Happy Fourth of July

Happy Fourth of July

by The Mature Man

The American Flag and Fourth of JulyWhen I was a young man, the Fourth of July had very special meaning. For one, it was my Mother’s Birthday. So, as well as well wishes for my Mother, it also meant cake. Yes, I love my Mother, and I love cake too!

The Fourth of July also meant fireworks. well, not really fireworks per se, since my family was of more modest means. Actually we had sparklers, usually several boxes of them, and smoke bombs.

The sparklers we would throw into the sky, often to the dismay of my Mom and Dad, imitating the fireworks that we would see the more affluent kids would have. They would crackle and into the sky, then fall to the earth. Usually Dad would then warn, “make sure you get them off the grass before you forget them, and I mow one of them”.

Sure we had smoke bombs too, and we even had snakes. I loved snakes, they were always so funny to watch, but if you think about it, there wasn’t really that much to them.

Smoke bombs on the other hand, well if you lit enough of them at once, you could hide in a cloud of smoke. Just like what you might see a wizard, or a witch do on TV. Perhaps a magic act. Maybe “I Dream of Jeannie

As I grew older, the Fourth of July just became a reason to party. In my 20’s and 30’s, any reason to celebrate and have drinks was a good enough holiday for me. Heck, if I think back on it, I am pretty sure that we even celebrated Ground Hog’s day with a few shots of something alcoholic once, or twice.

In my later years, the Fourth of July became a day of physical exertion. Actually it was only strenuous the morning of the Fourth when I would run a 10K in the city that I was living in at the time. The Fourth is always hot, and even at 7 a.m., you would end the race drenched, worn out, and ready for a beer.

The months, weeks, and day leading up to the race often meant a lot of training was involved. Well, more just running, since I was not really that dedicated to the run so much. I was more about just finishing, and getting the race T-shirt. Don’t forget the bragging rights too! I did that race enough times to nearly fill up my T-shirt drawer.

Well, now in my later years, Independence Day is not so special anymore. Sure we still try to celebrate Mom’s Birthday, but this year we had it on the third of July, since my sisters were busy on the fourth. Yes, Mom’s day is the same day every year, but they still scheduled plans for the date.

Yes, the Fourth is still the day the USA celebrates its Independence, and yes you hear the pop and crack of fireworks everywhere. Actually truth be told, you hear the fireworks, firecrackers, and bottle rockets, for nights before, and after the holiday. They sure love the Fourth of July around here.

No, this year I found myself plan free. No party to attend, no drinking to do, no celebrating, no race, and no fireworks to throw into the air.

Yes, this seems to happen on more and more holidays these days. Many I find myself being by myself, not really knowing it’s a holiday at all. Maybe it’s time for me to take up running again?

What did you do for the Fourth of July this year? Post your activities, trips, or adventures in the space below.

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