Tuesday, July 6, 2021

It Was All A Dream About Tennessee

It's kind of a pet peeve of mine that people always call Independence Day the "Fourth of July." Yes, we know the date, but does anyone remember why it's a holiday? This is emblematic of what's wrong with contemporary American culture.

Our family has a recent tradition of gathering on Independence Day to shoot off fireworks and catch up. Until this year, I've been missing it. This was somewhat because of my choice to live in Arizona. All my siblings have chosen to live within a day's drive of Mom's house in Middle Tennessee. It was also complicated by my desire to balance visiting my Dad in Indiana. Of course, he died in 2018, so that is no longer an issue1. I joined everybody this year and a good time was had by all.

As I have mentioned before, our family dynamic can be contentious at times so it was not entirely without flaws, and I'm partially to blame for a heated exchange after my mother suggested it was time for me to move back to Tennessee where she could keep an eye on me. But for the most part I enjoyed it, and I think everyone else did too. The air travel, not so much.

Airplanes can be uncomfortable if you ride in coach, but I try to always get window seats so I can at least enjoy the view. Also you don't get bumped by everybody that walks past.

I always go back and forth about whether or not to fly out of Flagstaff's baby airport or drive down to Phoenix. After sweating for hours driving to the airport and waiting on my plane, I think I'll switch back to flying from Flagstaff next time. The parking and security are easier, and the drive is negligible. And it never gets to 107 Fahrenheit in Flagstaff.

1 Unfortunately Dad insisted my sister and I inherit his house when he died. Yet his Last Will and Testament also gave my stepmother permission to live in it until she dies, without paying rent. This means I have to travel back to Indiana periodically to check up on the house and carry out maintenance, with no income to offset the requirement.

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