Friday, July 4, 2008
How much fun are holidays?
As Matt, Emma and I were coming back from Lowe's this morning (more on that in a minute...) I realized something. Holidays are not near as much fun as an adult. Well, let me clarify. They are only as fun as we make them. Hear me out for a minute.
Some federal and religious holiday gives you a day (or even weeks) off from school. There are parties, barbecues, chances to stay up late, gifts to look forward to and not much heavy duty work/planning involved.
We're the ones that do all the planning of parties, driving to and from parties, barbecuing (and other cooking), setting off of the fireworks, etc. In other words, all the work!
Maybe my problem is that I don't enjoy the work and planning that's associated with hosting a party because I'm not very good about organizing, cleaning and staying destressed when it comes to them. I don't like the cleaning and the prep and the cleaning and the hostessing -- did I mention cleaning? -- that accompanies get togethers, whether formal or informal.
Now don't get me wrong. I don't want to downplay -- by any means -- the reasons for holidays like the Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, Easter and Christmas. The reason for those holidays, to me, is to reflect, to remember and to give thanks for our country, our freedoms and whatever else our religious holidays mean to us. I just don't see the reason to plan extravagant parties and barbecues and not remember the true meaning of the holiday itself.
For example, today, being the Fourth of July, I know that this is the anniversary of our country's declaration of independence. And I'm thankful for a country where I am free to vote, drive, gain an education, work and practice whatever religion I choose. But whats the point of having a barbecue or figuring out how to schedule a nap later in the day for my child so we can all go to watch fireworks at 10 p.m.?
Anyway...enough ranting. Back to Lowe's. Our back porch is finally done! After five weeks of one row here...another there, we are FINALLY done. We even assembled our brand new barbecue grill this evening. We didn't use it (no propane -- yet. That stuff is NOT cheap!) but we can at least sit on our back porch and not have to worry about falling through it!
For those of you who don't remember what it looked like, or never even saw it, let's just say that the previous owners did a very poor job. To me, it looked like they got a couple of 36-packs of beer and made a day of it. I'm not very good when it comes to construction, but words can't describe just how unstructurally sound that this back porch was. It took a couple of weekends, a pair of missionaries, and a friend of Matt's to tear the porch down (yes, I did help! Great thearapy demolition is! -- did that just sound like a Yoda-ism?) and the hot tub out (it broke again; we didn't want to mess with fixing it again and we also didn't want to drop another $600 to fix it).
There is still a little bit of stuff -- mostly finishing touches -- to do yet on the porch and in the backyard in general, but all in all, the biggest project is done. The next thing to do is actually get all the demo junk hauled off; presently its on the side of the house. Then the next project is sectioning off an area just to the left of the door (when you look at it) for a garden, and getting some BIG flower pots to set at the corners of the porch, along with getting a patio set and some tiki torches and we might be entertaining barbecue guests by the end of the summer! If we do, I'll let you know how I handle myself and the stress. Maybe it won't be so bad.