Independence Day

There’s so many coolers in the backyard that they replace the chairs and every one of them is a treasure chest filled with satisfaction on ice. The lawn games that only require one hand are out and the challengers wait their turn from the peanut gallery. Time to fire up the grill!

The stereo can’t compete with the laughter or the excited voices of storytellers. Kids run in feral packs and get away with dessert for dinner - mom and dad are too relaxed to pick that battle today. There’s twenty plastic bowls in vibrant colors on the picnic table - each containing the pride of a different kitchen. There are over ten different dips and enough chips to fill a kiddie pool. It’s an impressive spread, and the sight causes heads to nod together like a stadium wave. Friends tell old jokes and reunite like ketchup and mustard on a hot dog.

A day off from work on a Wednesday, everyone gathered together outside and enjoying the weather like a beer commercial made honest. “It’s been too long,” are the words in each hug and handshake, and as we celebrate an independent nation and summer’s apex, we remember the good times together.

By the time the sun nestles down into the bright pastels of its bedtime, the kids, too busy to feel tired, run around with chocolate on their cheeks and sparklers in their hands, spelling out their names in the air. It’s almost time for the big show.

A citronella scent hangs in the air as blankets are spread out on the lawn and cuddled up on. Popcorn is passed around and a chorus of cans snap open and echo across the field. Music is turned up while everyone waits for the fireworks to explode into color and crackle and when they finally start, booming out of cannons, so does the wonder applause of oohs and ahhs at all the surprising brilliance - the whole nation having a good time in a single day.

The night breeze wipes the heat from foreheads after a full day spent not working and the night ends with a bang!

Happy Fourth of July!