Greetings to all the nieces and nephews of Uncle Sam on his 234th Birthday! Here at Fernbrook Court we did it up right--Maine style. There was pasta salad loaded with lobster. There were moose burgers and hot dogs (not made of moose; the regular red-skinned kind). There were deviled eggs which I added blue food colour to so the blue yolks in combination with the whites and the paprika looked very patriotic. Steamed clams and oysters, lobster rolls, wedges of good Maine cheddar. My mother contributed an amazing apple pie. That is to say, she dictated and oversaw the production from peeling apples to putting the slices on plates. But the best part was the homemade strawberry shortcake--home-grown strawberries, home-baked biscuits, served with hand-whipped cream. I never want to see another whisk again. The place was crawling with neighbours, friends, and relations. I was gratified to hear the oohs and aahs as folks wandered about the grounds at what I have accomplished in just a year. After several lively games of croquet, some highly embellished story swapping and heartfelt remembrances everyone went home.
As my mother was settling into her chair she playfully scolded me for not telling her I'd invited all these people. I told her I hadn't invited them and that I thought she had. When we were both convinced that neither of us had issued invitations we just looked at one another and laughed. People just showed up because they somehow knew we'd be glad to see them. God bless America.
And a very happy Independence Day to my fellow citizens and all who believe in and strive for freedom from bigotry, tyranny, oppression, and intolerance. This is America. We ain't perfect and sometimes we ain't pretty. But as a whole we are sincere and we mean well. I'd like to think that all of us, collectively, are the welcome mat beside the Golden Door. Not so that foreign powers can wipe their feet before walking over us but as a place to pause and feel the warmth of a generous people waiting to embrace them and make them feel at home.
Anticipation is a delicious dish and should always be served warm.