It’s National Iced Tea Day

I recently printed off a list of “obscure holidays” and have decided that I’m going to write about whatever is being celebrated on that particular day and how it applies to my life. I believe you’ll be thoroughly entertained. I’m not sure how, but I’m willing to guarantee it.

So, the only Obscure Holiday that I paid attention to in the past was September 19, which is National Speak Like a Pirate Day. There’s something about pirate speak that intrigues me. I think we’d be happier as a Nation if we’d let go of current obscenities and latch on to the pirate vernacular. Road rage would actually be welcomed if we could shout out “Ahoy, Scallywag! Ye’ll meet the rope’s end for that, me bucko!” instead of the more common string of expletives worthy of a Jerry Springer show.

But I digress.

It’s National Iced Tea Day. I don’t drink a lot of iced tea. In fact, hardly ever. This could be a problem seeing that I am officially a Southern Girl (born in North Carolina to a Southern Belle mama). OK, truth be told, we moved to Ohio before I turned two. That’s my Yankee Father’s fault (and he moved us near LANCASTER of all places, birthplace of that dreaded scoundrel William T. Sherman). However, it’s only proper for a Southern Girl to say “Yes, ma’am”, “No, sir”, and “Could I get some sweet tea, please?”. Heck. I’m sure if I’d lived back in the Civil War era I’d have offered General Sherman himself a glass of iced sweet tea. But, of course, I would have had to dump it over his head instead of serving it to him. I use this excuse as my reason for failing in the food service industry today. Oh, OK, I’m just not a good waitress.

Remember that Chevy commercial from the 70’s? Baseball, Hot Dogs, Apple Pie and Chevrolet. (C’mon, you KNOW you’re singing it!) Apparently, these are the basics of “What’s American”.  If the War of Northern Aggression would have had a different outcome, this commercial would have undoubtedly listed sweet tea as what’s truly American. Since things have turned out differently, the only respect Iced Tea gets now is having its own obscure holiday. I’m NOT promoting a different outcome of the Civil War. I’m just sayin’. Iced Tea got the shaft.

Today I challenge you to find a way to celebrate Iced Tea. If you’re an Ohioan I know Skyline Chili serves some SWEET sweet tea. And tonight just happens to be Family Night – kiddos eat for free! Oh, how I miss Skyline. Anyway, I’m off to brew some tea and put at least a cup of sugar in it. And all that sugar makes it truly American.

More tomorrow 🙂

Today is my favorite day!

Why? Because I’m finally starting a blog? No. Because I pulled my butt out of bed earlier than noon? No. Today is my favorite day because it’s the anniversary of hearing those incredible words: BEN SHOWS NO EVIDENCE OF DISEASE. Yes. Four years ago today we received the official results that Ben, a world renowned Dragon Slayer, had slain the beast named Neuroblastoma. My hero.

How will we be celebrating this event? Well, Ben will be celebrating at Camp Wapiyapi. We dropped him off on Sunday and will be picking him up on Friday. I am going to do everything in my power to NOT call the camp today to check in on him. Last year I called every day. Crying. Sobbing. Not once did I speak directly to Ben but the nurses consoled me daily. “He’s fine, Mrs. Brewer. Don’t worry about a thing. He’s having a great time.”  It helped. A little. And then when I went to pick him up at the end of the week I was shaking with excitement. When I caught that first glimpse of him hanging out with friends my heart leapt in my chest. Oh! He’s going to be so excited to see me! I thought to myself. Nope. He didn’t say “Hi, Mom!” with great enthusiasm. He didn’t jump into my arms. His response was “Is it over already?”. He was clearly bummed. And my heart flip-flopped because I understood how awesome this experience had been for him. He’d had a blast and he didn’t want to come home. Bittersweet that he didn’t miss me? Sure. But I would get over it.

This year I haven’t called. I know he’s having a great time. And I’ll be celebrating today in my heart because it doesn’t mean that much to Ben — at least in his little seven-year-old world. He’s got other things to think about. And I’m desperate for him to think about THOSE things as opposed to IV’s and needles and scans and chemo and blood transfusions and fevers and all that other crap that dominated his life for too long. He’s doing a great job of letting it go. Maybe someday I will, too.

So, I’m giving you an assignment. Go celebrate your life! Here are some suggestions: Skip work. Eat an entire bag of potato chips. Call an old friend. Tell someone what they mean to you. Do SOMETHING that states you’re glad to be alive! Do it in Ben’s honor. Do it for all the little friends we’ve lost along the way. Appreciate what you have. Celebrate who you are. Be thankful for your life.

More tomorrow. 🙂

My Dragon Slayer