Monday, July 6, 2009

Redcoats on the golf course

Here’s how me and my brood celebrated the Fourth of July – just the four of us, at my parent’s place in New Jersey, no BBQ, no red, white and blue, just some frank talk about our forefathers and a little war re-enactment.

We were in the mood for some low-commitment, easy outdoor frolicking, so we went to the only nearby playground, a run-down, kind of decrepit playarea in this rather upscale living community a few minutes up the road. I don’t really know what you call it – its’ not exactly a country club, and its not a pool club or a beach club, and you don’t need to show ID to get in, but it certainly looks like a club of some sort, with tennis courts and basketball courts, all these houses that look the same . . . and a run-down decrepit playground.

The one climbing apparatus they have is made of wood which I have to say is a poor choice, long-term – no sooner do you place your hand on the ladder but you’ve got a damn splinter. There are three swings, a sandbox I wouldn’t let my worst enemy stick his toe in, and a little ladder and slide area, whose crown jewel – a swirly slide -- has a jagged tear, right at the bottom so that you almost can’t help but get your leg caught as you are zooming through the slide. I don’t know what the deal is with this playarea but it does seem like the fancypants at Garden Springs are actively trying to rid themselves of children. They can’t get rid of us that easy, though – me and mine aren’t so terribly discriminating.

So we play for a while in the condemned playground and then we wander out a bit to pick pinecones and dandy-lions (this is what Primo calls any flowering weed he encounters and the way he says it – “Oh just look at that beeoo-tee-ful DANDY-lion!” – you’d be hard-pressed not to devour him right on the spot). Them Primo and Pops adventure a little further across the hilly lawn and soon they are calling to me and Seconda, “Come look at this beeoo-tee-ful view!” So we climb up and down and up and down the hills until we reach the place where the boys are standing, looking at a little man-made pond.

“We have reached the summit!” I shout, “And it is EXQUISITE!”

And as we are all standing there enjoying the peace of the tranquil water below us, a small white object whizzes by our heads at a terrific velocity.

“What in the Sam hell ---” I start.

“Golf balls,” my super-smart husband replies, “They’re hitting them right at us.”

“Maybe it was an accident,” I say, since even I have moments of Pollyanna within me.

But a second later, another high-speed golf missile grazes my head.

“We’re under attack!” I yell, “Run for your lives!”

“It’s the redcoats!” Primo yells delightedly, “The redcoats are COMING!”

And that is how the whole darn family was found on the fourth of July running through the Garden Springs golf course, reenacting the eve of the Revolutionary War by screaming at the top of our lungs, “THE REDCOATS ARE COMING THE REDCOATS ARE COMING!”

Better than a BBQ to honor our forefathers.