We’re doing things a bit differently this year.
Instead of a huge family gathering around a lake by a cornfield, we’ll be hanging out in the back yard with fewer family members and a wading pool. I’m still expecting loads of laughter and memories to file away forever. There will be a bonfire … tables laden with food … fireworks and sparklers for the kids. And also …
Movies … shown on the side of the barn. There are very few drive-in movie theaters around here — none, in fact. But that hasn’t stopped us from enjoying a little outdoor entertainment now and again. Using a projector and stereo speakers, we’re set up for vintage Looney Tunes viewing. I also rented The Long, Long Trailer starring Lucy & Dezi.
The kids will stretch out on blankets in the grass and the adults will scoot their chairs around to view the big screen. There will be popcorn and most likely, mosquitoes. Best of all … memories.
July 4th has always been a magical holiday in my family. Grandpa had fireworks — loads of them — every year. I don’t know exactly where he went to get them (though my brother probably does), but each year it was a spectacular display that prompted a year’s worth of “oohs” and “aahhhs” from everyone in attendance. Eventually the party moved to Aunt Bernice’s pond. Everyone loves a pond party … especially kids who can watch fireworks while floating on the pontoon boat made from strapped together barrels and plywood.
In recent years, extended family gathered around another lake on another farm. Tents were pitched and campers plugged in and fires burned late into the night. Fishing commenced at the crack of dawn and children stayed awake into the night. There was once an impromptu corn roast at 2 a.m. There were fireworks and golf cart rides. There was too much food for 50 people to consume and nice, strong coffee first thing in the morning. There were stories and games and Sunday morning worship services held in the great outdoors. It was a time, out of time, when busy lives halted and family time held sacred.
And this year brings new traditions to be retold in stories of the future. Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, be sure to file away the special moments and funny instances and spectacular seconds of fun in the sun. Memorize the smiles on the faces of those you love. Remember the way the sky looked behind the pops of color. Don’t forget the sound of laughter and the exclamations of delight.
Celebrate each and every moment … with a BANG!