Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Fourth of July

You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness. You may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism.
~Erma Bombeck

As a child, my July 4ths were packed with excitement. There was the community adults-only mattress race first thing in the morning, a bizarre tradition in which adults wore pajamas and pushed beds down the street. Following that was the kiddie parade, a time when children decorated their bicycles with red, white, and blue streamers, sparkles, and balloons and paraded down the street. I always left with a trophy.

Next was the actual parade. We sat on our very own front lawn--our house was on the parade route--and watched the floats and bands go slowly past us. My dad was always on the volunteer fire department, and he sprayed us with this firetruck hose as they drove by.

There were always fireworks to end the night. I will never forgot the year that we were watching someone's dog. We quickly found out that the dog was terrified of fireworks and ran away the instant they began. We spent the rest of the night prowling the neighborhood looking for the dog.

Oddly enough, the Fourth of July is the only holiday that does not involve food as a big part of my memories.

How do you celebrate the Fourth of July?

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