Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Ive done it before. Ive spent the day not surrounded by beer drinking, hot dog eating, water balloon throwing people. Ive done it before- not ending the day by walking to the high school to watch fireworks. Ive done it before, but before, I was amongst my parents and sisters and a bunch of losers- in other words the Brits. At least amongst the British you could joke, ‘come wearing red coats’, ‘winners on this side of the water balloon fight, and losers on that side’. But today was totally different. Today I spent my 4th of July in Switzerland amongst other ex-pats and although they are family, it wasn’t quite the same. I didn’t sit on the back deck drinking a mike’s chatting with friends, family and neighbors. I didn’t walk, arms hooked with my aunt to see the fireworks. I didn’t sit next to my sisters as we watched the fireworks and they made fun of me for jumping at each explosion that filled the sky with sparkling color.

Instead my day started at 830am when I finally pulled myself out of bed and hurriedly pulled on a pair of jeans, threw my bathing suit and a few needed essentials into a bag and ran to the bathroom to brush my teeth. My Aunt, Cousin and her two kids and I packed ourselves into the car and headed to the spa on a raining, grey 4th of July in Switzerland. For the next few hours we swam in hot water, relaxed in outdoor pools and lay in a fountain of bubbles giggling as they massaged our bodies and made the kids, buoyant with floaties on each arm, float away. After a late lunch we packed ourselves back into the car and waiting for tired children to sleep through the hour long car ride home.

The day was still chilly and grey upon our return. After making myself a cup of hot tea I had the rare pleasure of talking to the author of a book I recently read. We chatted via the amazing convenience of online video chatting. I had been intrigued by the novel and relished the opportunity to go over the parts I needed clarification on and to discuss the metaphors and symbolisms that littered the pages of his work. It’s not often that one can easily sit down with an author of a book they have read to discuss it, let alone have that author in their own family.

The day ended without the usual dramatics of a color lit sky. A fun time was had none-the-less. The 4th of July has always been such a fun-filled family time for me, one that brought out patriotism often forgotten these days. Instead I, an ex-pat for the moment, think of the greatness that has been and hopefully will be again. I think of my friends and family across the U.S. I think of how this year is so different from so many years prior. I think of how I cant wait to go home to a country, my family and my home filled with love, pride and joy once again.


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