Rick Charlie


WEEHAWKEN, NJ - JULY 4: People watch fireworks light up the sky over New York City on July 4, 2013 in Weehawken, New Jersey. July 4th is a national holiday with the nation celebrating its 238th birthday. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)

Holidays – Ya gotta love em – Cept when you don’t.


If you know me, you understand that Independance Day is my favorite holiday.  The celebration, the food, parades, fireworks, family, friends, parties, fun  (did I mention the food?) There is so much to love about this day!

As a child, it was all so wondrous! First watching the majesty of the parade goers, then later decorating your bike and actually BEING in the parade!  My dad had a convertible, so we were often in parades carrying some “dignitary” of the day.  It was so fun having all those people wave to you!

Fireworks were such an amazing thing!  HOW do they get those things to make those shapes, those colors, those loud booms!  And the ones at home?  Well, when I was a kid the only place one could get REAL fireworks was in Tennessee.  Local roadside places only had things that sparked or smoked.  Once every couple of years, we treked through the “Volunteer State” and my dad would spend a small fortune on things that zoomed, boomed, banged and generally blew up.  We were both the hit of the block, and the scourge to the scrooges.

OH THE FOOD!!!  Brats and burgers and dogs all grilled to perfection!  Corn on the cob dripping with butter, and the perfect watermelon mixed with blueberries (had to make it festive).  Cakes with RWB frosting, and Blueberry PIE!!!  For the fireworks it was always Grandpa Graffs Swiss cream soda and caramel corn!

Oh, and remember these?  It wasn’t the 4th of July until you went to Ben Franklin’s and got one.

Sparking Spinner

When there was a lull in all the action, you cooled off in the pool or the lake.  Playing Marco Polo, and tossing around the nerf ball.  Diving for pennies, skipping rocks, and doing cannonballs were all a must.  Such fun!

Growing up, one of the best parts (I’m learning as an adult), –  It was all planned for, cooked, prepared, and done.  I didn’t have to do a THING except show up.  BIG HUGE thanks to my mom for that!  Barb made ALL the holidays special!

This year, my youngest is sporting a migraine.  NOT a fun thing to have on any holiday, but especially this one (poor guy).  No bangs, booms or loud parades.  He is pretty much shut in his room with the lights out. 🙁

It got me thinking.  How many others out there are finding themselves with a bummer of a holiday?

– Those with no family (or no family they are able to get together with).

– Those with few friends, or are unable to be with, or even invited to be with them.

– Those who this is a first holiday without a dear person in their life.

– Those just too ill to participate.

– Those who just can’t afford a trip to the lake, or a big cookout.

– Those who HAVE to work on this day.

I’m sure there are many more for this list that I have not thought of.

This is the first year I have missed a parade I think in my life (my middle decided that at 15, sleeping in was more of what she wanted than a boring old parade).  But I’m all good.

So, as you party and consume today (like the good American you are), as you take that trip to the lake, or pool, or families/friends house, take a moment and remember those who can’t, or won’t because of their circumstance.  I love the holidays!  But there may be some in your circle today, who just aren’t feeling it.  Take a moment, and remember them too.

Peace and Love to you all!  Happy 4th of July!
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