Happy Independence Day (Belatedly)

We had a lovely 4th of July and, for those of you who celebrated, a happy independence day to you, too!

Growing up, we trekked down to Central Street (no, I’m not kidding, it would only be better if it were Main) for the annual Fourth of July parade featuring fire trucks  cheerleaders, bands, baton twirlers, candidates for public office, boy scouts, and the must-be-obligatory Shriners in their little cars:


We’d spend the morning at the parade and then walk back home to find our street barricaded for a block party. There was another fire truck for the kids to climb on, tables of cakes and sandwiches, obstacle courses, bike parades, and water balloon tosses. In the late afternoon we’d join three other families (with whom we are still friends after more than 30 years, several kids, and two sad losses) for a barbecue. My father and his friends would burn the burgers and joyfully light firecracker after firecracker. Someone would grab a sparkler by the wrong end. Someone would eat too many hot dogs and drink too much strawberry soda. No one would win the watermelon seed spitting contest (no one could find the seeds in the grass) and the bubblegum blowing contest nearly always ended in a tie. We caravanned to the lakeshore for the evening fireworks, spreading blankets on the grass, chasing fireflies, and watching the flares burst overhead.

When I was a teenager we lived in the desert and the years when it was too dry for fireworks vastly outnumbered the years it was not. If there were parades or obstacle courses or shriners, I never saw them. Living overseas meant working on the fourth, celebrating independence with that nation’s dignitaries. Living in Washington, DC meant fireworks happened on an entirely different level. But now, without even meaning to, we’ve stumbled back into something like my childhood fourth of July. All I need now is a block party and some friends to spit seeds with. We’ve got the sparklers covered.



Also, here is a bonus picture of my child being so completely herself, I had to share. There she is, curls wild, laughing as rain starts to fall, and looking back at us as she streaks toward the street.




4 Responses

  1. What great pictures of RR! So lovely.

  2. What great moments frozen in time!

  3. She is so adorable!

  4. I love that look of concentration. How adorable is she? 🙂

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