Happy Birthday America

Happy Birthday to you!
I worked at the Zoo!
I saw lots of monkeys
And (after a full day there) I smelled like one, too!

Yes, I actually did work five summers at the Pittsburgh Zoo in their popular and worthwhile teen volunteer program. I loved it and was very sorry when I aged out. Every Thursday I would get up at what was probably considered an ungodly hour for most kids my age as my best friend, L, and I needed to get to the Zoo by 7:45. We worked in what was then the Children’s Zoo shoveling shit and cleaning cages, manning various pen stations and giving educational talks about some of the animals (like porcupines, groundhogs, constrictor snakes, skunks and opossums) until 4-something when her dad would pick our fragrant asses back up. It was great and I have very fond memories.

Now what that has to do with the 4th of July is pretty much nothing, other than L and I came up with the variation on the Happy Birthday song around age fourteen and to this day we sing it to each other. I was reminded of this when I was thinking about what I’d like to say on the b-day of this (mostly) great nation.

The good ol’ Land of the Free and Home of the Brave is 235 years young today and I am spending it not doing a whole lot. Our friends have abandoned us, so they lose out on some great grub.  🙂  I’m marinating some shrimp to put on the grill, boiling a few pieces of corn and have some leftover fabulous gazpacho. I’ll probably take advantage of the day off of work to begin my review for next week and maybe read something for a second time (I seem to be working my way through Josh Lanyon’s backlist right now). If there isn’t fog tonight — which may actually happen this year — we should be able to head to the Hills, so to speak, and see fireworks from about a half-dozen communities around the Bay. We’ll leave the dog at home with loud rock music playing in hopes of drowning out the noise because today is her least favorite day of the year.

So, my fellow Americans — if you are online and reading this instead of doing what most folks do on the holiday — what are you doing today?


  • Here in the deep south, it’s too hot to do much of anything except set by a pool or stay inside.
    Temps in the 100’s today, so I think I will burn a dog or two on the grill, sit in the shade, and work on making my own pile of backlist smaller.

    • Yeah, my immediate family is currently living in Southeastern Virginia, and their weather is like yours, I think (and has been for much of the spring and early summer so far). I guess I’ll find out first-hand when I go to visit in a few weeks. Have fun keeping cool, and have a dogger for me. 🙂

  • We did our family celebration yesterday since my son had to work today. So today will be pretty much like a normal Sunday; reading, laundry, reading, vacuuming, reading… 🙂

    • Ah, working the holiday. I know all about that. As a late teen (and into my early 20s) I worked in a small movie theatre that was open 365. I worked plenty of 4ths (as well as Christmas and Thanksgiving and Easter…). Your day sounds a bit like mine, then.

  • Hi Lynn
    What a delightful post! 🙂 Happy July 4th.

    Today in Ottawa the American Ambassador to Canada, David Jacobson, is hosting a BBQ on the grounds of his residence. This is a cook-off between American and Canadian BBQ chefs. Over 4000 people are expected to attend and I think there are at least 12 – 15 chefs who will participate, just like last year. You should be there. 🙂

    • Thanks Wave! That cookout/off sounds great! I’m sure there will be great, yummy food there. Maybe next year…

  • Trying to recover from the burn I got yesterday on the lake and I even had sunscreen on. Today I think its sit at home and recuperate day. Happy 4th July!

    • Hi Laura. Happy 4th back. For an Italian, I tend to burn as well (I never really used to that much, but now I do) and there have been times that I’ve been purple with second-degree blisters, so I feel your pain. Relax and recuperate.


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