I'll be celebrating our country's birthday today by earning a paycheck at the winery. How much more American is that?
But while I'm standing there listening to music, smiling and serving customers, sweating in the summer heat and hoping for at least a glimpse of fireworks, my mind will be drifting back to Fourths of the past.
So I decided to take you with me. The following is a repost from July 3, 2010. I hope you enjoy it and have a wonderful, sparkly, red-white-and-blue 4th of July!
I almost went to the Fourth of July parade this morning. If all the kids weren't home, or if at least one of them had been interested in going with me, I would have been sitting there on my usual curb when the heavens opened up and poured (not just rained) at 10am. For once, I was grateful to be inside the house, folding clothes.
Yes, I realize it's the 3rd of July, not the 4th, but our small town celebrates Independence Day BIG and needs all day, and a good bit of the night, to do it! There's a 5K run, followed by the parade down Dawn Drive and then everyone moves to Bar-K Park on the lake for booths, games, live music and, of course, fireworks right after dusk... consistently one of the best fireworks shows I've ever seen, too.
So I almost went, but realized that it just wouldn't be the same. It would be the first time I wouldn't have at least one kid to watch for, marching with the dance group, the swim team, the High School Marching Band, the Cub, Boy, or Girl Scouts.
As much as I enjoy the parade, I don't have all three kids under the roof at the same time very often anymore, so I stayed home, and whew! I'm glad I did!
The great thing about our country is we can celebrate the 4th on the 3rd... or the 5th... or the 10th. We celebrate it every time we vote, every time we write a letter to the editor or complain to our congressman. Or just by staying home and hanging out with our kids.
I still got my parade fix, though - I pulled out old photos of some memorable 4th of July celebrations. Much more fun than getting drenched at a rainy day parade!
Paris, 1976 - toasting the Bicentennial with champagne and really missing the USA!
Webelo Scout Tommy leading the parade with the Boy Scouts 1996 (he's the short one in the middle)
TG, right in the middle of her dance group float, 1996
Daniel, ready to ride, 1999
Me, second from the left, marching with the Cub Scouts, waving to TG on the sidelines, 1998
The kids, waiting for the fireworks to start, 1999
Tom curbside with nieces, nephews, brothers... watching fireworks in Florida last year
"You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4, 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 the patriotism." ~ Erma Bombeck
Happy birthday, USA, and wishing you many, many more! I love you!