A Trifurcated Fourth

I really enjoyed the first part of July 4th; the second part, not so much.

We were getting ready for church. My wife seemed to be moving rather casually to get to the FOCUS joint worship service at 9:30. Apparently, she had it in her mind that the service was at 10:30. When I occasionally complain that my wife operates on assumptions not based on fact, this would be a good example.

Plan B: to go to Emmaus United Methodist Church in our neighborhood. As I have mentioned, I stopped going to the other Methodist Church, Trinity, a decade ago. This service started with an African choir of mostly teenagers. Then it was a relatively straightforward Methodist service except that the scripture was read in four differnt languages: Urdu, another Asian language, a language native to Africa, and English, with the translations shown on the overhead projector in English.

It was all good, but what was a treat was the fact that I KNEW a lot of these folks: our friend Bonnie and her housemate Carol, who we knew attended there; Jean, with whom I used to sing at Trinity; Wanda, who I knew when I worked with the Albany United Methodist Society;and Russ, who I (miraculously) remembered from the Washout poetry readings from 30 years ago that I attended with my then-girlfriend. Also, Holly Nye, who I knew from the local church conference, but who had decided to go back into pulpit ministry; this was her very first Sunday. So this was a pretty nice gig. And Carol’s mix up on the FOCUS worship time had a very positive outcome.

Later that day, I decided to mow the front and back lawns with my reel mower. Well, I did the front, but postponed the back. The house next door was sold in the last year to this guy who seems OK. But he has some young, college-age women as tenants who are – let’s say that the jury’s still out. My wife’s been irritated by them since she saw one of them empty her partially empty beer bottles from the third-story porch to the flower bed at ground level.

They had a party Sunday afternoon in the back yard. Their guests had to go through the common walkway between our houses, which wasn’t that big deal, except that some of their more inebriated friends wandered out to the front. One particular young woman had that ready-to-upchuck look. Mowing back with their loud music and even louder, rowdy conversation was an unpalatable concept.

My, I sound like the grumpy old neighbor!

So instead, I viewed recorded news and later, baseball on TV. In a move that would have annoyed my wife – she and the daughter were off visiting – watched the fireworks as a picture-in-picture. When the game was on, the fireworks were the second picture, but when the game was in commercial, the fireworks were more prominent.

A mixed day – great morning, irritating afternoon, pleasant enough evening.

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