Stars and Stripes Forever

As our nation celebrates the anniversary of its declaration of independence, I enjoy spending my Fourth of July holiday reflecting on tidbits of American nostalgia.

Last night, on the eve of Independence Day, I wandered through the surrounding neighborhoods on a customary bike excursion with my mother. We experienced that rare glimpse of a true America: cars of friends and family lined the streets, children played in well-kept yards, fathers flipped burgers on their grills, and mothers finished hanging decorations of of red, white and blue. Good nature and kindness were clearly apparent as we passed house after house, each host to a celebration of patriotism. It was a wonderful feeling.
The good feelings continued to abound today, as I began the day by attending my twentieth Howland Fourth of July Parade. This parade marked my sister’s last year of marching with the high school band in the parade, and she proudly played her bass drum down Howland Hill. It was also a family reunion of sorts, with nearly everyone from my father’s family present for the festivities, and my mother’s family as well. What a wonderful way to end the annual tradition, as my sister aims to be at the Air Force Academy this time next year, and I plan to be performing somehow, somewhere. Kudos to those who get the reference. =)

Post-parade, my mother and I again embarked on one of our daily bike rides. I love these rides; they make me appreciate our friendship and provide such a release after stressful days.

I suppose I had better get started on creating my special berry blend salad for the cookout at my grandparents’ home. I can’t wait: special chocolate cupcakes, traditional American cookout fare, and fresh summer fruit. Did I mention sparklers and watching various national concerts and fireworks displays? Of course, the company is what matters most.

God bless America.

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