Thursday, July 2, 2009

Independence Day

Hey all, Happy early 4th of July to all our readers out there. Wanted to take an opportunity to examine thoughts and memories surrounding the Fourth.

The question was asked on the radio the other morning as I was driving into work what the most memorable 4th of July you ever had was. There were several that popped into my mind, and I wanted to share one or two of the most special memories I had with you.

The first most memorable 4th of July I had was when I was a kid. I think I may have been around 3rd grade-ish, because I vaguely remember Spearville afterwards. We happened to be in Kingman. My parents and grandparents were there, and I think I remember my uncles being there as well. We were popping off my favorite firework at the time: Black Cats. I remember seeing all the boys sitting there lighting them and then throwing them up in the air to pop. This was amazing, beings how I was lighting them via punk on the ground and running from them before they made the loud "POP"-ping noise. I began lighting them in my hand as well, and found delight to find they popped exactly as the grown-ups did... in the air. It was so much more exciting! Well, as my parents were supervising me (like good parents would around fireworks at such a young age), they told me NOT to do this!! I couldn't believe it. I decided that I was going to continue doing it... after all, I had shown them I could do it already. They said "Don't come crying to us if you get hurt." Well, as most of my stories continue, I did get hurt. There came that one firecracker that had the fuse that burned quicker than the rest, or maybe it just had a shorter fuse. To this day, I still cannot figure it out. In any case, it went off in my hand. My hand was covered with blood blisters, and when I cried, as my parents always did, comforted me and took care of me. I learned my lesson, and from that day on stayed away from the Black Cats!

I also remember being in the front yard at Spearville, and having my parents light Sparkler after Sparkler for me (what, you think they would turn me loose after an incident like that?). I played as the neighbors' fireworks popped in the dim hours, practicing my ribbon dancing skills and praying one day they would make ribbon dancing with Sparklers an Olympic sport.

The fact that my Dad was out there with us now particularly resonates with me. I now hate the celebration of the 4th of July in the manner that America has chosen. I enjoy watching the wonderous fireworks displays, but absolutely hate all the popping that the Black Cats invariably make the week before and weeks after the holiday. Now while I am working, as soon as I hear the pop, I immediately am transported to that shitty, tiny, cockroach infested apartment where bullets flew. I am taken back to the time when I waited, uncertain of my destiny, for authorities to "rescue" me. My time of dodging bullets lasted a few mere hours... I cannot even imagine what it must have been like to have dodged bullets for days, months, and even years.

I cannot begin to understand the strength that Veterans hold. I only know my reaction and understand that what I went through was not in a foreign land where help could not possibly arrive soon enough (and was often an uncertainty).

I want to take this moment to thank my family and all Veterans who so courageously fought for our freedom, so that our Independence Day could remain.

Also, I want to hear about YOUR most memorable 4th of July. What is something that sticks out in your mind??? As always, Happy 4th of July, and I pray all is well with you and yours.

1 comment:

Bean and Doo said...

My redneck family once had a bing cherry pit spitting contest (for distance, of course.) Adam and I are resurrecting that tradition-- we purchased the cherries this morning!

Also, we used to celebrate the 4th @ Grandma's...with all of my aunts, uncles, cousins. She lives right beside a wheat field. I cannot count on both hands the number of times that field caught fire--most likely due to bottle rockets (illegally smuggled from MO.)

Those are precious memories!