Sunday, July 3, 2011

Happy 4th of July

Sitting here in 92 degree heat, which is VERY warm for us on the Monterey Bay, I'm thinking about what the 4th means to me. I remember as a child the huge fireworks displays that we went to. As a member of our local Rotary Club, my dad was often the one who helped set off those big displays. We would go to family friends and have a b-b-q with the hot dogs and the kids running wild until all hours of the night.

Later it was partying with college friends and trying not to blow ourselves up as we lit whatever explosive device we could lay our hands on. Since I still have all five fingers and toes, I was very successful!

With our children we continued the tradition. Living in San Jose, CA there was a huge community-wide event downtown, with live bands and lots of fireworks. Often we'd take public transportation, anticipating the crowds which were huge. We would also have b-b-q's, again with our friends and their children, who would run wild but not all night! Fun and family and excitement for the day.

Moving to the coast we now have a different experience. No fireworks allowed. Too dangerous. We, though, often ignore the law and, listening to the police scanner, would have our own fireworks in the driveway. The beaches are war zones with out of towners coming over the hill and leaving the beaches trashed with firework debris. Not a pleasant sight, but always cleaned up the next morning by the locals.

We are lucky enough to have the World's Shortest 4th of July Parade here in Aptos. Short in walking length, long in endurance. Hokey. Very small town. We have the politicians, the little league teams, the high school spirit teams, the beach chair brigade, the dogs, the dance teams, the Klingons, and, again this year, the KPIG marching band, decked out in costume (pig noses), back after an absence of several years. It is fun and family oriented, and local and just a blast.

This year I created a couple of patriotic pieces. One for a couple who always hosts a party, usually a day or two before the 4th, and a table runner for me. I thought, why not. I'm usually making things for everyone else, this could be fun.

So, happy 4th to all of you. Keep safe and sane. Light some fireworks for me!