Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Firecracker 400...aka Mother (thought she) Knows Best

Time for the annual Family Fourth of July Free-For-All!!!

Mother is smart.  When she was starting to consider retiring, in the grand tradition of all NJ retirees, she started trying to narrow down which part of Florida would suit her inner snowbird best.  As it happens, she was somewhat familiar with Daytona because her college best friend lived there.  Many a time had Husband and I visited her for a Race or during a trip to Disney...World, not Land...because really...World is the most wonderful, yes, ok, FINE, Happiest Place on Earth...Land, on the other hand, is...how to be diplomatic (clearly diplomacy is reigns supreme over the voices) Land is...well...the Happiest Ghetto on Earth.  Moving on...we often spent time in Daytona, as did Sister and Mother.  It occurred to Mother, that if she were to build her retirement home there, we would have to come visit, as we already go there!  So she did.

Retiring was something with which she had a bit more difficulty...it was years before it finally...ummmm...completely...took.  As an elementary school principal this meant that during the early years in the Daytona house...Ormond Beach, really, gated, country club community...she would DIE if she thought I'd let people think she lived in Daytona proper...she came and went during the school year but was ALWAYS in residence during the summer.  Clever girl that she is, bought our seats for the Firecracker 400...as she wasn't necessarily there during the Daytona 500 at that point...and began giving us our tix each year as Christmas prezzies...thus ensuring herself a houseful every 4th of July!!!

I'm not entirely sure that she doesn't regret not consulting with Clark W Griswold prior to committing herself to this Hap-hap-happy Family Holiday!  That's right...it's a triple negative...I went there.  Mother has become accustomed to living alone.  The only person's voice you have to hear when you live alone is your own...when you talk to yourself...you know you do it, too.  When you invite your family...having told them how much you're enjoying the quiet...and your family includes me...in my defense, I'm not even the one that yells...the volume pretty much hits 11 and stays there.  Everyone now has mom...who, may I remind you, wanted us there, tho this quickly slips her mind, can't imagine why...and we're on different time zones...and everyone wants something different at different times and feels completely free to share this at any volume and any hour of the day or night...usually beginning with an arrival from the airport around midnight that involves ringing the doorbell a gillion times...yes it's a number...and screaming, "I'm HERE!!!  STOP PRETENDING TO SLEEP!!!!"  (That one might be me)

She gets a little quiet by shoving us out the door to the race...after the dance that is packing the coolers...always an entertaining mix of, "You put WHAT on a sandwich?!?!?" "He got his peanut butter on my chocolate," vs "She got her chocolate in my peanut butter," and so on.  Yes, everyone is over 30.  Then the parking...the shuttle to the track...the opening strains of the mullet-hunt...AND...my personal fav???  The religious zealots at the bottom of the footbridge!  They started small...there were just a few...and they just had signs...but they were always there...they had heart!  THEN...they got pamphlets!  Upgrade...sweet!!!  I was so proud!  After a few more years...THEY GOT MEGAPHONES!!!  BATTERY POWERED!!!  It was AWESOME!  But...ummm...people?  Know you're audience!!!  They were bashing people for buying new cars and war!  This is NASCAR, kids...you're barking up the wrong tree!!!  They put on quite a show, tho...and I sure did enjoy it.  But last year...oh, yes...they reconsidered their platform...got MORE donations...and came back...WITH A CAMPER!!!  I could not stop laughing!!!  These people are my opening act for the festivities!  I seriously love them!

Soooo...That's just a little intro for you...since I'll be gone...but I did set up the blog...I THINK...so that I can text to it...I'll do my best to try to keep you up date!!!


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