"Mas, mas!!" My sister-in-law Yadira was tickling her not-quite-three-year-old Kenny and every time she stopped, he begged for "mas" through his giggles. It amazes me to hear Kenny and his four-year-old sister Nicole switch from English to Spanish and back again in one breath. Nicole was playing a hopping game in the kitchen last night..."Mira, mira!" she told her mom, and to me, "Look-it, look-it!"
Yadira and John glide from Spanish to English, too. A Phoenix policeman, John was featured in an episode of the show "First 48" called "Crash" - in fluent Spanish, he coaxed a confession from a murderer by appealing to his honor.
"Mas" Shallues have joined the party - we picked Tommy up from the Pensacola airport around 11pm Thursday night, and Tom's brother Russ (Shallue brother #6) rolled in yesterday from Maryland with his two kids. Beds, floors and couches are filled and overflowing at my in-laws' house. Pop must have a huge-capacity hot water heater - I haven't taken a single cold shower...yet. The air-conditioner has had to battle body heat as well as Florida heat to keep the house cool, so Tom and his mom added to the arsenal this morning - they brought home a small window unit from Lowe's to go on the sunporch.
In honor of the 4th of July, my sister-in-laws, nieces, daughter and I went shopping - how much more patriotic can you get than boosting America's economy? The guys just hung out around the swimming pool. Tonight we'll feast on Carne Asada, thanks to John and Yadira (we've all been taking turns cooking each evening...we've had burgers and brats, stir-fry, shish-kabobs, and last night was our turn...brisket, ribs, potato salad and baked beans.)
And, of course, we'll watch fireworks, joining other Americans spreading blankets down near the Milton riverwalk, oohing and aahing and clapping, reminded of the price that has been paid to live in this amazing country...and giving thanks for family, food, fireworks and much, much more.