From a photograph by Solomon D. Butcher of four daughters of rancher Joseph M. Chrisman, at their sod house in Custer County, Nebraska. From left to right, Harriet, Elizabeth, Lucie, and Ruth. Photographed in 1886.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Happy 4th of July

Celebrate!



I wish you a happy (and safe!) celebration of freedom and democracy. I hope your day includes a slightly blackened hot dog and a slice of watermelon -- or whatever food you enjoy on this holiday. (Hmm. I wonder if it's too late to start a 4th of July cheesecake tradition in my family?)

This fun fireworks page is perfect for celebrating the 4th of July or any other day. The sparks won't set any fires, and you control the show. (Thanks for sending the link, Gloria.)

My cousin Elaine sent an interesting link that's also appropriate for the holiday. It's the homepage of an Ames, Iowa artist whose ongoing project is Freedom Rock. At Memorial Day each year, he paints a new patriotic mural on the rock. It's quite impressive. To see ten years of murals, visit the link that's titled "The Rock."

Patriotic heart My mother's cookouts

My mother loved to cook out on the 4th of July. When I was little we didn't have a barbecue grill, so Mama prevailed upon my dad every year to create a cooker with cement blocks and oven racks. Later on, I remember Mama cooking on an iron grill that my dad welded for her in his shop.

One 4th of July evening, I stepped on a hot rack that had been taken off one of Mama's outside cookers. It was twilight, and I was running around barefoot with my sparkler -- probably not a wise thing to do, all in all.

My mom coated the sole of my foot with slightly-beaten egg white. She had read that egg white was a good home remedy for burns.

The egg white must have worked because I honestly don't remember my foot hurting at all. It's likely that it was just a minor burn. I didn't like to wear shoes in the summer time, so my foot leather was pretty tough.

Love of country

Don't forget what we're celebrating on the 4th. It's a day to remember our national history and to show gratitude and respect for those who've worked and fought to keep our country free.

I don't express my love for the United States as often as I should. I remember the times I returned to the U.S. after many months of living elsewhere. I had a lump in my throat and tears of joy in my eyes when my feet touched American soil again. I do understand why people kiss the soil of their homeland when they return from their wanderings.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

When my husband and I returned home after his tour of duty in the Army in Germany everyone in the plane clapped and it also brought tears to my eyes and I too felt like kissing the ground. There must have been a lot of GIs on the plane. There really is no place like "home". We like to celebrate the 4th in our small central USA town starting in the morning with a turtle race that our grandchildren often participate in. It concludes at night with a fireworks show. Sammie

Genevieve said...

Your small town 4th of July sounds wonderful. I would love to be there for it, sometime.

I went with my kids to the fireworks in Hopkinsville at the fair. It was a pretty good show, and we reminisced about other Fourth of July fireworks we'd attended when the kids were little.

Happy anniversary, Sammie -- or at least, I think I remember that your anniversary is on July 3. How many years has it been now? It must be about 35?

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CONTENTMENT: Keep your heart free from hate, your mind from worry, live simply, expect little, give much, sing often, pray always, forget self, think of others and their feelings, fill your heart with love, scatter sunshine. These are the tried links in the golden chain of contentment.
(Author unknown)

IT IS STILL BEST to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasure; and to be cheerful and have courage when things go wrong.
(Laura Ingalls Wilder, 1867-1957)

Thanks for reading.