Independence Day

Allow me to start this post with a disclaimer: I love my country. In a quiet moment of reflection, I am so thankful for the opportunities we are all afforded here, and for the men and women who have died so that we can all be as lazy or ambitious as we choose. I know it's not a perfect country, and I don't think it's the ONLY country that's great or the only country that God blesses. But I do, indeed, love my country and am thankful to have been born here. Problem is, I have found, that July 4th is pretty much the last day of the year for any quiet reflection.

Troy was home (and that's a good thing) and the kids were extra-cuckoo. I always grieve for retail employees who have to work on holidays, but I was so thankful to have a place to go! In the early afternoon we went to the movie and saw "Herbie, Fully Loaded" -- pretty much as great as all of the Herbie movies. Lots of laughs for the kids, and only very innocent teenage romance. We had some burgers for dinner, then tried to go to the pool (they closed an hour earlier than usual -- my name was 'Mud'!) Wasted a little more time in the evening and finally headed out to the fireworks. Being early to bed people, July 4th fireworks always present a bit of a struggle for us. Just about the time we're really ready for bed, it's finally dark enough for the fireworks to start. As the kids become more and more tired, they get more and more hyped up and Troy and I get more and more tired and less tolerant of the hyper kids.

I do love fireworks. I have decided recently they are definitely a community activity. You simply must sit with a loved one and exclaim, "Isn't that pretty?" "Those are my favorites." "Ooooh, I liked that one!" There were fireworks after the Rangers game and my favorite moment was Clark Sullivan with hands clamped over his ears, turning to his mom with a smile squished between his hands and exclaiming, "Aren't they pretty, Momma?" Watching fireworks just has to be done with friends and family.

Last night our little family was a bee hive of noise and activity. The kids sat on top of the car, then came down, then Ashley went back up. Troy found some non-stop patriotic music on the radio to get in the spirit that the kids griped and whined about. They squirreled all over and finally, Troy just packed us all up and we headed home. As we first pulled away, we could see the last of the fireworks, so we almost made it through the whole thing. Troy was trying not to fume while they were getting louder and louder in the back seat and again, with the music, "What is this music?" "Why aren't there any words?" "But I don't know this one!!" Troy just kept turning up his music and the kids just kept talking to each other louder and louder. Good times. Finally, the music became a tune that the kids knew. With no prompting, the chatter and frivolity in the back seat turned to a sing-along and we heard two precious voices:

"America! America!
God shed His grace on thee.
And crown thy good,
With brotherhood,
From sea to shining sea."

Good times indeed.

Today, Riley continued his singing expertise:

Old McDonald had a farm,
E-I-E-I-O (what does that MEAN, anyway?)
And on that farm he had a Riley,
With a talk, talk here,
A talk, talk there. . . .

Then, feeling burdened by his jobs, continued:

Old McMommy had a farm,
And on that farm she had a Riley,
With a work, work here,
A work, work there. . . .

I have a good life.


Anonymous said...


I missed you last night sitting around inside the Becker's living room while the others were outside watching the fireworks! I'm glad you are finally able to see them up close and personal. Maybe someday I will get to see them again too.


Sarah said...

Melissa -- not a 4th goes by that I don't wish to be at the Beckers. And, funny, I never even think of the fireworks, just all of the church family (since you mention it, I guess it's b/c I never saw any of the fireworks!) Yeah, you're going to have to quit bringing babies into your life and home if you're ever going to get out of the house for the fireworks. We were actually miles away and didn't hear them, anyway.

Glad to know you're out there in cyber space! I'll be in Temple next week! (13th-15th) Hope to see you then!

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