When I was growing up the fourth of July was a big celebration with our family. Mom would be up really early, mixing up blueberry pancakes and frying bacon. We always had family and friends there for great food, swimming in the pond and of course the fireworks.
My mother was an only child so having six children was a big deal for her. And being surrounded by lots of family and many friends from the church and the neighborhood was something she (and all of us) looked forward to.
There are many memories I have. Some are the times when I was still at home, and others are from my young adulthood … a mother myself. In those later days, we would gather at the cabin that my parents built after I was married. It was on the land by the pond that we had already enjoyed swimming in. Friends would come and set up tents, bringing food and games to play. One of our friends was a Boy Scout leader who would bake a cake in a hole he dug in the ground.
My husband makes fun of how we called the fireworks at night “Night Works” but that was just what we called them. They were what we saw at night. The others were set off in the daytime.
I miss my family and those great times even more on the Fourth of July than I do at Christmas, or any other time of the year. My mom passed away in 2004 and it seems our family gatherings dwindled away after that. Now my siblings and I all have our own children and grandchildren and some of us manage to get together, although this year, we are many miles away from our children – both Fred’s and mine. My daughter, who is closest, is off camping with her family and some friends, which is wonderful.
So, I am here today, enjoying the memories we have had. I am not feeling sorry for myself at all but am just remembering with smiles and I’m looking forward to being with some friends this evening. I wrote this silly little poem a couple of years ago when I was missing my family on the Fourth of July and I thought I would share it here today. Here it is:
Memories of The 4th of July
For my Family
I sit on the deck admiring the clear, blue sky
Thinking of memories on this 4th of July
Of blueberry pancakes at the crack of dawn
Mom’s hair up in curlers – getting her festive mood on!
Her family was big and we were all there
Laughing and swimming, we had not a care.
Cat jumped into the plate of my brother
Pinwheels flying straight toward me and another.
There was camping and cooking and firecrackers popping
And the food! All the food … there was just no stopping!
There were hamburgers, hotdogs; a cake in the ground?
Homemade ice cream and watermelon seeds to be found
And to see who could spit them the furthest, no doubt,
often spitting at each other, which caused some loud shouts
Of protest, but really, we all had great fun,
Dodging watermelon seeds …
We were all on the run!
Of course there was fishing and horseshoes and card games like Pig,
And did I mention the firecrackers with booms that were BIG?
Such fun times together!
But, of course, there was more!
The grand finale’, as we sat by pond’s shore
Ooohing and aaahing as the “night works” were lit.
They weren’t set to music but they were a hit!
I remember all this as I sit here today
Missing my family who are so far away.
But I smile as I think of fun times in the past
And the love of our family that will forever last!
Happy 4th of July!
Have a wonderful, safe Independence Day, my friends!
May peace and grace be abundant for you.
I am a woman with many interests, yet most of them flow into what is my source of life, my very breath, the reason I do what I do. I am Called. That means, for me, I have experienced a call on my life to serve as a pastor to God’s people. In that calling I love to write, to speak, to lead, and to teach. My deepest desire is to pass on to others what I have experienced in my own journey of grace. I am human, and in that humanity I have known passion and joy, sin and disgrace. Yet, in God’s love I have known nothing but love and redirection and total grace.