Thursday, July 01, 2010

2nd Half of 2010 Starts Today

July will be a busy month.  Let's see, today Canada is celebrating its birthday, we're celebrating National Boating Day, and Sunday we celebrate America's birthday.  

Queen Elizabeth is visiting Canada for this year's birthday celebration.  Happy Birthday, Canada, our kindred neighbor.    

Just imagine all the bbq's, picnics, river outings, fireworks, baseball games, parades, flying of flags, roasting of hotdogs and marshmallows, and campouts going on.  Man alive, we have such great memories of going to the river with friends for the weekend when we were young, and when I think of all the stuff we used to drag along with us, I don't know how we did it.  Coolers, tents, clothes, coffee pots, snacks, meat to grill, eggs and bacon for breakfast, sun screen, tanning lotion, sleeping bags, pillows, saws to cut firewood, on and on and on.  We took boats out to a sand bar, floated around on inflatables, and spent the whole weekend in the sun (and sometimes in miserable rain).  Most everyone tried water skiing at one time or other.  Sometimes the sunburns got pretty nasty, but who really cared.  We knew our skin would eventually peel off and heal up.  The food and the booze and the laughter made those years truly unforgettable.  When it came time to go home, we had to pack and load everything up in the boats, then we had to unload it all and re-load it in our vehicles, drive about 50 miles home and unpack everything again.  All we wanted to do was get in the house, take a shower, wash the sand off of our bodies, put on clean clothes, and cozy into cool sheets on a real bed.  When the alarm clock rang the next morning, we were tired but we headed back to the workplace red as beets, satisfied knowing we'd made the most of a few days off.

Needless to say, that same energy is no longer with us.  This 4th we're staying close to home.  Entertaining friends and watching the thousands descend upon our town for the Sunday night fireworks.  We have a local group that organizes and displays a sky full of ooohs and aaahs, and we still oooh and aaah at them.  I can remember as a little girl our family coming to town for the fireworks, and I'd crawl up on the car hood and lean back against the windshield to watch the sky colorfully light up above me.

The booms of firecrackers and cherry bombs and lord knows what other explosives will be echoing over us the next few days.  But, that's what makes America's birthday so special.  Our America resounds its freedoms, its rights, and its privileges.  I feel so incredibly blessed and am so thankful that my ancestors left their native lands in Europe in hopes of improving life for themselves and their children.  So many people went through so much for me to be where I am.
As I look out my front window, the trees are swaying, the sun is shining, and life is good.  We bought a new flag for this weekend, and also have two half circle red-white-blue banners on our front porch.  Guess when it comes right down to it, my heart and soul keep patriotism at the top of my priority list right next to spirituality.
America, you are so beautiful!  And, Canada, you are such a good neighbor to us!