Tuesday, July 03, 2007

A different kind of Fourth

When I think of the Fourth of July, I think of going to my grandparent's cottage on Lake Michigan. I think of bonfires on the sand dunes, roasting marshmallows and listening to my younger cousins sing camp songs. I think of canoeing into town and eating ice cream, playing miniature golf and perusing the quaint shops that line main street. I think of taking walks down to the pier, which used to seem to take forever when I was a kid but now never seem long enough. I think of my mom making blueberry muffins, fierce Uno games and laughter. I think of the parade in Ludington, where people get excited to participate, crowds line the streets and patriotism is a way of life. I think of going to the farm house, picking berries, running from bees and carving my name into a tree. I think of sand in my sheets, the smell of the water and the boardwalk. I think of sunsets and being with my family watching the fireworks from our sand dune.

When I think of the Fourth of July I think of the Utah Shakespeare Festival in Cedar City, Utah. I think of staying in the cabin, having more food than 15 people can eat in a week and a good supply of peanut M$Ms. I think of french toast at the Parowan Cafe, watching the Green Show on the lawn before our play and seeing Shakespeare under the stars of the western sky. I think of movies, hiking the Alpine Pond and attending church at the lodge. I think of my dad grilling, my brother making jokes and writing in my journal on the chairlift on the top of the hill behind the condo. I think of my family.

This Fourth of July, I find myself in a bit of a different circumstance. I am not in Michigan at the cottage with my sisters, their kids, my aunts, uncles, cousins, step-mom and dad. I am also not in Utah at the Shakespeare Festival with my mom, Jon and my brother with his family. I am in NYC, but I am not with Cameron. In some ways, the Fourth of July is as big a holiday for me as Christmas because it has always been the one other holiday during the year where I got to see my family. It wouldn't seem so bad if Cameron were here with me, but he is in Utah with his family celebrating with his grandparents. I am not there because I have no vacation left after getting married. I have been moping about it for the past week or so lamenting that I am not with Cameron, not having the pancake breakfast at my grandmother's with my mom, sister-in-law and nieces, and not making sand castles or dune jumping in Michigan. Instead I find myself kind of at a loss as to how to spend this Fourth of July.

I have phased myself out of the singles scene, so I don't know what all of my single friends are doing, and I am not so sure I would want to participate if I knew. All of the married people I know are either with their respective families or spending time together. So when people ask me what I am doing tomorrow, I usually say, "I don't know... maybe some laundry." It's strange how you get so used to having one person by your side all the time. Cameron is my best friend. He's always with me, so when I find myself without him, I feel a little lost and incomplete. That never used to happen to me as a single person, so I suppose that is just a testimony of what marriage is supposed to be. My mom laughed at me a little when I told her I was a little lonely without Cameron even though he is only gone for 3 days.

I need to make a decided effort not to mope anymore about where I wish I was this Fourth of July and just enjoy the holiday. I live in New York City. I have a lot of friends still hanging around, and I am certain there are plenty of fun things to do. At least one thing is constant, no matter where I am, there will be fireworks.


Lindsey said...

Nikki, I am sorry you are alone today!! That is not very fun! Too bad you're not here or I'm not there...Aaron is working today, so it's a little weird for us, too. I do have Zander, though. We went to a fun parade this morning! I loved all your memories of the 4th of July. I've started to love this holiday more and more as there are so many traditions that can me made! I hope you get to see some good fireworks somewhere tonight! Happy 4th of July!!

Doug and Dawn Hardy said...

Hey Nikki,

It was realy good to see you as well when you were in Vegas. You looked very beautiful and you and Cameron make such a cute couple. I was reading some of your postings. It was fun, and that was too bad about yesterday I hope you got to see some fireworks. I love the 4th of July and we went down to this park which is along the Ashley River, I think, and watched fireworks that were so amazing. I didn't realize you had run the Boston marathon. It's been a while since we have chatted and I am curios about all of the running you do. I would like to run a marathon and so would my husband. I would appreciate any tips you could provide. Good luck on your upcoming race, if it hasn't happened yet. I'll keep in touch.