Independence Day. For some, the July 4 national holiday in America conjures memories of illegal fireworks, beer, and small brush fires caused by inebriated people lighting off said illegal fireworks. But for most Americans, it’s a holiday spent outdoors—all-day picnics concluding with dramatic nighttime firework displays. How ironic that Independence Day highlights—more clearly than any other day of the year—many an MSer’s lack of independence. For those with heat intolerance, a full day outdoors in the middle of summer is about as appealing as a beer-battered dip in boiling oil (that’ll burn… but it’s a tasty burn). For those with fatigue, trying to survive all afternoon is tricky enough, but to make it through the late-night fireworks? Caffeine infusions aren’t enough. For those with bathroom issues, simply looking at the ubiquitous long lines at the port-a-johns are bladder daggers. And for those with walking difficulties, managing crowds of people, blankets, coolers, and the uneven, grassy field at your local park is nothing short of an impossibility. “Independence” Day? Oh, the irony indeed.
But wait, you can manage. As my physics professor used to say, just use your third floor. Think. If you want to see the fireworks, don’t burn all your energy on doing a BBQ for 14. Stay cool with icy drinks or maybe a cooling vest and umbrella. Limit walking (or scootering) and plan to sit at the back of the field on the edge of the grass. That’s also where you’ll find the lesser-used restroom facilities (and trees for that matter). Well, gotta run. It’s time to crack open a brewski and shoot off some contraband pyrotechnics in my backyard….