My Hometown

My Hometown

4th of July

I live in a really great city that throws a major 4th of July party.

As “INSERT NAME OF BIG COUNTRY ACT HERE” plays their biggest hits as part of the annual celebration, hundreds of thousands sing-a-long as they await the massive fireworks display; one that is claimed to be, “The biggest in the South.”

But in my hometown, our celebrations were a little different than what has become commonplace around this time of year.

We didn’t have a big extravaganza, we had a gathering at my cousin’s house.

The BBQ was popping all day long and food was a plenty.

Relatives that hadn’t seen one another in a while got caught up.

And it never took long for the guys to find their way onto the lawn for a spirited game of horseshoes.

It seemed like someone new was always walking through the gate throughout the day, each one of them carrying another tray of food and all greeted with the same enthusiastic “HELLO” from everyone else.

But once the sun set, the real show would begin.

My cousin wasn’t afraid of an explosion or two, and his fireworks are still considered, “The biggest in Nowheresville, USA.”

Explosion after explosion lit up the sky in reds, blues, and greens.

We all “oooohddd and ahhdd.”

And yes, there were moments.

Like who could forget when the firework shot outwards instead of upwards, causing everyone to flee with their lawn chair in hand; no one got hurt, the firework was a dud.

But as I sit here today, singing along with thousands of strangers, I think back to what truly mattered on those 4th of July’s at my cousin’s house.

1) He kept our family close to one another with his gathering.

2) New people were always welcome and always included.

3) We honored the heroes that have made this country great; several family members were policemen, firemen, and veterans.

Quick Menu