Thursday, July 05, 2007

America

I was thinking yesterday about the 4th of July and how I wish we still really celebrated it. Independence days of the past were often filled with various events. The past few years though, we haven't really done much. Since the Kiddo came along, life has been a bit more complicated.

I remember one year in college I was in Germany over the fourth of July. It was strange, I had never put much thought in the holiday before then, but walking around in Berlin that day it hit me that I would not see the red, white and blue I expected. It was a moment that allowed me the realization that I was from a specific country, with specific traditions and history. It seems simple enough, but for someone who had hardly been out of Texas it was the realization of a much bigger picture. I was sad that I was going to miss the fireworks that year, even though in the past they had only been an event, not exactly something I really looked forward to. I missed hearing the sappy patriotic songs; I missed the smell of the burning hot dogs and burning sparklers.

A few Independence days I got to go out with Hubby's family on their boat. We would sail all day in the bay and then pull into the lake and drop anchor for the city fireworks show. We'd eat fresh cherries and sliced apples and lie back on the boat deck, rocking with the gentle waves and watching the show right above our heads. When the last spark flew, the crowd would cheer and the boats would blow their horns. It was kind of magical in a way.

When I was younger, we went to our annual family reunion "down home". All of our family gathered at the relative's house in the country. We barbecued chicken and sausage and ribs, made homemade ice cream and ate till we were about to explode. The kids swam in the pool, played volley ball or just stared at the cows. One year we (the kids) organized a parade. We tied red, white and blue crepe paper streamers all over each other and paraded around the drive way, waving flags to the beat of whatever patriotic music we found to play on the cassette player.

Now it seems we don't really do holidays anymore. There is never enough money or time to travel, and so we often stay home. This year we ate junk food all day and then when the fireworks started at the town park a couple of miles away, we sat down in the middle of our cul-de-sac and watched the show just feet from our driveway. Kiddo ran circles around us; more thankful for the opportunity to be outside in the dark rather than to witness the fireworks. Many of the neighbors sat on top of their cars. After about 30 minutes we got tired of being eaten by mosquitoes so we came inside.

All in all it was a good day, but I hope that next year we can do something a bit more special.

Until,
D :)

2 comments:

Jen said...

I know just what you mean Dawn. Sometimes I feel the same way...about holidays in general. One year, I was in England during the 4th...it felt so strange! My aunt made chilli n cornbread for us! It was bizarre though.

Misty said...

I too, know what you mean. It's up to us now as the "mama's" to make the plans and set the tone for the holidays. It doesn't have to be a big to-do, just something special and meaningful. We went pretty low-key here too. It would have been great if she hadn't gotten about 10 mosquito bites! I'm working on adding to our family traditions so AM can say, "This was something special my mom used to do with me for_____. "

Oh and thanks for adding me to your blogroll. And twice. I feel doubly special. When I get a blogroll I'll add you! I'm still blog-challenged.

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