Happy Fourth of July! Independence Day is one of my very favorite holidays—at the height of summer when the weather’s usually fine, an annual reminder that I’m lucky to live in such a great country, and, well, because I also love fireworks. Anywhere, anytime, really, but they’re usually spectacular for America’s birthday. Lady Liberty here is already celebrating.
As a child growing up in the midwest, I loved my family’s get togethers, everyone in our “clan” bringing a dish and sitting around my aunt’s picnic table while my uncle turned hot dogs and hamburgers on the brick grill he’d built in their yard. My cousins and I would run around catching what we called lightning bugs, and soon the real fireworks would be set off to complete the magical evening. Under strict supervision for safety, of course. My uncle was the local fire captain.
Years later, when I lived in upstate New York, it was an annual tradition to attend the town fireworks display, always an enjoyable community event. The summer my youngest boy was three, and sensitive about new things, I feared he might not like the showers of lights exploding so close in the night sky, and the noise alone was enough to destroy anyone’s hearing. But I needn’t have worried. As the fireworks went on, escalating toward the grand finale, I looked down at him in my arms—and discovered he was already fast asleep. At that age bedtime is bedtime.
More recently my house in Tennessee was on a little mountain with a great view of the valley below and the mountains on the opposite side. I didn’t need to go anywhere to see the fireworks across the way. The entire view was lit from east to west with private displays, one after the other. I could see from the living room, the deck or even from my bed, lying there happily in the dark to take in all the free entertainment.
This year will be different. I’ll miss that. The house isn’t mine any longer and I’m in a different state now, which I also love. Only last night I heard fireworks from somewhere nearby (be still, my heart), but I’m not sure where, and I haven’t homed in yet on any traditions in the southwest. Instead, I’ll enjoy my first cookout here and the company of new friends.
What are your plans for this summer holiday? Picnic? Barbeque? Fireworks? Or basking in the luxury of having a day off and reading on a porch swing?
If you haven’t already gotten your copy of THE RANCHER’S SECOND CHANCE (my May Heartwarming), it’s still available—along with the other books of the Kansas Cowboys series. And in October, watch for TWINS UNDER THE TREE.
Happy reading! Happy Fourth of July!