Sunday, July 4, 2010

Fourth of July #234

You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4th, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness. You may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism. -Erma Bombeck

I love the Fourth of July! I love that dress is casual, the pressures (family, menu, traditions) are minimal, and everyone has a good time.

(I also love Erma Bombeck, and I love that our priest, Father Charlie, included her quote among others in the church bulletin today. Let me say this again - if you're a reader, and a woman, you need to make sure you pick up one of her books.)

Most of what I remember from childhood 4th of July is sparklers. We lit some for our neighbors' Canada Day celebration on Thursday and though I didn't hold one myself, I could clearly conjure up the sensory experience of holding one - even to the memory of the quick prickle of a spark on my forearm.

I knew I was a grown-up when it was my peers lighting the fireworks, not my dad. And my first married Independence Day was on Lorilyn Avenue - in the street - with two other couples and a box of "Safe and Sane" explosives from a stand.

4th of July '95 was spent on a train in India. By far my most exotic commemoration. We sang "The Star-Spangled Banner" as we rumbled along. No fireworks.

Today we're sitting in the a/c as temperatures soar outside. A get-together with friends awaits in the early evening, and after dark we'll situate the mini-van somewhere with a view of the valley and all its displays. The kids will be tired, parents too, and the sky will light up in honor of our country. I'm tellin' ya, I love this day. I love my country, too. I'll get back to you later on whether I'm feeling patriotism more strongly than a full stomach.
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