Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Independence Day Celebrations

Independence Day is, without question, one of my favorite holidays. First there is the major, solemn significance it holds in my heart - freedom from tyranny, freedom of religion, and pride in flying our flag high! (There is only one time we really blew it regarding flag flying. It wasn't July 4th, it was May 31st. It was our son's birthday, and we gave him a pirate themed party. We really get caught up in birthday celebrations, and we had the bright idea to fly the Jolly Roger from the flag pole. Unfortunately everyone forgot that it was also Memorial Day!).

Independence Day is also one of the most fun holidays to celebrate. The day is spent swimming, eating watermelon, playing games, and even pranks. (The kids actually always begin at least a week in advance, doing things like putting the snap-pops under their father's car tires so that when he left for work early in the morning, it would sound like a drive-by shooting!) As the day passes in to evening, everyone's thoughts turn to fireworks. Sometimes we all go downtown to see the big fireworks show. Unfortunately, it seems the years we choose to do that, God decides to put on a fireworks show of his own, in the form of a spectactular thunderstorm, that supersedes the city's show. Usually we throw a big family party, and grill out, and the kids keep checking to see if it's dark enough yet. Their Grandma always gives them sparklers to entertain them, and they love to write their names with the glowing sticks. I always have to bite my tongue to keep from forbidding them, due to a childhood accident involving a bad burn - ok, I grabbed one out of the wrong pile once, and it was blazing hot because someone had just put it down, supposedly spent, but still very hot. But my kids always love them, so I just try to look the other way.

Finally, at the twilight's last gleaming, everyone jockeys for position to watch whatever fireworks we were able to come up with that year. The men set up the show at the end of the driveway, and my boys were each so very excited when they got old enough to help! For some reason that never bothered me the way sparklers did! It is always very hot, and we are all fanning ourselves and smacking mosquitoes, but nobody wants to miss a thing. The year my hubby ran extension cords and set fans up outside was a big hit! The fireworks show is always the highlight. The guys usually start from smallest to biggest, and the "oohing" and "ahhing" get progressively louder as the fireworks do. All up and down the street other families are doing the same thing in their driveways, and sometimes we can see some of the larger ones from some of the bigger shows too, high in the sky. Finally we get to our grand finale, and everyone breaks out in spontaneous applause. By then it is late enough for the more, shall we say, patriotic neighbors to begin what amounts to a re-enactment of the Revolutionary War. (The kinds of fireworks they use are not really legal for the average person to have around these parts, but if you are willing to sign a paper that you are using them in some sort of railroad work, you can buy them). Everyone begins gathering up tired, dirty children and heading home through the rocket's red glare and bombs bursting in air, they proclaim this the best year ever,.


Shimmy Mom said...

Clicked here from Kari and Kijsa. I love Independence Day, it's my favorite holiday next to Christmas. It sounds like you have as much fun as we do. I like your flag photo.

Kari & Kijsa said...

What a great post! And a fabulous time!! Have a great Independence Day!
kari & kijsa

nikkipolani said...

Sounds like you are headed for a great holiday celebration! Being in such a high fire zone, we don't get to set off our own fireworks, but there are plenty around to enjoy. Disneyland's not far :-)

thedailydish said...

OUCH! I think there are few people I know who haven't sustained some sort of sparkler-related injury. Have a very happy 4th!

CIELO said...

and a Happy 4th to you too!

Blessings--and be safe!


Lavinia Ladyslipper said...

Sounds like very happy memories and good times. Happy Independence Day!

Tracie said...

Hi Tracie,
What a great post.
Wow are you patriotic ~ good for you!
Your post makes me want to get up and cheer ;)
Have a happy and safe 4th of July!

tales from an O.C. cottage said...


M ^..^

Beverly said...

Enjoy our Independence Day. We are a blessed country.

Merle said...

Dear Rosezilla ~~ Great post for Independence Day. Have a great day.
Thanks for your comments and I am glad you enjoy my jokes etc.
Sounds like you have done a good job
raising your boys. Not too often does
a child say "I have everything I want" Good for him, he has a good heart. Take care, my friend.
Love, Merle.

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

It sounds like you have a really old-fashioned Independence Day.

Ours is usually pretty low-key, but we do get to see the fireworks from the house.

Happy 4th.

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