The Fourth of July.  For most Americans, this is a day to celebrate our independence, grill assorted varieties of meats, drink beer and watch some awesome fireworks.  For Mom, it’s a day to worry about burglars, natural disasters, or the house falling down.

Last year, when the fireworks started around 9:00 at the big sports complex a couple of miles away, she thought someone was trying to break into her bedroom through the window because it was rattling.  The year before she thought there was a major thunder storm and it was going to take the roof off.  The year before that she complained about someone throwing bricks at the house.  So Bill and I weren’t too surprised when, around 9:15, we heard the inevitable “Patty!” called out from her bedroom,

“So, what’s it going to be this year?” Bill asked.  “Thieves or mother nature.”

“I’ll report back in a minute,” I replied as I headed to the other end of the house.  She was laying under the covers with just her head poking out, staring at the east-facing wall to her left.

“Is everything okay?” I asked, coming into the room.

“No, I don’t think it is,” she replied, turning to look up at me.  “I think you need to get your money back.”

“Get my money back for what?”

“For the cement.”

“What cement?  Do you mean the patio extension?  The walkway?”

“No, the cement on the house.  It’s all falling off,” she said, looking worriedly at the wall again as a loud boomer went off high overhead.  “Hear that.  I think it’s coming off in big chunks.”

“Mom, it’s the fireworks at the Peoria complex.  It’s the Fourth.”

“The fourth fireworks?  I don’t think so.  I don’t remember the first one or the third one.  Are you sure?  How often do they do this?”

“Yes,” I sighed.  “I’m sure.  They do it once a year.  It’s the Fourth of July and the stucco is fine.  It’s just the noise from the fireworks.  Turn over and go to sleep on your good ear and you won’t hear it.  It’ll be over soon.”

“Well if you say so.  But you still better check in the morning to make sure the side of the house isn’t all over the yard,” she mumbled as she rolled onto her right side.  “I’d get my money back then for sure.”



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