I decorated my bicycle with red, white, and blue streamers and gathered the candy bag. There was great excitement in the air as I sailed to the beginning of the neighborhood. All the houses had American flags displayed in the front yards. It was a humid morning and it was time to line up for the Independence Day parade.
There were about twenty people already in line for the parade. Each person had decorated a bicycle or wagon in red, white, and blue streamers. There was an older man who had decorated his lawnmower with balloons. There were so many of them it appeared that he would fly away.
The parade began and the people were waving American flags on both sides of the street as the parade progressed down the street. I threw candy while riding by on my bicycle. It was a site to see especially when my bike hit a bump in the road and I almost hit the ground. It was a grand time for everyone involved the event.
Afternoon came and my family began preparing for the main event of the day. There were several relatives coming over to enjoy our new house for the holiday. We had moved into the new house in May.
The house was larger than our last one and my father had just finished building the swimming pool. He loved gas grills and swimming pools. Each morning the swimming pool water would be tested and cleaned. This afternoon the water in the pool was blue and sparkling in the sun. It looked inviting in the midafternoon heat.
The grill was hot and my father brought the meat out to be cooked. In our house it was common to marinate all types of meat to be cooked on the grill overnight. The tender meat consisted of chicken and small beef chunks. There was enough to feed a large number of people.
The aroma of the meat while on the grill cooking was a pleasure for the senses. The smell of spicy and sweet marinade acted as a magnet to the grill. It seemed like an eternity passed before the meat was done.
The next part of our contribution to the evening meal was homemade ice cream. The ice cream mixture was prepared and put into a wooden hand cranked maker. The ice and salt around the ice cream container would splash out on the concrete as the crank was turned.
The job of turning the crank fell to my brother. He would make up songs as the crank turned. These songs were funny and often the lyrics depicted what was going on around him at the time.
The time came for my relatives to arrive for the holiday. Many containers filled with food were brought through the house to the back yard. My mother had prepared a picnic table covered with a red tablecloth with a small container filled with silverware and napkins. Soon the table was filled with delicious looking side dishes and desserts.
After the meal was finished it was time to swim in the pool. The water was cool and refreshing in the late afternoon heat. Going down the slide was the best part of the swimming pool. It was about ten feet tall and had a curve in the center. Water came through the spouts on the side making it easy to slide into the water.
I climbed up the ladder and decided go down head first on my back into the water. This could be a tricky thing to do if you were not careful. Time seems to go by quickly as you go down and hit the water. Many times I had water up my nose from trying this. Still it was always fun to do.
Next was a game of water volleyball in which everyone participated. This was a fun game that had teams mixed with adults and children. There was never a clear winner but everyone had a great time.
Finally the sun set and it was time for the firework show. Our house was close enough to where the firework show was being held that we could see it clearly in the backyard. There were explosions of multicolored lights in the air. There was a different array of shapes and colors with each burst. It was a wonderful site to see.
Soon it was time for everyone to go home. The tables were cleared and everything was cleaned. There were hugs and announcements that we would meet again soon. The perfect end to another adventure. All was well within our souls.
Copyright 2017 Debbie Pierce