I have developed the reputation of being a fun sponge. I don’t mind, I think it’s funny.
But to be honest, I tend to be either serious about everything or just plain negative. And usually, it’s not something that I plan or try to do on purpose. I just tend to think “realistically”.
And that doesn’t mean I don’t like to have fun either. My fun just tends to be different than everyone elses.
All that just to whine about the upcoming Independence Day. It’s been a few years since I’ve had the money to buy fireworks and I really dislike that.
My family was pretty close growing up and we would get together for almost everything. There were very few occasions that didn’t warrant a cookout or game night or something.
But the Fourth of July! That was bigger than Christmas. Being “red neck”, country folk probably had a little bit to do with that. And having a family history of veterans in every generation did even more to trigger our sense of pride in our nation.
Each father in the family would make a trip to whichever fireworks stand was their favorite and pick out the same things every year. And then around 3 or 4 in the afternoon, we’d all start showing up at grandma and grandpa’s house to start the grill up.
Me and my cousins that were old enough, would all have our 22 rifles or bb guns and we’d see who was the best shot. Sometimes my dad, grandpa or uncle would come join us with a bigger gun and decimate our targets so they could have a good laugh at us.
Other times, grandma would get the ice cream maker all set up and we’d take turns cranking on that handle. We always had water melon on the front porch accompanied by a seed spitting contest.
Right at sundown, all the boxes of fireworks would appear in a row in the yard and we’d all go poke through and see how good the show was gonna be.
Once we got older, my cousins and I were the ones buying all the fireworks. Which was fine with us, we knew what to get for the best show and what stands sold what we needed.
But as it goes with life, we all got jobs, graduated high school, started families of our own. And everyone just stopped getting together.
We still see each other around, but I miss the cookout and birthday parties that we had every month. And I’m sad that my own kids aren’t getting to experience the same childhood that I had.
In the end, I can probably fix that. But I’ve gotten pretty lazy and that would be a lot of work.
So, Happy Independence Day! Enjoy the times with family and friends while you can.