Ah, Independence Day, how you’ve graced us with the grandest of memories.
Cherry pit spitting contests and rousing games of croquet; the donning of red, white, and blue; eating our weight in All-American fare–hot dogs and potato salad, apple pie and root beer floats; wildly applauding a complete dud of a firework.
We still laugh about the time my dad lit a spinner firework in an old rusted out wheelbarrow; then my uncle ran around like a chicken with its head cut off, trying to keep it contained (do not–I repeat, do not try this at home). Then there was the year we realized the rooftop of my grandparents’ home would afford us a spectacular view of the city’s firework display. We simply had to clamor up the old freezer-turned-storage cabinet, settle in on the shaker shingles, and turn the radio dial to the appropriate station. Voila! Fourth-of-July magic.
Of course, once the final spark of the grand finale fizzled, things got a bit tricky. Suddenly, the ground was exceedingly far away and the trek down, fraught with peril.
Those were the days . . .
Now, I almost dread the fourth of July. Don’t get me wrong; I still love a good celebration. But it seems too many drink and drive; too many set off illegal fireworks, without thought to dry trees and grasses, or those suffering Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (many of whom have fought to maintain our freedom).
But as in all of life’s uncertainties and disappointments, the key is to carry on.
With that, I do wish you a lovely fourth-of-July weekend–no matter where you call home. And to my fellow-Americans, let’s eat and laugh; let’s make new memories; let’s do so with thought and consideration to those around us, so it might be a true celebration for us all.