Monday, July 4, 2011

Celebrating America

Our Fourth of July celebration was a fun one this year! I love celebrations of any kind, really, and love to come up with special ways to create meaningful holidays for my family. I want my children to grow up loving life and being thankful for their roots and where they come from. I have fond (fuzzy) memories of celebrating the fourth at my Granny's house in the country when I was younger. I recall drinking sweet tea out of orange plastic glasses, eating watermelon in the back of a pickup truck and having seed spitting contests with cousins, Aunt Ellen would bring over some pies and we would all sit around and visit in lawn chairs, games of croquet would be played, and once it was dark we would set off fireworks in the yard. While I can't recall every specific detail, my heart warms with these thoughts. But after my grand parents passed away, we had no set plans for the fourth. We always watched fireworks, but each year the location and the people at each event were different, and the same has been true for the family that Boss and I have grown together. Sometimes fun and meaningful days, sometimes spectacular fireworks shows, sometimes not. But this year was, by far, the best fourth we have experienced in a very long time!

We started the holiday with a big church/campus block party on Sunday night (good friends and good food!), followed by Kings Island fireworks show (we found a cute little deck to sit on to view the show), and finished the night with a soak in the hot tub. Today, Boss and Jack began the day with a round of golf (Boss straps Jack's car seat to the golf cart, and they are both in love!), while I took all of the girls to the water park. We had supper with some friends from church, where food was eaten and corn hole was played. And then we finished the night by making smores in the fire pit, while the little girls chased fireflies and danced in the yard. And then I thought that the night was over. But I was wrong! Around dusk, our across the street neighbor walked out with boxes and boxes of fireworks,and asked if we wanted him to set them off in the field behind our house. YES, please! The children and I sat on the back porch and oohed and awed as the men folk sent the pretty colors in to the sky. And for a brief moment in time I was taken back to my childhood. Back to my Granny's little house in the country. And it felt good. I scooted a little bit closer to Emma on the bench, and tried to etch that moment in time into my brain. I want to recall it in the years to come. Food, family, friends, fireworks, freedom. I am thankful each day for all of those things. I am also thankful to God, who freely gives all good gifts! He is reason alone to celebrate! Happy Fourth of July! I hope yours was a good one!