The 4th of July is an important and fun day in America. Celebrating our country’s birth, being thankful for those that serve our country and getting together with family are certainly on most people’s agenda today. There’s also the traditions of hovering around a grill of good food, spending time in the pool and of course, watching fireworks. In our neighborhood so many families buy fireworks we can stay home to see a show.
The 4th of July is also when our family celebrates the home we’ve made. Today we begin our 25th year in this house, moving in when our oldest daughter was just 5 months old.
It’s totally different now since we’ve remodeled, repainted and redone everything. It’s where we’ve built a life for the 4 of us, and even though our eldest is now living on her own, we still think of our family being the 4 of us.
It’s where we’ve weathered hurricanes, watched shuttle launches and collected kid footprints at the beach. It’s where we’ve seen amazing Florida sunrises and sunsets, watched summer thunderstorm lightning, held countless dinner parties and birthday bashes, and attended numerous block parties. It’s where I have a 24 year-old staghorn fern hanging in the tree and where we have to buy a new grill every 3 years because the salt air takes it toll.
We’ve been lucky to have most of the same neighbors all these years, which is not that common anymore. Most of the homes in our neighborhood were built in the 60’s and 70’s as the space program grew, and as we have all updated and remodeled there’s been a DIY camaraderie of tool borrowing and idea sharing. The family across the street added a second floor and became the envy of us all. Oh to have all that space!
July 4th is often for playing corn hole, going surfing or fishing. I often stay in from the heat and do some crafting or watch movies. The house gets a patriotic decor makeover for the day and I cook up something red, white and blue.
We spend a lot of time walking around our neighborhood and never tire of being close to the ocean and the river where we can capture the beauty of mother nature. This was the first home for my husband and I, and it’s become our only home so far, where both our children lived their entire childhood. I like that. It’s given us roots to weather hard times like my husband’s cancer and losing our parents, to all the good things in life like girl scouts, marching band, homework, Thanksgiving dinners, 24 Christmases, seeing the same neighborhood kids each year for trick or treating, welcoming numerous pets, and kid sleepovers. We’ve had a collection of the same friends in our lives who spend enough time with us to borrow more than just an egg or milk and who supported us when we needed an extra hand.
So on this 4th of July, the beginning of our 25th holiday in this house, I wish you a safe holiday with those you love.