Each July 4th I remember one of the many reasons I decided I wanted to spend my life with my husband.
My dad’s health was failing fast. One of the things that bothered him the most was that he couldn’t see well enough to do the Cryptoquote in the daily newspaper, read, watch TV, etc. My mom would carefully print out the Cryptoquote clues on a large piece of paper in black magic marker so that he could see them. He was delighted with her for this and spent much of each day trying to solve it while my mom worked the NY Times crossword puzzle AND the cryptoquote.
My father’s favorite holiday was Independence Day. He loved getting a big, long string of ladyfinger firecrackers. They’re the little ones tied together in a long double string. You’re supposed to untie them and shoot them off one at a time. My dad would take the whole string, light it, throw it out in the yard and enjoy the seemingly endless explosions, laughing.
One of his last years he was very depressed. My then ‘boyfriend’ and I went out and bought fireworks for a back yard display. We of course got ladyfingers, TWO strings, sparklers, my favorite ‘snakes,’ and lots of inexpensive night time fireworks. My husband-to-be worked so hard that evening, setting off one firework at a time. It was so hot my poor guy was dripping. My dad’s grins split his face. He could SEE them! He thanked us over and over again, saying it was the best 4th of July he’d ever had. Our display teed off a neighbor on the next street, but we didn’t care. If I hadn’t already fallen in love with my husband, I would have that night. I will never forget his kindness to my dad.
Now my husband and I enjoy the friendly (I hope!) competition of some down-in-the-valley behind us neighbors, each trying to outdo the other in wonderful fireworks. We sit on the back deck, put our feet up on the railing, drink our cold drinks (water this year – we’re dieting) and enjoy the show. I’m not sure if our yellow lab, Amber, will be afraid of the fireworks or not. If she is, we’ll put her inside. Sweet elderly Molly is so hard of hearing now she might not even be able to hear them!
I hope you are with family and friends this celebration day.
Happy Independence Day!