potato salad and coleslaw, fruit to dice, dip to make....all in the space of about 3 hours! I'm feelin' froggy, so I think I can handle it. It'll be worth it to see all those smiles. *=-)
In the midst of mentally preparing myself for the rush of getting things ready for my clients today, I'm feeling pretty nostalgic about July 4ths in my past. Here are some of my memories...good and bad.
1.) My brother almost blowing his face off with some sort of insanely illegal fireworks he picked up in Michigan waaaayyyyyy back in the late 80's. We lived on the side of a freaking mountain (no exaggeration), which happened to be slick with dew the night he was firing off his illegal treasure trove and slipped as, what I like to refer to as The Devil's flatulence it's boom was immense, exploded on the ground next to him. I remember waiting for the smoke to clear and hoping my brother was still alive and then kicking him squarely in the shin for scaring me like that ( I was 5) and then latching onto him like a leech for the rest of the night.) Needless to say, at home now, I stick to sparklers.
2.) Being proper rednecks back in the day, my friends and I (we were around 13) opted to ride in the back of my dads pickup truck on our way home from the fireworks display in a nearby town. My Dad tells us if we get a ticket, we're going to have to pay for it since we were the one's who begged to ride in the back of the truck. While my friend Gail and I are laying down, looking up at the stars racing by and enjoying the warm night air, my Dad pulls over onto the shoulder of the road not far from my parents home. I don't know if it was the combination of all the sugar she had that day or the thought of having to pay for a ticket was so terrifying to her, but my friend Gail lept out of the truck and began running up the side of a nearby hill. I'm sitting there dumbfounded since there obviously wasn't a cop behind us as I watch my friend clamber up a hillside in her July 4th sweats and t-shirt. My Dad, being a pack rat by nature, had stopped to pick up a hubcap he had seen laying on the side of the road. By the time we stopped my friends "getaway" she was about 1/4 of a mile away and shivering like a dog left out in the rain. When we asked her what the heck she was doing she shrugged and said "I felt like runnin', so I did." We still laugh about that.
I have more...but I'm running out of time to write this darn blog. I'm off to bump heads with other pre-fourth of July shoppers to get some last minute essentials.
Happy 4th everyone. Enjoy your adult beverages, pyrotechnics, watermelon and various grilled meats. *=-)