Last summer was our first 4th of July overseas. I spent the day stealing several moments to scroll through Facebook, wistfully reading through status updates of friends who were headed to cookouts or neighborhood picnics, Independence Day parades, and eyeing their plans to watch local fireworks displays that night. I was jealous…and more than a little bit homesick. Nick often jokes that I'm "America's #1 patriot" and, when it comes to the 4th of July, he's right!
|"Captain Mike" leads the Independence Day parade |
in my old neighborhood in Ohio.
Growing up in a small town in Wisconsin, one of my favorite days of the year was the 4th of July, when my mom spent the entire afternoon popping a giant paper grocery bag full of salty, buttery popcorn that would double as dinner and a treat when watching the fireworks later that night from the high school football field. Years later as a teenager in Ohio, our neighborhood began the terrific tradition of decorating bicycles, wagons and lawnmowers in red, white and blue; parading them up and down the streets in an unofficial Independence Day parade, complete with a “lawnmower brigade” of several dads pushing walk-behind lawnmowers that stopped to perform military-style drills at points along the route! And for the decade that I lived in
Washington, D.C., not even the oppressive heat and humidity could squelch the patriotism I’d feel while watching the fireworks from the lawn of the U.S. Capitol building, beneath the Washington Monument or along the banks of the Potomac River across from the Lincoln Memorial.
Ahh, there I go, getting wistful again.
Anyway, instead of sitting at home scrolling through Facebook and feeling sorry for myself again this Independence Day, I’ve found a cookout to attend. And you can come, too!