Monday, July 5, 2010

Modern . . . Independence Day

You know, I'm not sure, in thinking upon my contemporary stories, that I've ever included a July 4th Celebration. I've got on in my 20s historical . . . and it was a lot of fun. In Chicago's Little Italy, it was a party filled with those who had chosen this country as their own and built families here. They played bocce ball and enjoyed a huge, neighborhood-wide picnic in the park.

I love seeing the traditions that have developed in different areas over time, though. Had my contemporary that takes place in Annapolis have stretched into July, I could imagine my characters braving the Historical Downtown area to perch on the seawall and watch the fireworks over the bay. Had I mentioned the holiday in my Outer Banks story, they would have braved the mosquitos to watch them over the sound.

As for me and my family? We braved the late night and took the kids to my parents', where we can sit in their yard and see the city's fireworks put off across the river at the park.

Now, I've been doing this for years. But this year was different. First because it's only the second time we've done it since having kids (given that the things start so long after bedtime . . .), but also because this year we were totally surrounded by fireworks, which thrilled my kiddos to no end. I wasn't sure how they'd do with the loud noises, but Xoe kept bouncing up and down, and Rowyn would just yell, "Boom! Pop! Lookee, lookee! Pink one! Green one!"

There were the main fireworks in front of us, yes. But also some on the mountain to our left. The neighbors put on a show to rival the park's to our left. And another neighbor behind us had some pretty impressive ones too. Half the time we kept swiveling our heads one way and then the other, totally surrounded by those beautiful bursting lights.

On Saturday, my church enjoyed a sermon tied into the holiday, and in Sabbath School we talked about the national spirit that accompanies a nation founded on faith. Sure, we also mentioned how the country as a whole has gotten away from that. But you know what? It's still there in our families. We still pray blessing upon the U.S. of A. And we still obey the word of one our founding fathers and celebrate our land's independence with bonfires and guns, with fireworks and feasting.

Hope everyone had an inspiring Fourth of July!

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