Monday, July 7, 2014

Boys Love Fire

Boys sure do love fire...

This weekend was the 4th of July, one of my favorite holidays. I love the 4th because there is no pressure to spend it with anyone specific, just a fun weekend to take a day or two off work, get together with family & friends, and enjoy the summer weather. If you read my blog on the regular, you may know that this past winter holiday season was especially difficult for me, as I was dealing with what I now know was grief, but was then being personified as anger and hostility. Getting through Thanksgiving and Christmas of 2013 was a challenge, and I was very excited when I would up with some fun, relaxing, family and friend plans for this holiday weekend.

I spent the 4th with my cousin Stacey and our friend Juliana, and their husbands, kids, and parents. We ate, drank, and once it was dark, sat in a row on the sidewalk and watched an hour or so of fireworks. It was great! The little boys played with Pop-Its and sparklers, and the guys set off some great fireworks for us.

I then spent the 5th and 6th in Pacific City, with one of my best friends, her boyfriend, her son, and another guy friend. It was exactly the holiday weekend I needed to relax and recharge, and to give myself a bit of an attitude adjustment. I drove down in the morning on the 5th, and thoroughly enjoyed the company in the car - lots of laughs, not too much work talk (which is sometimes a downfall of being friends with your coworkers), and some poor traffic choices. We all met up at my aunt's beach house in Pacific City, which is literally my happiest place on Earth, had lunch & a couple of beers, packed the cooler, and headed to the beach. The weather was amazing; we played in the sand, put our toes in the ocean, and then, of course, the guys made fire! I mean, don't get me wrong, we needed it - we were roasting hot dogs and marshmallows, and a fire on the beach is never a bad thing - but it was really funny to watch Josh, Mike, and even PJ build their fire. There is just something about boys and fire; like, they can't just make a fire, they have to maaaaake a fire.

The fire party extended into the night, as Rachel and I sat back and watched an amazing fireworks display put on by the city of Pacific City, while PJ couldn't deal with not playing with fire of his own and proceeded to light his own little tiny fireworks display in the sand.

After our fire was out and the fireworks were done, we headed back to the beach house and put PJ to bed, then proceeded to have a couple more drinks and another fire in the fire pit in the backyard. I had made the decision to camp out on the deck, but I ended up laying on my cot, under the stars, next to the fire...because what better place to be?! The fire wasn't out as one by one we all crashed out, but there is something just awesomely mellow about closing your eyes and listening to one rage on nearby.

There is something about playing fire that boys apparently just can't help, and it seems to be fairly universal. Whether they're 10 or 35, boys love fire. I think they can't help it. It's part of why I love the 4th of July - the way men turn into boys around all the fire and explosives, the way they jump to cook your dinner outside, the way they can't stop poking at a fire with a stick. It's just funny. I love it.

Weekends like these - the ones where I am surrounded by my favorite people, where the weather is fabulous, where I am at the beach, where I get to have real conversations with real people - are my favorite. Weekends like these remind me that sometimes you just need to take a step back from the daily grind to have a little fun, drink too much, and take a nap in the sand.