I realized as I was sitting in a completely empty house on July 4th with no working knowledge of our gas grill that, perhaps, I should just admit to myself that this is our first of "just not the same" days that we will meet head on this year.
My next thought? I knew a place I could go where I would not be the only one doing this today.
Not that I'm saying that every SpouseBuzz reader with a deployed spouse isn't out enjoying the holiday weekend with family and friends, but I can't be the ONLY person trying to hit a new high score of Facebook's Bejeweled Blitz and making some kind of lunch that doesn't look anything like the fantastic cookout spread he/she made last year.
Our local area is in line for some thunderstorms this afternoon, so the cookout I'd planned to attend has been canceled. Fireworks are questionable if rain comes, but we have a few hours to figure all that out. My oldest is visiting her grandparents. My youngest is watching a movie at the neighbor girl's house. The dogs are napping.
I'm doing laundry and watching the Food Network.
Seems like a normal Saturday, but I know it isn't.
I'm painfully aware today of the long line of families in our nation's history who have spent not only the nation's birthday, but also their own birthdays, without their service person at home to help them celebrate.
On the one hand, that doesn't seem like it's all it's cracked up to be. On the other hand, it's an earned distinction that my family can remember and be proud of long after memories of firecrackers or cookouts fade.
If you're 'home alone' today (even if your house is full), thank you for your service. It's a pleasure working with you.