Friday, July 5, 2013

When the Smoke Cleared

The nice thing about the Fourth of July is seeing family and friends gathered together for food and laughter. When the sun shines and water sports are involved, it is nicer still. However, I am getting old enough to see firecrackers as just money going up in smoke. I have to wonder what makes men (usually men) love to hear a rib-rattling kaboom in the middle of a lovely July day.

Yesterday while the neighbors slept in, I ignored the call to exercise and toted a tray of tea and muffins to the deck. I knew that both the quiet and the cool would not last so I wanted to linger in outdoor tea time while I could. It seemed like a perfect time to start two new books, vastly different stories.

Alice Hoffman’s Skylight Confessions was a bargain book and started off with the usual peculiar voice that Hoffman writes in. All of her books have a touch of the mystical while being anchored in a realistic setting. This book was no different, and it kept me reading for several pages before I switched to non-fiction.

By the time DH joined me at the table, I was well into Chris Kyle’s American Gun: A History of the U.S. in Ten Firearms. This seemed a perfect Fourth of July read to me, but DH looked at me shaking his head. He, who thinks reading means Forbes, Baron’s or a stodgy book on investing, was amazed at my reading a book on firearms. But this country was formed by the “shot heard around the world” and right now guns are a hot issue with our lawmakers so it seemed fitting to me. The first gun discussed is the Kentucky rifle bringing up visions of Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett. I am anxious to read more.

By noon the air was sounding and smelling like we lived on a gun range. I decided to blow my own smoke and came inside to submit some pieces I had ready to go. It felt good to toss myself out there once again. One was a piece with dialogue only which was a real challenge. For writers wanting to try their hands at the same, go to to learn more about this contest sponsored by some Oklahoma writers.

While on the internet chasing down some things, I found a delightful picture of my Dad’s cousins from WWII. How appropriate to find this on a day we celebrate freedom. Through a related essay, I located one of the men’s sons, a down-the-line cousin who lives in Canada. I am excited to exchange emails with this new found relative, to share stories.

The day ended with a covered dish supper with friends. The food was excellent and the company was good. It was a nice Fourth of July…..


Sioux said...


"...rib-rattling." What an incredible phrase.

Are you reading the history of guns book for research purposes or purely for pleasure? Inquiring minds want to know...

Linda O'Connell said...

What a fantastic day you had, and to think you discovered a long lost relative. I'm with you, those fireworks are a waste of money. Hope you have a great weekend.

BECKY said...

Hi Claudia! Glad you had a nice 4th of July! And wishing you a fabulous week ahead!

Lisa Ricard Claro said...

Sounds like you had a great 4th! I like watching the "big" fireworks show the county puts on (though I don't like the crowds so we rarely go), but I'm not much for the home stuff. At a friend's home on New Year's Eve a couple years ago one of her neighbors set off fireworks in the street, and we stood off in the yard to watch. He misfired one of the bottle rockets and it literally shot past me, missing my face by about two inches. I will NEVER, EVER watch a home fireworks show again.

Lynn said...

Love the old photo. Have been doing some geneology, so I find old photos fascinating. Just visited the new Civil War Museum. Hope your 4th was happy!