Happy Fourth of July! May we never forget how blessed we are as a nation. As we celebrate today, it is fresh on my mind that Andy Griffith died yesterday. He will be missed but not forgotten. I spent many a half-hour watching his show and it is one of my all-time favorites. Thinking about that this morning, if I could pick the perfect place to spend the Fourth of July, I’d pick Mayberry. Yes, I know it’s fictional, but perfection is fictional also – it doesn’t really exist outside of God. Andy Griffith gave us something to shoot for – a hometown with quirky people who love and support each other.
Even though I know in my mind that I’d likely go crazy living in such a small town, in my heart I want to be there. There’s something comforting about Sheriff Taylor watching over the town and keeping Deputy Fife from harming himself and others.
In our neighborhood, we have created a little slice of Americana with a bicycle parade in the daytime and fireworks down by the lake after dark. In all humility I must tell you that as parades go, ours is a little puny, but I love it. We have a convertible lead the procession with the Grand Marshal holding a boom box that blasts patriotic songs. It is followed by decorated bikes ridden by cute little kids who are very excited about the whole process. Dogs with red, white and blue bandanas are led by their owners. Neighbors get to catch up with each other as we march around our half-mile long block watching our kids, grandkids or pets. It is not a big event, but it does capture a bit of small town appeal as we walk around throwing candy at those who brave the heat to watch the procession.
My grandchildren absolutely love this. They have the time of their lives decorating their bikes. I usually hand out new patriotic shirts for each of them to wear. This year we are away and it will be a quiet, not quite as sweaty day for us. When Ella (our 6 year-old granddaughter) realized the Fourth was coming, she asked her Mom what shirt she would wear. Ouch! I don’t think I’ll be able to leave town on the Fourth again until she is a teenager. I guess I’ll pick up some shirts at the after-July Fourth sale for next year so I’ll be prepared for Ella and the rest of the gang. I hope you enjoy your day and make some memories.
I’ll leave you with an Erma Bombeck quote to make you smile as you celebrate today.
“You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness. You may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism.”