Thursday, July 4, 2024

07.04.24 As I get older I forget what these days mean...

     It's true. As I get older I forget what things mean, like what they really mean. I know July 4th as the birthday of America. It's when we established our independence, that's why it's also known as Independence Day. But how that all came about I forgot, or never knew. It all comes down to the actions of the Second Continental Congress and the signing of the Declaration of Independence which occurred 

on July 4th, 1776. Well, actually it was voted on July 2nd but adopted on July 4th. Some historians say July 4th, Independence Day, really should be July 2nd. And who are independent from? Back then there 

were thirteen colonies and they were under the rule of Britain and King George III. Now here's where I'll bow out because it's all above my historical understanding. But starting a year after 1776 the United States was "formed" when the 13 original colonies became what we now know as the 50 States of today. Delaware is the oldest, then Pennsylvania, and New Jersey is the third oldest. The youngest is Hawaii, joined in 1959. In addition to the 50 states we "own"? the unincorporated territories of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. I'll pass on that. 

     July 4th is one of the biggest holidays we celebrate in the United States. It's one that affects every single citizen regardless of race, color, politics, or religion. It's one of the busiest vacation and travel days during the year and probably is the busiest days in the emergency rooms across the country for burns, 

amputations, and eye damage caused by fireworks throughout the year. The guy above lost four fingers in a fireworks accident and now has a big toe where his middle finger once was. How many people have been injured or killed by fireworks over the last 200 plus years of celebrating? The last time we watched 

fireworks was from our balcony last week while down in Hilton Head. Oh Hilton Head. Where the grass is greener, the living cheaper, and I'd be skinny and better looking. The truth is no where is perfect and 

life, and each of our lives, is what we make of it. On this Independence Day I ask myself how independent, or free, am I really? Since HH I have really been asking myself the hard questions. Am I free from paying ridiculous taxes in New Jersey? And I free of the "stuff" that I hold onto, well really hoard, that is just like a weighted blanket that holds me back? Have I allowed this new world control me- the internet, ATM cards, auto bill pay, swipe, tap and gone, and just accepting the high costs of things these days. Buying a new truck? Ha, $65,000 or $700 a month. And forget about food, like stopping by for a burger and a beer at the local haunt, or going out and being BMG (Big Money Grip) with another couple or the kids and footing the bill and the tip, that'll run you $300 easy. And you know 

my feeling on spending money for food. Eat to live or live to eat. Either way it all winds up in two places, on your hips or in the toilet. Whoever invented the thought of the social aspects and eating is a genius. How much do you or your family spend a year on food? Like food you need to survive? It's stupid. $15- $25,000? There's got to be a better way. There has to be food freedom somewhere. 

     When we got home I had really come to terms with starting anew and possibly moving to Hilton Head in a few years. That's it, I'm done. It's all going. The broken things, the clothes that don't fit, the memories of lives past (that the kids want nothing to do with), and the books and cards and that's it. 

    So what did I do? I did the same thing I've done 100 times since we've lived "free" in Titusville. I went around the yard, sweating my balls off, and picked up sticks, trimmed the bushes, and pulled the weeds. Again. And I'll do that another 100 times before we sell the house. So really, I've haven't done anything towards the goal of getting rid of shit and downsizing. That'll only happen when the big dumpster gets backed into the driveway. Until then I'll continue to live free doing the same thing over and over and over like bald tires trying to get traction on an icy patch of road. I need new tires.