Here in the USA as the Fourth of July is here once again, I think about all the years this has been such a wonderful summer holiday to anticipate and enjoy.
This year is no different and with the longer extended holiday weekend, hopefully many will have even more time to enjoy it.
When I was growing up, my family and I often celebrated this particular holiday in North Dakota where my grandparents lived. At their house my siblings and I enjoyed the freedom of unscheduled days, sleeping in much appreciated air-conditioned comfort, firecrackers that could be legally set off, numerous trips to the local Dairy Queen and of course non-stop pampering and spoiling by our grandparents.
When my own children were little, they too anticipated the special excitement which can only be generated by the Fourth of July. And when the big day finally arrived, it was always something special.
Besides The Declaration of Independence part, just what makes this holiday so special?
Well, there’s also the pure joy of summer part for starters, but there has to be more…
Maybe it’s the grilled hot dogs or ice cream that appeals to kids (and adults). Maybe it’s knowing you get to stay up late and watch brilliant displays of color in the night sky that even tiresome mosquito slapping can’t spoil.
Or maybe it’s something more intangible, like appreciating one’s family and country along with a sense of belonging to something bigger.
The Fourth of July represents everything wonderful about summer, well except for those mosquitoes.
Of course, I haven’t forgotten about the summer that wasn’t. Who could?
I remember that summer all too well.
But perhaps we need to take out all memories, even the unpleasant ones, and re-examine them from time to time.
Does remembering the unpleasant times make us more appreciative of the good times? Some certainly believe this to be true.
Maybe it is. Maybe it isn’t.
I do know that when my family gets together this year, cranks up the grill, watches “Jaws” for the ump-teenth time, and oohs and aahhs over those blasts of color and sounds filling up the night sky, I’ll remember; but mostly I will savor the moment and store up more memories that can only be created one summer day in July.
And yes, there will be ice cream too!
Do you have a favorite summertime memory to share?
If you live in the USA, how do you celebrate the Fourth of July, or do you?
What do you like (or dislike) most about summer?