Jennifer LaRue

I write it as I see it.

Did you watch HAMILTON yesterday? I sure did; I set my phone up on my tripod and watched from my hammock on the balcony last night. What a treat, and what good timing for such a treat. I was and am grateful for it and for opportunity to experience those amazing performances so intimately. (Though I was gratified to learn that I wasn’t the only viewer caught off guard by the amount of, er, moisture exuding from King George’s mouth!)

I am also grateful that I got to see the show in person, on Broadway, just over a year ago. (Which might as well have been a century ago, life has changed so much.) My dear friend Elizabeth and I made up our minds we were going to see it come hell or high water; we paid exorbitant amounts of money for our tickets, got soaked by rain as we got into and out of our cab, and braved the throngs of fellow humans flocking up the theater stairs to find our seats, where we sat cheek by jowl to watch the show.

The thought of that close proximity to other people now seems frightening; it’s impossible to believe that it once seemed merely inconvenient or annoying or, lord help me, part of the fun of participating in such a popular activity.

I yearn to experience that sensation again so very, very much.

###

I have long been on record: summer is my favorite season, and the 4th of July is my favorite holiday. I love everything about them both, and fireworks make my heart go boom.

Today I woke up determined to still enjoy my Independence Day. Because, for me, it really is about my finally being independent in a personal sense, and I don’t take that for granted for a moment.

But it’s sure been a different kind of Fourth. The condo association board made the (in my opinion, lazy and cowardly) decision to close and cover the swimming pool, despite the fact that other pools in the area are open, with COVID-19-safety rules in place. My neighbors and I live for our pool time — and pay good money for it, too. I’m sad and angry, but I do recognize that if that’s my biggest problem during this whole crisis, I’m in pretty good shape.

Instead of focusing on what I CAN’T do, I enjoyed what I can. I put on my flag-themed bikini and lounged on the hammock, sipping a nice, dry, summery rose and reading a financial-planning book that my neighbor loaned me and that put my mind at ease about some decisions I have to make in that area. I practiced my guitar; I took a nap (or two). And when I finish writing this, I’m heading back out to the hammock to start re-reading FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD for the umpteenth time. I might just fall asleep again.

And, with any luck, there will be fireworks displays tonight. In years past, I’ve seen as many as 22 displays going on at once from my south-facing balcony. For the past month, there have been at least two or three such displays almost every evening. I’d settle for, and be thrilled with, just one.

###

The first half of 2020 has brought so much misery and stress to so many people. For me, it’s mostly brought loneliness. Other than at my daughter’s wedding at the end of May, I haven’t touched another human being since mid-March. My bedroom is now given over to the care and feeding and entertainment of my delightful kitten, Bathsheba Everdene. It has become the room where nothing happens. Certainly no fireworks…

Except it’s also where I write and daydream and plan and read and play with my cat and play the three chords I’ve learned on the guitar — and where I can watch fireworks from my bed! So, I guess you could say it’s the room where pretty much everything happens. It’s all in how you look at things, right?

Happy Fourth, my friends!

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