Monday, June 30, 2008

Happy 4th of July

Independence Day is the holiday which I equate most with recreation. Everything about this holiday rotates around celebrating outdoors.

I grew up in a small farming community and it was always tradition to get up early and go to the flag-raising ceremony. I loved singing the patriotic songs and as I grew older and learned more of the significance of our flag and our freedom, I enjoyed it even more. Watching those red and white stripes rise high into the clear blue sky brought a surge of pride and joy to my heart. I still feel so lucky and blessed to live in the land of the free, the home of the brave.

As a family, we always attended the local 4th of July parade. I have taken my own little family to the parade several times as well. Our parade has all of the customary floats, clowns, horses, etc. but it also has tractors and the “Young Farmer of the Year” award was and is still actually a pretty big deal.

After the parade, a fun family picnic out on our patio was a great tradition. We often played water games, baseball, volleyball, Frisbee, and sometimes we headed up to the Snake River. Boating is a great sport that is enjoyed by many on the 4th of July. Amidst the sweltering heat, the cool river was a welcome relief for swimmers, jet skiers, water skiers, wake boarders, etc.

And we can’t forget fireworks. Are fireworks a sport? If you ask my uncle, he’d probably say YES. We drove out to his farm which is about 30 miles from the nearest town and shot off loads of fireworks in the cow pasture. He even had a homemade cannon that rattled the windows of his home when it went off. Out there in the great outdoors, the stars were nearly as bright as the fireworks and we had a great time.

I’m grateful for the memories I have of this great holiday and for the memories I’m making with my own family.

I hope you have a happy 4th of July. I hope you get a chance to run around with a sparkler and write your name in the steamy night air. I hope you get to have a great picnic with people you love and maybe even have a “tank war” with those little tank fireworks later on. I hope that you enjoy the sport of Independence Day and remember how great our United States of America is!
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