I took advantage of the long weekend with Monday being a holiday to take last Thur & Fri off as well stretching the vacation time into as much as possible. It has been lovely. I spent lots of time with girlfriends, the husband and the puppies. We caught up on movie watching, magazine and book reading but mostly just enjoying not working and not running around like a crazy person. I have also slept past 8am every morning. A fairly big deal for me.
On the 4th of July I actually went to brunch and saw SATC 2 with a girlfriend. Hubby and I had junk food and watched District 9 as fireworks displays around here are a madhouse. Not a traditional 4th but relaxing none the less. But, back to the actual holiday.
I was shocked at how many kids and families were in the mall on the 4th of July. While it's true that I have pretty much always hated the heat and wanted to spend as much time swimming as possible, I loved the summer. Summer was spent mostly in Kansas with my grandparents and cousins. We had lots of large family gatherings over the summer and none were bigger than the 4th of July extravaganza. Fireworks were purchased, often before with a few emergency runs to the stands as the poppers and snakes got low, tons of food was made and all of us kids were outside. Seriously, if we went in for anything but the bathroom or a drink there was an adult somewhere telling us to get back outside.
After a dinner with lots of hotdogs, hamburgers, homemade ice cream and soda we all started getting antsy for the big show. My grandparents had a huge side yard of lawn where we gathered around the edge while my Dad and uncles lit the larger fireworks. As we got older we got to do a few of the bottle rockets but all the really good stuff was reserved for the adults which was fine by me. Once when I was really little I grabbed the wrong end of the punk burning my hand making me slightly nervous about the entire lighting procedure (also, I have never figured out how to work a lighter. Really.) Anyway, I loved sitting in the lawn chairs with my Mom and the rest of the family watching the show. There was some serious hilarity that ensued as grown men were chased down the street by fireworks (true story), fireworks that completely fizzled and some that were dazzling for the fairly low end firework offerings available pre-internet around Eureka, Kansas.
All of this is a fairly lengthy explanation for being incredibly sad at all of the kids that now think celebrating the 4th of July means watching cartoons in the air conditioning. I know I shouldn't be narrow minded in making my relatively idyllic 4th of July memories those that everyone should have but they are what I think of as being quintessentially small town American. Luckily, those folks in Kansas still know how to party.