Sunday was the actual Fourth of July. But of course there is the pressure for a weekend holiday to be observed on a Monday, so Independence Day (Observed) is the fifth. So the question becomes -- when do you have a parade, if you're going to have a parade? Sunday -- it's the actual 4th, but some of the local jurisdictions don't want to intrude on church. Monday -- it's the official day off, but a lot of people want to make that a play day. Saturday -- it's available, but it's a big consumer shopping day, so no one wants to hurt local businesses.
Compounding the schizophrenia has been the weather. Two weeks ago was hot, humid and full of dangerous summer storms, including even some small tornados. Last week, though, was dry, blue skies, light breezes and highs in the 70s and occasionally the low 80s. Friday got up to 86°F, Saturday was 88°F and Sunday at least 92°F. Sunday was also the return of the humidity and Monday will begin a return to some rain.
So given the expected crowded roads for people getting away, plus all those doing staycations at home or in the area, I suppose we can forgive those who started bugging out of work on Thursday or Friday -- both of those days had reduced traffic volumes for commuting in the Grand Rapids area, enough to be commented upon by the news people.
Gas Prices: Meh
I'd previously thought that 4th of July gas prices would be around $3.50.9/gal, but in mid-May they were saying not much more than $3/gal by mid-summer. Well, local regular gas this weekend has been $2.82.9/gal. My current theory is that the oil companies are all treading lightly while the BP oil well disaster in the Gulf is still unresolved.
It's a summer holiday, so once one has been solemn and respectful, it's time to eat. For us, the weekend has become a celebration of all things tube meat. (grin) Friday and Saturday we had some new Aidele's garlic and gruyere cheese sausages, with some potato salad Mrs. Dr. Phil threw together with some odds things we had on hand. Sunday we had "picnic" -- consisting of all sorts of things that had come on Friday in a Zingerman's deli gift box and things we had in the pantry. Liverwurst, a herb encrusted sausage, another salty sausage like a moist jerky, three cheeses, three kinds of olives, some tiny sour pickles, a tin of smoked mussels, and a lightly toasted hard bread. And Monday we have some natural casing hot dogs and German wieners from the local excellent Allendale Meat Market which we'll have with some baked beans. Yum.
Oh, and after a good several weeks of outstandingly lovely local strawberries, the strawberries are now gone from the local farm stands, but Mrs. Dr. Phil came back on Saturday with blueberries, raspberries, dark cherries and apricots -- all local West Michigan. Not a dud in the batch.
In observance of the day, Sunday's dessert was red, white & blue -- blueberry crisp topped with whipped cream and fresh raspberries. Yum. We like summer here.
A Minor Upgrade To This LiveJournal Blog
Since I have been adding LJ tags to all current entries for quite a while, and slowly doing retrospective updates of older entries, I've added a link over on the left side of my LJ page for jumping to the list of all my LJ tags. Frankly, I don't care if y'all make use of it -- tags are making it easier for me to find previous posts on things. (selfish grin) But, knock yourself out if you want to peruse older entries or look up reviews and things.
Back To Writing
Now if you excuse me, I have to dive back into a new short story I started this morning. These poor characters are going to find themselves shortly way out of their league. (evil writer's grin)