Friday, July 3, 2009


Tomorrow we will celebrate what has probably always been my favorite holiday of all.

As a kid growing up, the 4th of July meant we were just getting into summer and all that entailed...No school of course, but also long lazy days to fill with whatever we might happen to think up, and convince our parents was necessary to truly enjoy a magical summer....trips to the beach, swimming at the local high school, sleep overs at your BFF's, amusement parks, sleeping in and staying up late, and the like...the possibilities seemed endless.

It was almost always hot on the 4th of July growing up in California, but to me it never seemed to matter...Picnics, parades, and barbecues, just wouldn't have seemed the same if you weren't hot and probably getting sun burned....No one wore sun screen back when I was a kid...haha. Most of our 4th's were spent having a neighborhood block party...Everyone on our street would pull out there picnic tables (everyone seemed to have them back then) and barbecues and bring their favorite foods to share in a pot luck...Home made ice cream was a given, as was fresh corn on the cob, baked beans, potato salad, (homemade of course) and hamburgers and hot dogs...The kids would all run around from table to table eating everything we could possibly manage to get into our stomachs, no doubt exhausting our parents, but having nothing but fun....Then, when it FINALLY darkened outside, the fireworks would begin...We'd clear the middle of the street and then line up the seats of the picnic benches and the show would begin. The dad's up and down the street would light them up and the kids would all run around frantically waving sparklers. It was such a fun time...There was just something about it all that made me fill like I was really a part of the community, or at least part of the neighborhood anyway, haha..

After I married and had kids of my own our 4ths were almost always celebrated with swimming and barbecue's and local firework displays. Tomorrow will be no different...We are going to Joe's house for swimming (or at least watching my grand kids swim haha) and a barbecue, and then on to Upland High for the firework show...Doing fireworks yourself now has become illegal in most cities, but has never taken from the pleasure for me...Large crowds of people enjoying each others company, singing patriotic music, and watching the beauty in the sky, still pleases me enormously and warms my heart. How grateful and proud I really am to be an American. And how grateful I am to all those who have not only served this country in the military, but to those who gave their very lives that we might enjoy the freedoms we do..Happy birthday America, and may God truly bless the USA...

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