Happy, Birthday, 'Murica! Do you still have all your fingers and toes? 'Cause you put on one hell of a show last night. You kept my backyard lit up till nearly 2 am. If I had to judge from the detritus in my front yard, I'd say you're going to come up short with the rent next month, 'cause we both know that a four hour firework show is not cheap. But who cares, right? For one night you got to recreate a war zone with shit you could buy from a tent on the side of the road, and, by golly, did you do it up. Oh, and that piece of charred STEAK on the roof of CLH's car this morning? Nice work. Nothin' says "freedom" like setting a choice cut of meat atop an M80 and letting 'er rip! You sure as hell know how to party, 'Murica.

Honestly, steak cleanup aside, it was a pretty darned good weekend. We got to spend July 4th with our friends Lacy and Roberto (who are moving to Canada in a week and who we will miss having so close to us.) What I love about these two is that they don't let lack of resources ruin a good engineering idea. The weather was extremely warm on Saturday, and, after a couple glasses of a wild mint/rum concoction made in haste, we were nearly unconscious with dehydration and exhaustion. So, naturally, Lacy and Roberto built a Slip N Slide. And when I say "built", I mean that they grabbed all the tarps we owned and the hose, and, within minutes, had us hurling our bodies face first down a 20 foot run of blue plastic into a "splash pool" that Lacy constructed with her bare hands. It was astounding. Oh, and did I mention that this was AFTER Lacy had built us a cabana out of two ladders, a couple pieces of timber, and a blanket? We had shade for hours. Seriously, people. If you're not using household junk to keep yourself cool on a hot day, you're doing it all wrong. And I'm pretty sure Lacy's for hire.

Today CLH and I washed our cars and then ate hot dogs for lunch (and then sang the national anthem 'cause it just seemed like the right thing to do). We both vacuumed the insides of our cars, and then CLH changed my burned-out headlight and topped off my windshield wiper fluid. And then, THEN! because it was empty, we got to (drum roll please) THROW AWAY the windshield wiper fluid bottle. It was thrilling! Because you know what that means? That means we don't have to move with it! Oh! And we blew through a dusty bottle of tequila AND a bottle of peach schnapps on Saturday. So you know what that means? WE DON'T HAVE TO MOVE WITH THOSE EITHER! Do you see where I'm going with this??? I could very possibly violate my own personal limits on exclamation point usage on this one if I let myself go, that's how excited I am! We actually are GETTING RID of stuff!

I am on this trajectory right now to get rid of HALF of what we own. Somehow, I have managed to cart around with us for the past ten years pounds and pounds of stuff that has just no meaning or use to us anymore. I can't explain why I have become so incredibly lazy at keeping inventory of my own life, but I have. We still have stuff in boxes from when we moved into this house two years ago. Unpacked. And the stuff we accumulated while living here? I understand now why everyone warned us about the curse of a big house: you simply fill up the space with stuff. Now that I have to pack so much of it into boxes for the move, I am realizing that I no longer feel the attachment to my stuff in the way I used to. I don't mean to imply that I've mastered the Zen art of non-attachement overnight... just that most of my stuff has this timestamp on it, and I don't feel connected with that time anymore. I want to create new memories. It feels good to let go. It feels like it has needed to happen for a long time now. Happy Independence Day to me, 'Murica.