Okay, he wasn’t there in person, but his spirit and love for America sure was.
I spent the Fourth of July 2021 in Florida. A state that is so vastly superior to the blue dungeon I came from that it barely is worth mentioning. Until, that is, you celebrate a patriotic holiday here.
Morning was church. Love my little church in the Everglades. Small congregation, no big screens or fog machines, and the band is a piano and a guitar with an occasional dulcimer thrown in. They normally have a second service at six in the evening, (which we don’t attend) but yesterday the second service was cancelled, and instead the entire congregation gathered at the home of a member for a “bring a dish” dinner, fireworks, volleyball, jumpy house (I was not allowed in, something about it being for the kids) and a couple of pools.
Dinner was great. So was our conversation. Like these events everywhere, the vets all find each other and trade stories. Last night no exception: except almost everyone there was a vet, so there were a bunch of conversations going on all over.
While we ate, we watched the young people play volleyball. (Side note: at what age do you get to use that phrase? Answer: 60.) They had more energy in the 98 degree heat than I do, but I killed the macaroni salad eating event.
As twilight approached, the pastor (our host’s father) said a prayer for America (and, yes, it’s pronounced “murica” down here) and we all joined in. This was followed by the playing of the national anthem. Nobody had a hat on their head, and a lot of us stood at attention and presented a salute. It was stirring and wonderful. I love that feeling of knowing the people around me have my back and I have theirs.
Then our host’s husband (who was also our host, come to think of it) who is a fire-fighter, lit off about $8,000,000,000.00 worth of fireworks. Now, we live just down the road a half-mile, and they have a big acre lot as well. So we’re out in the boonies. The shredded paper from the fireworks covered my car in the parking area. I took out the hearing aids. We had a great show.
And as the event ended in our company, the skyline light up from horizon to horizon with fireworks. Lots of fireworks. In Florida, you can shoot off danged near anything you want, but only on the Fourth. Not the third, not the fifth. You got the holiday and that’s it! God, not wanting to miss out on the fun, lit up the eastern horizon with his special brand of electrical fireworks, and so it went.
Chewy was a bit uptight, but he got some tranquilizers early and late in the evening and he was okay. No panic, just a little anxiety. But we ended the night on the couch comforting him and thanking God we lived in a free place.
That’s my new ‘murica. I love it.