Three cheers for the Red, White, and Oh-So-Blue


‘The Child declares her Independence’

As she put it oh-so-well and oh-so-hashtageriffic on Instagram, #redwhiteandbluearetherussiancolorstoo (!) And looky here — I found this picture of the Russian flag. Which yes, does feature red, white and blue. Big stripes of red, white and blue, in fact.

Plenty of red, white and blue. But kinda boring, what with no stars and all

But nope, no stars on the Russian flag. (It used to have a star, back in the Good Old Soviet Days — but then it also had a hammer and sickle.) And no stars here in Amagansett, either. By “stars” I of course mean The Child and her friends, a group of whom have been on hand to help me celebrate America’s Birthday for several summers now. (I’ve written about their superstar visits before; check out “Stars in Stripes” for gushing details.)

Yes, that’s a Carvel Cake. It’s from last 4th, when my Stars were aligned. (And present) And no, I didn’t bother getting a Russian-flag cake this year. Tho no doubt The Dude could have polished it off, even with no Girls to help

Nope, The Child and three of her usually-here-for-the-Fourth friends absconded to Russia this year. Partly because one of the group is actually from Russia. (Her Dad, when told they were planning to visit Siberia: “Whatever for?“)

When in Siberia, one simply must stay in a yurt. Yup, a yurt

But mostly they went to Russia because they’re young and they could. (No, they didn’t plan the trip because of the World Cup. (In fact, they didn’t even realize Russia was hosting the World Cup until I showed The Child an article in the Times about this Mexican kid who was taking, like, 72-hour train rides to get to the matches and camping on Nice Russians’ couches and such. You can read it here, if you like. He wore a sombrero to meet girls.)

Of course I didn’t mind that my Gal and her Pals went to Russia. Though it did give me pause; after all, when I was her age, Russia was The Evil Empire and if you went there, like a friend of mine did, your hotel room was bugged and people would steal your blue jeans and chewing gum. (I’m thinking it’s not so easy to bug a yurt. And anybody can steal anybody’s chewing gum as much as they like, as far as I’m concerned. See “In outer space, no one can hear you scrinch”.)

It wasn’t all yurts. The Girls also hit the hot spots in Moscow and St. Pete

They had some amazing adventures, which I followed every day rather obsessively on Instagram. Those Instagram shots disappear, so I even more obsessively took screenshots of some of my faves.

So many palaces, so little time to screen-shoot them. This is one of many pilfered Instagram posts of decidedly non-yurt-like places. I’m pretty sure this was in St. Petersburg

Of course I sent a message. It said “Nope, it’s a cluck

Oh, and yes! I almost forgot — they were actually on hand in Moscow the very day when Russia won their Big World Cup Victory. They posted several movies of Crazed Ex-Soviet Soccer Fans dancing in the streets and on top of cars and so on and so forth. Which I could not “steal”. But I did get this:

Muscovites whooping it up after their World Cup Win. Shot from non-moving car by The Child or a Pal

But of course I missed those girls. The Fourth was kind of flat without them. Those of you who know me and/or read this blog (again, bless you!) know that I am rather hung up on Holiday Traditions. Not Christmas. (In fact, The Child spent last Christmas not with us and I wasn’t upset. Well, not inordinately so.) But I am very into The Fourth. And if she ever spent Thanksgiving “away”, well. I’m not sure what I would do. Dear Child, please let’s not try to find out.

So, sure, I was a tad disappointed that they weren’t around to dig into celebratory Carvel Cake and splash around in the pool and track sand into the house and eat me out of house and home. (Do you have any idea how many avocados four young women can consume in a day?!?)

But at least I didn’t have to experience the Dreaded Dropoff, after which I would head home to my lonely empty deck and a nice stiff — and very consoling — G&T.

This was the Dreaded Dropoff a couple of Fourths ago. I didn’t miss this. And I didn’t miss my G&T either

Amagansett, New York. July 2018

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11 thoughts on “Three cheers for the Red, White, and Oh-So-Blue

  1. Now there are more insidious ways for the Russians and other terrorists to bring us down. I may prefer those, given the fact that I like my natural disasters to be unpredictable (like So Cal earthquakes) as opposed to those that cause my TN neighbors to rush out to the store to clear all shelves of bread and milk in preparation for some kind of potential possible “predicted blizzard” that never materializes!

    I also stubbornly cling to Thanksgiving traditions with my daughters, only one of whom has been available recently to partake of them with her father and me. I think that’s because she inherited the sentimental gene from both sides of her family and has already adopted that tradition all on her own.

    • I am SO glad one of your daughters has inherited the Thanksgiving Tradition Gene. It would be a definite non-Soviet-induced disaster at my place if The Child were to skip that particular holiday. Both The Child AND The Dude are on hand for Christmas this year. As for next 4th of July? Who knows? As long as there’s no blizzard (!) I’ll be happy.

  2. Thank goodness we have come a long way since the fearful days of volatile Russia. I remember in the late ’50s our new house and all the houses in our development were built with bomb shelters. They were all fully stocked with enough canned goods to feed multiple generations….because, no doubt, Russia was gonna drop that A-bomb! Be prepared! School air raid drills: Hide under the desk. Scary times.

    As much as she was missed, there is something very symbolic and uplifting about the Child gallivanting around Russia on the Fourth. We’ve come a long way…..

    • So glad to hear that Someone Else Out There remembers the Bad Old Days of shelters and drills. How ‘bout “duck and cover”?!? Also glad that these are the days when young people feel perfectly comfortable gallivanting around Russia. Oh — last fall she and her BF went to Vietnam. On purpose!!!

      • josypheen

        Lol I would LOVE to go to Vietnam! I visited Russia, but we took the Trans-Mongolian train, so I didn’t actually see much. I’d quite like to go back but I really hate the way they treat gay people at the moment, so I’d feel a bit uncomfortable visiting…

        p.s. The UK and France both have red white and blue flags too! There must be loads of countries in the red white and blue club!!

        • Ah, Josy! You sound delightfully young as well as delightfully delightful (!) I am sure Vietnam is lovely (in gact, The Child told me so), but I am of An Age where I remember classmates of mine being drafted and sent to ‘Nam’. I’m thinking Holland is about as exotic as I get. But wait! I went to Kenya and Uganda!

          • josypheen

            Yeah, now you’ve been to Kenya and Uganda you have no excuse. the world is your oyster!! 😀

            I remember when we were learning about the Korean and Vietnam wars at school my mum got annoyed. She said that wasn’t history – it should count as current affairs(!) I guess it is similar to 9/11 now. It seems so recent to me, but there are teens coming to University this year that were not even born when that happened!!

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