June 29th, 2018
Independence Day with the grandkids! And celebrate BIG! I don't know about you, but so much of what I do with my grandchildren is all about recreating and capturing favorite times from my own childhood. And certainly the 4th of July is no exception. My childhood 4th included a picnic to Thompson Park with my mama's fried chicken and potato salad, and ending with homemade ice cream! Night time festivities included fireworks at Dick Bivins Stadium and probably sometime during that day, a delicious, juicy slice of watermelon. My family knew how to do it up BIG!
I hate to tell you, but when my own kids were born, I kind of gave up on some of that. Certainly not the fireworks, but picnics during the day? Not so much. We lived in El Paso, and picnics in 100 degree heat were kind of out of the question.
In 1984 we moved to Austin, and shortly thereafter our third son was born. I am so grateful to the wonderful babysitter that I had for my youngest. I learned so much from Phyllis, not the least of which was making a celebration out of just about everything in life. Certainly she did the 4th of July up big and proper. Without a doubt, she shared the love of people and the love of life. Even though I'm a teacher, and didn't take my youngest to her in the summer, she called us up one summer day. She said they were having a neighborhood 4th of July parade and that I should bring Travis on his scooter and decorate it for the festival. So we did!
Fast forward to 2007...2008 and holidays with my grandchildren. I never forgot the fun of Phyllis' parades, and wanted to do that with my grands. Alas, we don't do a small neighborhood parade, but we do attend our town's 4th of July parade and it's great! There are bands, and floats, and veterans marching...the whole nine yards. And to capture that fun that we had with Phyllis, we simply decorated our little red wagons and went to the parade. We often met at a cafe for breakfast on the parade route enabling us to get there early to get a good viewing spot for the parade. We decorated our wagons on the parking lot, and then towed the kids over to view the parade.
Even though we don't decorate wagons anymore, we still go to the parade of course. If you're going to a parade this year, wear your patriotic best! Besides shirts and hats, there are patriotic tattoos and red, white and blue beads and jeweled stickers for faces! Do it up GRAND!
Don't forget the nighttime fireworks! You can decorate for that as well. Decorate those little red wagons and take the little grandkids to the light show. Going in your pickup truck? Decorate that as well. Just get some of those patriotic pillows from the patio or den and toss those in the back of the truck. And make a visit to your friendly neighborhood party supply store or a big box discount store and grab some decorations. You can't help but be inspired.
My favorite photo from a nighttime fireworks display:
But wait! There's more! Don't forget to decorate your house for the holiday......the grandkids always enjoy that. And don't forget to frame some of your favorite pictures from Independence Days past. You'll enjoy reliving those moments and your grandkids will too!
Happy 4th of July everyone! I know just about everyone does this holiday up in a fabulous way! I'm sure you have a lot more ideas than I have posted here. Please share! And maybe I've inspired you to add a new addition to your festivities.
And thank you, Phyllis, for being a special inspiration to me! This week's blog is for you!
"One flag, one land, one heart, one hand, one nation evermore!" Oliver Wendall Holmes
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Retired school teacher and now full time grandmother sharing ideas and looking for new ones about grandparenting!