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Wednesday, July 5, 2017

A Cranky Fourth of July

A Cranky Fourth of July
 
Mrs. C and I have spent the last four 4th of Julys in a basement apartment by the beach on the beautiful New Jersey Shore.  Every year, along with Mrs. C’s Aunt, the owner of the main house, we host a bunch of relatives and friends for a day at the beach, a feast, and after desert, a seat on the beach again to view a fireworks extravaganza.  Fireworks start around 9:00, and are a combination of professional shows, and amateur displays up and down the beach.  It is a great day, a lot of fun, and a lot of agita.
Why the agita?
First it the food.  The big worry is will there be enough food.  There is always mass quantities of dogs, burgers, steak, chicken and veggies from the grill, plus what all the guests bring.  I have learned, however, that in an Italian family it is not enough to feed everyone, there is only enough food if you can send everyone home with a “plate", a “plate” meaning leftovers which, “Will only go to waste!
The next worry issue is parking.  There is only parking for 10 cars, and there are always at least 15 cars coming down for the day.
The final cause of agita is getting space on the beach.  The beach is crowded on the 4th and we have a big crowd, so we need a large space.
Mrs. C is the General of “Operation Parking Spaces,” and "Operation Secure The Beach."
The day starts off at 6am, when street parking is allowed.  Mrs. C Supervises the moving of three cars from the driveway, into legal street parking slots.  This must be done early, as Generals up and down the street who are also expecting guest are up to the same plan.  You have to get up early to beat Mrs. C who has determined which cars will go to which spaces and practiced her operation for several days.  Within minutes, “Operation Parking Spaces” is complete.  Room for 10 cars in the driveway, three cars on the street, and two in illegal spots which block our driveway…as long as no one complains, the police will not ticket those spaces.
Shortly after “Operation Parking Spaces” is completed it is off to “Operation Secure The Beach.”  Before other families claim the choice beach areas, Mrs. C has organized an army to bring down chairs and umbrellas to form and reserve a large circle just for our group.  This operation is completed by 8 am.
All that is left, is a great day at the beach, grilling of mass quantities of food (everyone got a “plate”), a bit of drink, and then off to enjoy the fireworks.
This year along with Aunts, Uncles and cousins, there was an old family friend who came to the US from Hungary when he was 16 and fled the Russian tanks that were sent to put down the Hungarian Revolution.  There was a professional ballroom dancer from the Ukraine, his fiancé partner from the UK, and the girlfriend of a cousin who was from South Korea.
So, this Italian family who many years ago started and continue to run a successful bakery which funded this lovely beach house, along with some mostly Irish cousins, this cranky old WASP, and citizens, or future citizens from four other diverse areas of the world, stood together and watched a spectacular fireworks display which celebrates the freedom and hope which this great country provides. 
It kinda makes the agita worthwhile.

15 comments:

  1. I might be alone in never having seen or heard the term, 'agita' before. Thanks for the lesson!

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  2. That is the way of family get togethers, but Italian families can seem to put extra layer of intensity and fun right into it.

    Somehow I missed that Mrs. C is from an Italian family before this. It all falls into place now.

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  3. It sounds wonderful. It must be lovely to have such a large circle of family and friends.

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  4. Sounds like a big, boisterous gathering to celebrate the Fourth. How fun!

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  5. Sounds like a lot of fun to me. I do remember doing all that work to make sure you had parking and a good spot on the beach, or the park or wherever. I'm glad your 4th was a success.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

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  6. Hope you're having a good 5th of July, too!!

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  7. I'm betting Mrs C was born organised and her entire life has followed suit. some people are just lucky that way. The rest of us bumble about in various states of agita.
    I'm glad you had a great day. I love fireworks. They're illegal here.

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  8. It does sound like a great way to spend Independence Day.

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  9. It sounds like it was worth it all in the end, a good day all together.

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  10. Now that is how the 4th should be celebrated. LOTS of family, friends, food and fireworks. Mrs. C is a very efficient parking organizer. I'm guessing that beach wasn't closed.

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  11. Sounds like a great time (especially the PLATE part) as long as Mrs. C is the one organizing it!

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  12. Wow. Mrs. Cranky has got it goin' on! Reminds me of the way my lit'l sis does things. :) What a great gathering Joe. That's the stuff memories are made of.. I hope there are lots of pics.

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  13. Fun ain't cheap. It sounds as though Ms. C is a professional. The last time we went to the Florida Panhandle on the 4th of July, it was wall to wall people. That's why we rarely go there in summer. In January, the weather is nice, but on some mornings we have the ocean to ourselves.

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  14. Happy (belated) Independence Day! Sounds like a lot of fun for you, despite the agita!

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  15. A perfect way to spend the 4th of July!

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