The Selvage Yard

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Traditions past and present

July 4th - always such a fun day when I was growing up. The tradition I remember I guess from the mid to late 70's was that we would spend the day swimming at the pool of my parents best friends. Because they had a pool and we didn't, that made them really, REALLY rich you know. They had one of them thar ceement ponds complete with a sign that said, "we don't swim in your toilet, please don't pee in our pool." But I digress...

We would spend the day there, the kids swimming and splashing, mom doing the occasional sidestroke/dog-paddle-so-my-hair-won't-get-wet across the pool and dad diving off the side with his rubber nose plug firmly attached to his face. Those were the days of waiting a firm 30 minutes after eating before getting back into the pool lest you become overwrought with the likes of horrific abdominal cramping that drowning was inevitable. I remember while waiting to go back into the water playing an old time plinko machine - you flip a handle and a little metal ball bounces around and you try and win more little metal balls. Ahh...but I digress again.

After swimming, we would head out to Shotwell Stadium, sit in the stands and watch the fireworks. I don't remember as much about that - only that they were loud and I covered my ears with my hands most of the time. I do know that I looked forward to July 4th every year and I think we don't do enough here in the 21st century of making traditions with our kids.

Time is so harried and hurried. July 4th is just another day it seems. For the past 2 years, we've gone to the fireworks downtown, let the kids sit on top of the van and enjoyed the light show against the dark, hot skies of summer. This year was a little different. Abby and I were both sick with a stomach virus (ick) at the end of the week and by tonight, I was feeling much better but still without just a ton of energy and I could see Abby waning as well. We decided to pack ourselves into the van and just trek around Benbrook Lake and see if we could find any large gatherings of people that would indicate there might be some fireworks about to pop. No such luck. We got back towards home and we could see some fireworks out west of Benbrook so we parked in a parking lot behind a church right across from the entrance to our neighborhood. What a great pick that ended up to be - we not only saw the two fireworks shows around downtown Ft. Worth but also a show from Aledo!

Our traditions may not be much, but they are all ours.


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