We ordered, or tried to order, take-out Indian food, after a couple false starts at finding a place which was open (it was the 4th of July) and universally acceptable. I was assigned the task of phoning it in, for whatever reason, and my attempt to preface the order --- for ten people, with multiple items for each --- with ``this is going to be a complicated order'' just amused my family and didn't apparently prepare the restaurant. It took roughly three weeks to get all the items ordered, what with my trying to double-check that nothing was forgotten, and at that there was something forgotten when we went to pick it up, and --- again despite the checklist --- when we got back there was still something missing. The moral is don't order take-out for ten people unless you're just getting four pizzas already.
Over dinner --- well, coming and going over the day, really, a day that featured a lot of family talk, and bunny_hugger tuning my niece's Barbie Guitar only to learn it won't hold the tuning for the length of a whole song, and my niece learning from bunny_hugger how to play rock and roll on the guitar (hold it vertically and wham at all the strings) --- I got struck again. See, my brother has gotten a new job, one that'll take him to Maryland. And my parents are getting ready to sell the house and move, they don't know where, although if sensible it'd be into New England where their closest friends and their youngest granddaughter are.
New Jersey's always been where my family is, and there's a good chance that come the end of 2014 there won't be anyone still residing there. So the day caught that sort of happiness shadowed with the feeling that you'll never be doing quite this ever again.
Eventually all this had to wind down, and we started saying goodbyes --- my younger niece and her parents had to leave first, and everyone broke up gradually. My sister-in-law joked that we'd at least get to take home the colds her daughter had (not funny, and, yeah, I came home with some bug). We drove home, too late to stop in on any fireworks show in particular, but at the right time that we were driving past towns that were setting off fireworks, often taunting us from just past the tree lines, but the more delightful for being such glimpsed surprises.
bunny_hugger mentioned that she and I had one last tradition we had to uphold: we hadn't eaten at the Regent Diner (now Athena's) yet this trip. My father reported tragic news: it had burned down. My mother said my father was wrong, it was the Golden Bell diner that had burned down. My father was sure of himself; my mother, all the more sure. We just hoped that if a diner had to have been destroyed, it wasn't ours.
Trivia: In responding to inquiries from credit-rating company R G Dun & Co, in 1883, Edison wrote that his electric lamp company was not incorporated and had only about $35,000 invested in it, adding that ``Don't think we owe $1,000. Hope nobody will give us credit''. By 1885 the company would produce about 139,000 lamps. Source: Edison: A Biography, Matthew Josephson.
Currently Reading: The World That Never Was: A True Story Of Dreamers, Schemers, Anarchists, and Secret Agents, Alex Butterworth.