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Happy Fourth of July

July 4, 2007


Chers Amis,

Happy Independence Day!  Happy Fourth of July!  Happy watermelon and hot dogs! Happy barbecue and blueberry cobbler! Happy sparklers and bottle rockets, ‘OOHS!’ and ‘AHHH!s’. Happy liberty and freedom!

Our hometown set off its fireworks display last night from the old train depot. So after a hurried dinner, application of mosquito repellent, and the loading of folding chairs/drinks into the truck, we wound our way through the back streets to our favorite viewing spot – the old cemetery.100_1478_2

Yup! You heard me right.  It has become a family tradition to  arrive early and wander through the grounds as the sun sets.  It is a
combination of Fourth of July, Memorial Day, Veterens Day, and All Souls.  I have strange children.  They love visiting ‘grave yards’, examining every headstone, seeing how the individual were related, calculating their ages, and admiring 100_1480the designs.  They go ‘on patrol’ to straighten any silk flowers or leaning vases, to
make each grave beautiful. We have gotten to ‘know’ this place, these people so long ago (and not so long ago) silenced. As the kids beautify and sing, skip and chase fireflies, DH and I talk and silently pray for these souls and remember all the suffering and joy the stones recall – this holiday recalls.  Our freedom wasn’t free. It was bloody and difficult  – and priceless.  Somehow spending part of the yearly celebration in this place is more appropriate than if we simply went up to the lake.

When the last rays of summer sun had slipped behind the trees, we opened up the double towel and unfolded the chairs, stuffed cotton in sensitive ears and waited for the show.  We could hear distant rumbling and the muffled booms of nearby displays.  "Did we miss it?"  "Have they moved the base?"  "Will we see anything?"  Of course!  I love fireworks.  Their beauty is truly fleeting, lasting only seconds.  But during that time the sky is filled with color and light.  The kids have named all the different types which they shout out as a running commentary between gasps of wonder: chrysanthemum, sparkler, planet, tadpole, weeping willow, dandelion, popcorn, snowman . . . grande finale!  Happy Fourth of July to all!

One Comment leave one →
  1. July 4, 2007 8:30 am

    That is such an interesting and meaningful tradition. Happy 4th!

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