Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Happy Fourth, from the Sixth!

I have four distinct memories of the Fourth of July.

The first was when I was a wee tike and I had my first chalk board. I would fill the whole board up with pictures, words, and doodles, erase and then start over. We were on family vacation with my mom's brood and that included 18 very boisterous cousins, not counting me. Seeing that they were a little louder than me,  my dad pulled out several different colors of chalk and showed me how to draw fireworks. Start with a little dot in the middle and go from there. I filled that chalkboard with more fireworks that filled the sky. In my eyes, it was beautiful.

The second was when I was in college. For some reason, the fourth always made me think of my dad. No idea, but it does. Around 5:30, I realized that this would be the first Fourth of July that I would not see any fireworks and it made me really, really sad. A friend was a member of the Athens Country Club and surprised with a trip up there around 8 to watch the fireworks, so I would not miss a year. We sat on the hill by the Number 1 tee box and watched the boom, boom, boom of the little dots exploded into colors. It was hot and humid, but there was not one other place I wanted to be.

My third was also in college. It was the year before. We were spending the summer at the beach in our very old beach cottage. The ramshackle place has asbestos tiling on the exterior, no phone, no central a/c, and nothing but fun, fun, fun. After one too many cervezas, we thought it an excellent idea to get up on the bar stool, step ONTO the grill and pull ourselves up to the roof. Brilliant, I know. We got up there, with our cooler, and laid back with our arms behind our heads. Being one street back from the beach, we could see every, um, well-educated person popping off more fireworks than they had dollars in their bank account. From the north, there was a fireworks show at The Landing, from the south, fireworks were exploding over the pier. Behind, above, below, everywhere. Everywhere the little dots spiraled into the air and ballooned into different colors. 

My last distinct memory was this year. It took my three best and put them all together. My family. A sweet friend, and an explosion of color wherever you looked.

Husband held Baby Girl and she stared so intently at the fireworks. At points during the show, she would hold up her index finger and point with an, "Ohhhh" on her lips. No matter where we turned on the roof, we saw thousands of fireworks exploding in the sky around us. We held hands and held her and kissed. 

"I love you, Husband."

"Wife, I love you. Thank you for coming with me."

"I would not have missed it."

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