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By Hannah Wallace


Whew, let me tell you something, after 10 days off with no real plan for occupying them, it’s almost a relief to be back at work. (Almost.) Not so much because I wanted something to do, but because the feeling that I had things to do and wasn’t doing them began to overwhelm me.


So what did I do? In short, cleaned, partied, scored a goal (fell down), cleaned, boxed, read Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, listened to Eminem’s new album, ate my first Whiteberry frozen yogurt, cleaned, exercised, packed, sat on the plane next to a crazy lady who had police officers waiting for her when we landed in Ohio, played a two-violins-and-a-clarinet arrangement "When I'm 64" with my sisters for my mother's 65 birthday, looked at monkeys at the Toledo Zoo, mingled with family, forded the Maumee, ate, ate, ate (and drank a little, of course), came home, got up early for no discernable reason, cleaned and, finally, relaxed—just a little.


But here, lemme show you:



The host of the Slap Shot party, showing off his

spectacular plumage in his natural environment.



CCB and Captain Beerslinger party hard.





CCB likes monkeys at the zoo.




Ma likes birthday cake...on her scarf. (My uncle, her younger brother, was the heroic mastermind of the whole weekend. He organized this birthday dinner for her, as well as the reunion festivities on the Fourth.)




CCB’s response to the command, “Smile, dammit.”




Uncle Mastermind’s home overlooking the Maumee River. (He let me drive his amphibious vehicle all the way across the river—and I only ran over one cousin.)






 Soooo many relatives.




Ma and Pa: 42 years of wedded bliss.

(Uncle Mastermind hired a caricature artist for the reunion.)




Thing 2, me and Thing 1, immortalized.




For the evening’s grand finale, Uncle Mastermind chartered a bus to drive the whole family a mile down the road to see a neighborhood fireworks display—which, in addition to great fireworks set to a classic rock soundtrack, featured its own grand finale, in which many a rocket detonated at ground level. “Tonight’s grand finale features Frank running around on fire,” said bro-in-law Captain Slack. CCB offered, “Catch an arm, win a prize.”



Anyone else care to offer harrowing tales of Fourth of July adventures? Surely someone blew up a lawn ornament or set their neighbor’s mailbox on fire…something.