Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Happy 4th of July

My mom and dad were patriots.  My dad retired as a Lieutenant Colonel from the Air Force Reserve, where he served after the end of World War II. They loved the United States and always celebrated the 4th in some way.  When they were living in Redwood City, CA. and my dad was working at the weather bureau, they would go up to the flat roof of the building and watch the fireworks from there.  When he retired from the weather bureau they would attend the 4th of July parade in Redwood City.  At their home in Hornbook, CA. they would march in the parade representing the VFW.

Chris and I were fortunate to be able to spend a few 4ths with the folks.  One year, when our daughter was about 3, we viewed the fireworks from the roof of the weather bureau building with them.  I think that was my favorite 4th.  Another year, when the kids were older, we watched the parade.  It was crowded and we didn’t have much of a view.  But the funniest time we had with them was when we parked in the weeds outside of the Yreka City, CA stadium.  We could see a few colorful fireworks now and then, which reached higher than the fence.   We had a good view of the weeds however!

Chris and I had some good and some funny memories of our 4ths after we were married.  When our daughter was 2 we were in Virginia visiting my high school classmate and her husband.  They graciously bought her some sparklers.  She loved the sparkles.

Then, when we were living in Spokane, WA during Expo ’74, fireworks would be set off every night when the exhibitions closed.  That year they had a fireworks show at Joe Albi stadium on the 4th for which we were able to get tickets.

In past years in Spokane there would be a fireworks display over Shadle Park on the north side of Spokane.  So expecting the fireworks as usual and especially to celebrate the 200-year birthday of our country in 1976, a crowd gathered in the park.  We spread out blankets and waited and waited and waited.  Nothing happened.  People began leaving.  Finally we gave up and went home.  We learned later that the fireworks had been set off over the weekend.  There was not one fireworks show in Spokane on July 4, 1976 in celebration of our country's bicentennial!

Another humorous occasion was in July of 1999.  I had planned to live in my son’s rental house in Spokane, while he and his roommates were away for the summer.  Meanwhile, Chris was going to sail to Tahiti on our 40’ sailboat with a couple of guys.  I hadn’t planned to see him until he had sailed on to Australia or wherever he decided to sail.  I was forwarding his satellite e-mails to a group of people who were interested in his adventures.  Suddenly, he sent me an e-mail that he was coming to Spokane from Tahiti, and that I should meet him at the airport.  When he arrived he said that we had to rush back to Tahiti so we could celebrate Bastille Day on July 14.  We hustled and arrived in Papeete on July 13.  On the 14th nothing happened.  I don’t know if it was the language barrier or what but it seems that they had celebrated a week or so earlier!

We had some good times celebrating the 4th with our Port Orchard cousins when they would cordially invite us for picnics.

Here is a blog which sums up the 4th of July for me:

How do you celebrate the 4th?  What are your best memories?

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