Happy 4th of July!

I equate a few things with the 4th of July.  Fireworks, pride in my country and homemade vanilla ice cream.

I’m in Rovinj, Croatia right now so there will be no fireworks to speak of tonight.  But I do have a huge bunch of pride for the US of A right now and there is a good ice cream shop with tasty vanilla right across the street.  (Two outa three ain’t bad.)

I spend a fair amount of time thinking about what my Great Grandpa must be thinking of me.  He beat feet off this continent and I’ve got my heels dug in.  Man, life can be ironic.

That said, I hoist a tall glass of the best Croatian brew to my homeland.  It is a country that has given me so much and I work to do my best to repay.  The debt will never be settled.

To those Americans out there doing the really hard work, thank you.  To the rest of us who are just lucky enough to live in a country that they keep free, Happy Independence Day.

Light some fuses for me.

Thoughts on Soccer, Independence Day and Some Good Advice

I am no soccer fan, but I had a World Cup moment today.  It was during the match between Germany and Argentina.  The game was on as we were walking back to the apartment having spent the sunny, 85 degree day on the beach.

There was no one on the street.  However, each cafe we passed was full of patrons.  Except, none of them were facing the beautiful sea views of Rovinj.  Instead, the were all turned inward, eyes firmly affixed to the ubiquitous wide-screen TV now present in every European cafe, bar and restaurant that hopes to have some sort of business.  The World Cup was on and folks had put aside summer fever for a few minutes in order to concentrate on World Cup fever.

As we continued our walk, it was silent.  Then, all at once, this sleepy seaside town erupted with cheers and even a few jeers.  Germany had scored again and we were treated to a very cool surround-sound confirmation of that fact.  All around the harbor, the noise circled and one guy even blew one of those darn horns.  I’d consider that a sort of a cultural event.  (So, too the throngs of drunken, celebrating Germans that are streaming out of the bars as I write this post.)

I’m not a soccer fan, but I take pride in the fact that my own countrymen will be cheering with the same enthusiasm tomorrow night as 4th of July fireworks delight all across our great nation.

Which reminds me, a great man once told me, “Don’t forget to buy a fifth for the Fourth on the third.”  Sage advice. Especially since tomorrow also happens to be a Sunday.

Happy birthday, America.