Monday, July 4, 2011

Independence Day - Then and Now!

When I was growing up we had a different type of Independence Day. There were no sales and very little grilling. We did have fireworks and some areas had parades. I well remember laying on the ground and feeling the concessions of the fireworks exploding overhead. I can still smell the sulfur.

After I married, July 4th was spent with my husband's family and was an all day celebration. It began about 10 AM with getting to the house before the street was blocked for the parade. The parade didn't begin until 1 PM but it went right past the house and we had front row seats. All of our friends and their children were welcome. My father-in-law set up a step ladder for arial photography. There was food available all day long. Sloppy Joes, Burgers and Dogs on the grill, Potato Salad and Glorified Rice. Sodas and cold beer were at hand in coolers. More food when the parade was over. Then a short walk to the park with blankets and radios. As we waited for the fireworks to begin, the radios were tuned to the station that would sync their music to the show. After the show it was back to the house for cards while the kids slept. About midnight we would head for home after a very full day.

Later in life, we lived in a small rural community that did not have a local celebration. Some years we went to another town for fireworks. Some years we listened to the "Taste of Chicago" on the radio while sitting poolside on our deck. One year a neighbor had a backyard fireworks show. Every neighbor in the area had their hose handy for fire prevention.

In Florida we enjoyed fireworks from our lanai and one year from a beachfront location over the Gulf.

This year in Texas, we're back in parade mode. All three of the grands marched in the parade, as did the band mom. I was happy to anchor a lawn chair. Because of a burn ban there are no fireworks around here this year, so I guess it will be the Macy's Celebration.

Regardless of the format, the purpose remains. We are FREE and thank those who serve to keep us that way!