The Fourth of July is a big deal around here. Growing up, I spent it in northern Wisconsin with my family. We always stopped at a roadside stand just over the border and picked up fireworks. Usually, we were rained out, but when we weren’t, we would light them off in the road in front of the house. I always loved the snakes, Roman candles, and those military tanks that rolled along the ground. I can’t forget sparklers, and bottle rockets, and those red ones that came all tied together and sounded like gunfire.
This year is my eighteenth Fourth of July with the love of my life and our blended family. We will head up to the festival in town tonight, watch the fireworks in the same spot we always do tomorrow, and watch the parade on Sunday. Our family has expanded greatly over the years. This year, we will be sharing these traditions with our fourth grandchild (and fifth as she incubates). We are beyond blessed.
While we enjoy our family and our traditions, we also remember what it took to get here. We are grateful to live in such a wonderful country, and we appreciate those who fought and died creating this great nation. As you celebrate this weekend, be safe and keep gratitude in your heart. America truly is beautiful.