Monday, July 7, 2008


The 4th this year was different.

Growing up the 4th of July was always ranked near Christmas. I loved it. It meant setting up the car port with Grandma and arranging berries on the top of a whipped dessert to make an edible flag. It meant making centerpieces with fireworks and helping stock the goody bags for the grandkids. It meant a "talent" show and silliness. It meant family and barbecuing, strange relatives and the morning parade. It meant a bike ride and a trip to the Stadium. It meant a race home and desserts by fireworks. It meant sparklers and laughter. It meant tradition.

In recent years it seems as though growing up has meant less festive magic to be had. The tradition I assumed was age old and timeless has begun to decay. I feel sadly nostalgic for what "used to be" for the past few years. It makes me feel old.

But this year the 4th meant a 57 hour work week and celebrity sightings. It meant lifting and arranging, hauling and serving. It meant fruffling and swagging. It meant red, white and blue linens. It meant sore feet and endless snacking. It meant stealing away moments to watch the show and laying in the grass on the Cougar's field watching the bursts of colors light up the sky to a musically coordinated display of pyrotechnics. It meant spending time being silly with two of my favorite girls on the planet and keeping ourselves going by stripping down and doing dishes right before a slurred chocolate "fight" ensued.

It meant droopy eyes and utter fatigue.

The day was well worth it. The little sticker on my Access Pass gave me a strange authority complex. Being able to romp where ever I pleased (even in her trailer) put an extra little spring in my step (which by hour 15 I really needed). Dancing to this while wearing ties and aprons made me feel like a part of the silliness of yesteryear was still alive and well.

Hopefully next year I can rally the troops and we can hearken back to the days when Grandma's driveway provided a sanctuary for togetherness and patriotism.

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