It was too-early o’clock this morning when The Max brought a bag of smoke balls to my bedside and requested that we fire them off. My son knows the rules about Saturdays: You don’t wake up Mommy until nine am. The cereal and milk and remote control are set out Friday night. Saturday’s are great, as he is free to eat as many bowls of Berry Berry Kix and view as many episodes of cartoons that will fit into the two or three hours that separate what is considered enough sleep for each of us.
Those special Saturdays when there is a holiday, all rules are forgotten. So, this morning I was standing in the driveway in an outfit that barely passed as not pajamas with a lighter and a dusty yellow orb with a fuse on the end of it. I sleepily lit it, and in the process burned a patch of skin on my thumb. But the result of my efforts; ten seconds of canary smoke filling the air, of course, made the effort and lack of Zzzs worth it. (Was my sarcasm in the previous sentence apparent enough?)
It’s the 4th of July, Independence Day, Hot Dog and Apple Pie Day, Fireworks and Beer and Cut-off Jeans and Going to a Lake Day. The mid summer holiday is one of my favorites. Growing up in Minnesota it meant a family barbecue followed by fighting traffic on our way to a local park to see fireworks that appeared far too large to even fit in the sky above my sisters and I, while we’d lay on an old crocheted afghan listening to Gun’s and Roses being blasted from the boom-box of some people nearby.
This morning, after earning the blister on my thumb, I did some homework and found some facts about the holiday. I figured I could share these or tell the story about when my dad accidentally lit a few mortars on the ground. While that story is fascinating, it would be better told with video evidence, which I can not provide. You are stuck with trivia.
July 2nd, 1776 was the day the US colonies separated from England. July 4th was the day the Declaration of Independence was presented. John Adams wrote this:
“The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.”
He was right about everything, but the date.
The Star Spangled Banner’s lyrics were set to the tune of an English drinking song.
Over 150 million hot dogs will be eaten today
The population of the thirteen colonies in 1776 was 2.5 million.
Thomas Jefferson died on July 4th, 1826.
Depending on which website I trust, Independence Day was not a legal holiday until 1938 OR 1941. (I think it’s 1941)
Time to get out and whoop it up. Happy Independence Day internet people!