The Fourth of July

It’s the Fourth of July today.  Here in Seattle, the marine layer is not yet burned off, so it’s cool and comfortable with the thermometer registering a very pleasant 72.  Hearing that, I’m sure those of you dealing with unbearable heat are rolling your eyes about the unfairness of it all.  I can’t help remembering the Fourth of July in 1986.  That year my son and Bill went outside the set off some fireworks.  I followed, wearing a ski parka.  Watching Fourth of July fireworks when it’s so cold you can see your breath just seems all wrong!  And, in my memory, the municipal fireworks display in Bisbee was always seen through a scrim of rain, since the first summer rainstorms usually arrived just in time to dampen the celebration.

And speaking of fireworks.  I don’t much like them.  For one thing, individual fireworks are supposed to be illegal, and I for one regard them as dangerous. So I’ve never quite understood the fascination.  But as I sit here hearing the various thumps and booms, I let them remind me of “the rocket’s red glare; the bombs bursting in air.” because that’s what this day is really about. As Lee Greenwood would say, “I’m proud to be an American cause at least I know I’m free.”    So thank you to all the men and women who have made that freedom possible for 241 years.

And I’m sitting here missing Bella.  Some of our dogs through the years were really skittish about fireworks and thunder.  Nikki and Boney come to mind, but Bella was like that, too.  When the fireworks started, that notably standoffish dog would be ready to cuddle.  Jojo doesn’t seem to be the least bit bothered.  She is sprawled in Bill’s chair, dozing her way through the day.

However you’ve spent your Fourth of July, I hope you’ve been safe and happy.

As for me?  We’ll be toasting marshmallows on the barbie later.

8 thoughts on “The Fourth of July

  1. I remember wearing a light weight wool dress with sweater in San Francisco in August! Not unpleasant and then the fog would roll in. Labor Day in Wyoming, bright, sunny, clear blue skies and 35 degrees! Surprised at the July rain in Bisbee. People seem so careless these days. I think there is a false sense of nothing can happen to me! I hear the booms from Disneyland fireworks every night around 9:30 or so. In my old community, the kids and the “piccolo petes” used to drive the dogs mad. I have wondered about the 10,000 steps in two extreme weather conditions. Take care.

  2. I enjoyed your 4th of July blog…Hope you and those you love had a special 4th of July weekend!! I love your books, especially the J.P. Beaumont series…They have bought me so much pleasure over the years…Good health and much happiness to you and your husband…A satisfied reader.

  3. We were in Seattle for the fourth in 1962 ( world’s fair ). I remember how late it got dark and the fireworks began. It was worse the year we were in Fairbank !

  4. In spite of the fire department watering and foaming, we set A Mountain on fire again this year. lol Every three or four years we burn down A Mountain. Happy 4th from exceedingly WARM Tucson.

  5. The best is when I manage to arrive in Tacoma for the Fourth and can sit by a friends’ pool where we all look across Commencement Bay to watch the display! I didn’t make it this year, but maybe next July I will!

  6. Like to think of myself as a fun loving tolerant person, but regard fireworks as a waste of money when of the crowd managed variety and source of hideous injuries in amateur hands. (Son: How do you REALLY feel, Mom?)
    Our Chihuahua hid under the bed during neighborhood fireworks and thunderstorms until the last couple of years. At 16, she’s quite deaf.

  7. When we had a dog who was terrified of fireworks we used to go camping out in the mountains where it was quiet for the 4th…..current dog is impervious so we stay home and hear the booms……too many crowds to tempt me to go see them!


  8. You’re right, it’s totally unfair! (lol) We just finished two weeks of heat over 100 degrees, and raging forest fires nearby. In 50 years here, I’ve been through at least four, and haven’t yet had to evacuate. The irony of it was that Prescott Valley, where my daughter Maggie lives, was in the path, this time (we caught it with the Battle Fire, in 73, and the Indian Fire, a few years later). Evacuation would have been difficult, with two adults, 3 kids, a dog and four cats! But the irony was that they live in the house where one of the late Hotshots, Scott Norris, was raised! The rains are here now, so I hope some of the danger is over in the southwest, but it’s been scary! Be glad you’re up there right now!

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