Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Rant #267: Peace ... And Then Back To Work

I know that Memorial Day is supposed to be a day that we celebrate all of our service members that have fought for this country in all of its wars and conflicts.

I know that we should take a moment and try to understand that without our service people's efforts, we would not enjoy the freedoms that we have.

I know, I know ...

But let's be honest about it, for most of us, Memorial Day means that summer is right around the corner.

The holiday welcomes in summer with beachgoing, barbecues and baseball, all of which my family and I did this holiday weekend.

We watched baseball on TV. We will be going to Yankee Stadium in two weeks, so watching baseball on TV just pumped us up for that game.

We had a barbecue yesterday, nothing too large, but it went very well, pumping us up for the major barbecue we are going to have on July 10 for my old community's reunion.

And we went to the beach, but not to swim, as we visited Montauk Point--the home of the fabled lighthouse and the absolute end of Long Island. You can't swim there, but you can relax, and although we were there for maybe two hours, that is what we tried to do.

About Montauk Point ... it is slightly less than 100 miles to there from where we live, and we hadn't visited there in six or seven years, or when my son was half the age he is now. We brought a picnic lunch, and we sat on the beach for quite a long time. You can't swim there--it is not allowed and it is very rocky anyway--but you can sit there to look out at the vast ocean. You can see boaters lolling the day away, and others fishing, hoping to make that big catch.

You can also visit the actual lighthouse, which we did several years ago. I think my son got claustrophobia inside there, as it is very tight and there is not much breathing room.

This time, we didn't go inside. It was so nice outside--maybe in the low 80s with a breeze and little or no humidity--that we decided there was no reason to go inside.

We left in the middle of the afternoon, and stopped at a Carvel where we bought some ice cream--or I thought we were buying ice cream. My wife and son got what they wanted, and I asked for a vanilla shake. They made it for me, but after one sip, I tasted bad milk--it was sour as all hell--and gave it back to them. They didn't offer me another one, nor did they throw out the milk that they used for my sour shake. They didn't charge me, and I wouldn't have paid for it if they had.

Yesterday, on the actual holiday, in addition to the barbecue, we visited an old friend who is in the hospital. It is never nice visiting a hospital, especially for someone who is truly sick, but I am sure our visit--actually my wife visited, my son and I sat in the waiting area--brightened up my wife's friend's day.

That brought me back to reality.

Sure, I had the actual holiday to rest, but today, it's back to work. No more relaxing on the beach, no more barbecues (for now), and I can watch baseball tonight on TV as we get closer to the day we actually go to the game.

It is supposed to rain today, which I hope does not happen, because my son has his last track meet of the school year this afternoon. He won the 55 meter race the last time out, so I would love it if they somehow held it today. But it is supposed to be miserable ...

And yes, work and misery go hand in hand.

I have to keep telling myself, "Vacation comes at the end of next month ... You are getting closer to vacation ... It will be here before you know it ... "

Yes, I have to keep telling myself that. Repeatedly.

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