Every year since I've been with Shawn we've had an Independence day tradition. If you've hung around here long enough you've seen the posts about the long day that begins with fetching thousands of dollars worth of explosives, firetrucks, marching in a parade, and then a massive cookout before all seriousness settles in as the display is set up. Then this is the end result.
Literally this is the end result... as in the end of the finale that was over the water. Since I actually lit the fireworks I couldn't take photos during the display. Expensive cameras around large, lit flares and gunpowder aren't a good mix.
This year my Independence day couldn't be more different. Besides the fact that we moved a hundred miles away, the fire department decided, for many reasons, not to do fireworks this year and a third party company was hired to shoot them. Shawn and I debated the idea of making the long drive up to watch the display for the first time rather than set it off, but decided that with our work schedules it would be too much of a drive leaving us too little time to enjoy ourselves. Instead we chose to stay close to home and spend time with our firefighting friends.
It was a classic evening with awesome barbeque that was cooked by my husband's captain himself, plenty of pasta related salads, chips, and fruit. God, I can't get enough fresh fruit... Everyone gathered in the fading hot sunlight on picnic tables for good conversation. Little kids ran across the lawn, chasing one another and playing imaginary games. I couldn't help realize that next year I'd be one of the parents with my own little one to look after. The thought made me pat my belly and my daughters ever present bottom/feet nestled firmly under my ribs.
After spectating a few games of horseshoes and a watching a few firemen not so gracefully attempt a game of volleyball everyone brought out the alcohol and games that reminded me of my college days were begun. It was a cue for all the little ones to be trucked home to their beds. The same applied to pregnant women... after working a long day shift before the party I was pretty well exhausted.
No fireworks, no parade, but a whole new set of friends and pretty amazing food. A holiday is not meant to be a cookie cutter day that repeats itself year after year, but an ever evolving celebration of what you have and what you are free to enjoy.
At least that's my Independence Day.