Sunday, July 6, 2008

Remembering my 4th of July childhood....WARNING...LONG POST!

As the holiday weekend comes to a close today.... I sit here with my lap top in front of sheer tranquility and reflection....I love to reminisce about the good 'ol days, especially the 4th of July and how my family and I spent the day together when we were much younger.

I remember so well all the little details and how much fun it was to have our own little tradition. Early, early in the morning, my dad would wake up about 5 a.m. and go outside to hang up this huge American flag that we had. I could always remember hearing him fidgeting and clanking around with the handle because the holder was right outside the door near my bedroom window. You could hear the multiple gun firing salute from afar, honoring our war heroes, veterans, and military. Where we lived it was a very small, rural town - lots of acres of land, large homes, fields of crops - hay, farming ranches, strawberry and corn could gaze across our backyard and see our neighbors horses and cows. It was quite a scene!

Anyway, back to that morning. So after my dad put up the flag, that was kind of the signal for all the kids to get up, it was early, but we didn't mind, we knew it was time to get ready and get the cameras....a parade was coming our way and always passed and rounded the corner of our house. It was such a small town and the local parade WAS the big event....if we were in the mood, we would go outside to catch all the festivities and see the parade up close. Other times, we could just simply look out our window and see the events...but it was much better to go outside and be up close to all of it!

So while all the kids were busy with the parade - my favorite, btw, was all the taffy candy that was thrown by people on top of the floats - those yummy and flavorful salt water taffys! That's what I lived for - all those treats - the venues that had games, prizes, more candy, and pink cotton that's how I started liking pink, perhaps! ;)

My mom, on the other hand, was always busy in the kitchen making her infamous fruit bowl delight - and it wasn't just any fruit dish, it was exotic...she would make these awesome shapes out of watermelon, cantaloupe, and fresh honeydew. She had all of these fancy carving tools and accessories. She was great with all the food - my mom is a cook and crafter when it comes to food! She may not cook as much as she used to nowadays, but it's a skill she utilized very well back then. Somehow, she always knew....always knew that we would have 'unexpected' guests that would stop by later in the afternoon. She was always prepared with delicacies just in case!

It was always kind of sad when the parade and festivities slowed down for the day....people were making their way back to their homes to spend time with family and friends. The usually hot and muggy air would consume our afternoons and into the evening...the word 'lazy' would settle in. Naps were good.....we couldn't wait for nightfall for the fireworks....

We'd gather with lemonade and watermelon in our back patio to catch a glimpse of some of the local fireworks, some years we would stay outside later, and other years we'd clean up shop much earlier.

The evening always ended the same way, my utter thrill in always running into my room, turning off all the lights - it had to be pitch DARK! I would pull all of my curtains far out so that I had the entire view outside from my window....okay, how many cars THIS YEAR? That was the big many cars was I going to count - all the cars that were leaving the fireworks display to go home...they would ALL pass by our house - it was like a gigantic slew of car after was late, around 11 p.m. to midnight...people drove in a haste....and there I stood, with amazement and delight - it was just a joy for know kids, you're young, you find even the smallest things to occupy your mind with....and with each year, the count of cars ALWAYS had to be higher!!! It was like a world record, you know - always had to beat last years record!! LOL .

Sometimes, the counting got too much, I was tired from all the excitement of the day. I would often just slump my head and shoulders onto the bottom of the window sill, falling asleep quietly, oh, how I wanted to last long enough until I could not see any more headlights coming my way....because I knew then...that it was the closing....the very end of July 4th, the festivities had come to an end....and all that taffy and fun would not happen again for another year.....

It is the memories that we keep within us that makes our heart remember sweet it was....I can not wait to start a tradition with my own family and Chris as he gets older! Old enough to understand the meaning of tradition!

Enjoy the photo of my mom, dad, and I back in the late 70's.... I believe when this photo was taken, I was around 11 yrs. old.


thanh truc said...

hi tif, oh sweet memories! i think we all love the good old days...
did u remember that i made the dress that mom was wearing??? :))

Tiffany said...

I are quite the seamstress! I still can't talk you into sewing a dress for me, hah? ;)

thanh truc said...

sooo sorry :(