Posts Tagged ‘Fourth Of July’

As a child, our Fourth Of Julys were always somewhat unpredictable, yet predictable.  The givens were that my dad would be at work and my siblings and I would be at home with our mom, playing, probably in the sprinkler, waiting to see if my dad would get home from work so we could go see fireworks.

My dad worked in a cannery and the summer months meant lots of overtime for him.  He worked late hours and seven days a week, including holidays.  It was this “seasonal overtime” that paid the bills for the entire year when he had only his 40 hour paycheck to support all nine of us.

In the late afternoon my mom would start the barbecue in the backyard and if my dad didn’t make it home in time, we would eat without him.  We usually had hot dogs or hamburgers but once in a while it would be chicken on the grill, along with corn on the cob.  For dessert it was always the same, and we didn’t mind it, watermelon!  I loved it and I love it now!

As the day grew into night, my mom would send my older brothers to the cannery with a plate of food for our dad and to get an update on when he might be home.  If he was going to be home in time, we would all get ready to climb into the car to go watch the fireworks show at Spartan Stadium.  If he wasn’t going to be home, we would put chairs outside in the front sidewalk and watch from there.  We lived on Seventh Street and the stadium was just down the street a few miles so we had a good view from our sidewalk.

When we got a little older, we were allowed to have sparklers!  They were scary, yet I loved the sparkle!  My older brothers would eventually be allowed to get fireworks (which were then legal) like bottle rockets and cherry bombs.  They scared my mom so for the most part the boys didn’t get to set them off until they were teenagers and only if my dad was around to supervise.

I often think of those days.  No cares other than where we would watch fireworks from.  Watermelon.  Playing with my siblings.  Waiting for our dad.  Enjoying each other and good food.  A little danger and a lot of fun.

Memories are made of this.

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