It's interesting to me that at 234, we're still celebrating our "independence" as a country, when we're ever more interdependent on the nations of this world. 4th of July has always been sort of a "non-holiday" for me. The middle of summer is here. As a kid we were usually back from a fantastic vacation in northern Minnesota, and the post-vacation blues sorta stole the thunder of the 4th. When I started working it was a day off. After college, when I was still close with a group of high school friends, we would go to a local park with beach for the day, grill and watch fireworks on the West Side of St. Paul late in the evening. Those years were probably the most "festive" 4ths of July for me. Even though I've acknowledged feeling this way about fireworks. This year my 4th o' July included these:
homemade blueberry and raspberry triffle
ha! yes, that's me holding a sparkler
this incredible sky
reflected in the window of my childhood home
I recently told a friend that I'm not always proud to be a citizen of the United States, but I'm always grateful to be a citizen of this country. 234 years ago a group of men decided a new world would be built on freedom. . .for a few at that time. . .then a few more years later. . . and then a few more some years later. But really, 234 years later, there are still citizens who aren't free. I guess no ideation is perfect. Yet tonight I was able to drive safely to my parents' home, prepare food I found in abundance and at a price I could afford, cooled my body in an air-conditioned home and watched fireworks on a TV. I could walk outside and see the beauty of nature. And I can openly, without fear of government retaliation, share my views about the imperfections I see in my homeland. These are no small feats. And realities that do make me proud. Happy 4th.