Did you have a birthday last week? My brother Earl did on July 5. As usual we celebrate all week. I’m from a big, huge family. On July 4, the day is all about food and family. I also think a lot about what to wear to the party.
But, first the focus is planning the menu. What to barbecue? And where do we shop before July 4th? Costco. You know they carry everything: food, dresses, dirt, furniture, tires. They hold you hostage, don’t they? Why go anywhere else? Prescriptions? They have it. Funeral planning? They’ve got it. John Deere lawnmowers? Sure, those are in stock. Costco planned it that way. Do you really need 12 cans of tuna or industrial-sized Windex. Of course!
Everyone has the same goal to buy as much baby back ribs, hot dogs, buns, and baked beans as possible. Let’s not forget 120 drummettes so my cousin, Caesar, can marinate them over night with his “secret sauce.”
It’s sunny out and perfect for paddle boarding or hanging out on the deck of Cactus restaurant. We are at Costco. I’m with Rita (my sister), mother, and Caesar. It’s a family affair. Rita is the leader of the Guerrero brigade. She pulls out a cart, the size of a flat truck bed. Her one-page list is in her hand. Slinging her designer purse over her shoulders, she is ready for action. She is neatly dressed with her cream shirt and peach-colored shorts. There’s not one wrinkle. What’s up with that? And I KNOW she bought another cute outfit for the party and well, so did I.
As I watch Rita go on “attack mode.” I’ m thinking, “People, if you don’t want to get hurt, get out of the way. This woman has $150.00 worth of ribs to buy.”
Different shapes and sizes of customers walk the aisle of Costco. All have the desire to celebrate July 4th, Freedom Day. Or they are simply excited that it’s a holiday and it’s time to eat and pound down six-packs all day. Hurried customers are all around me. I’m present. I quiet my mind amid the chaos of Costco. I think, July 4th–it’s about Freedom. I wonder if even half of the customers here are thinking about how great it is to live in the USA. Freedom of speech–to speak up and say what you mean. Freedom to drive (in some countries, women can’t drive) and marry your partner. Freedom to pray to God. Freedom to read his book–the Bible. Lucky us.
I surprise myself by being patriotic in the middle of Costco’s wine section. Why today? In the past, I have taken my freedom for granted. It was always what to wear to the barbecue. I think I’m doing it now to quiet my mind and go inward. Saying “thank you” for the Freedom I have to walk down the street. And to set up territory on Harbor Beach to celebrate it and my brother’s birthday. So today let’s take a moment to say “I’m lucky I live here.”
I want to know how do you feel about living in the US of A?
Dear God, Thank you for our Freedom. We have so much and we take it for granted. I do all the time. Continue to quiet my mind and be present to my surroundings. Bless everyone I meet today with a grateful spirit. Bless me with a grateful spirit. Amen. Lola