The best kind of celebration

We almost always spend the 4th of July here in Indiana.   The few times we’ve missed it, it was because I was traveling in Europe with my friends & the kids.  Some people have asked why we leave New York, which has arguably the best fireworks display anywhere, instead of traveling later in the month to Indiana, where the fireworks are ok, but certainly not on par with the massive display over the Hudson river.

Two reasons.

First, the display over the Hudson attracts hundreds of thousands of people, and years ago when I did spend the 4th in New York, I watched the fireworks on TV like everybody else rather than fight the crowds.     Second, the 4th of July is not about huge fireworks displays.  At least not for us.   It is, instead,  about getting together with family and friends.   We appreciate the freedom we are afforded in this country and we celebrate it by enjoying the company of those we love.   No brass bands necessary.  Fireworks are optional.

So today was a pretty perfect 4th of July.   I got to see Mendy, with whom I’ve been close friends since the age of 5,  and she and her husband Anthony joined Joshua, Maya, Ben and me at my brother Doug’s house, along with my sister-in-law Wendy, her parents Bob & Jo, my Aunt Delores and Uncle Bob and of course my Mom and Dad.    Doug grilled out hamburgers, hot dogs and corn on the cob (nothing better in the world than corn on the cob done on a grill) and Wendy made cake for dessert.   We played all kinds of fun games, from Cornhole (really just a glorified bean bag toss, but it’s serious business for people in these parts) to Ladderball and more slingshot water balloon fun.   My friend Mendy won the distance prize, shooting one water balloon out of my brother’s yard, across the road and into a neighboring cornfield.   We hit my Dad’s truck several times, the roof of two of the barns – once I even hit the electrical wires that run from the house to the barn – and came close to several sheep who made a hasty retreat to their pen upon hearing the watery missiles exploding in their vicinity.

At just after 9 we headed back to Mom & Dad’s for the fireworks.  Yes, we did have them – sparklers and a few groundworks that we could light off ourselves.   In the distance we could see the larger fireworks display at Ceraland, but paid little attention.  It was more fun to watch the kids run through the yard, silver sparks flying out behind them.

So here’s hoping your 4th of July was just as great as ours.

Mendy and me - friends for 39 years!

The front of Doug and Wendy's house

Cornhole!! (Weirdest name for bean bag ever)

Doug grilling

Maya and her Abba

Mendy and her husband Anthony

Ladderball (this game is completely addictive - I'm buying it tomorrow!)

Doug, Ben and my Dad - (can't remember the name of the game being played)

Hanging out

Me and Joshua

Maya and sparkler - hands down the best photo of the day

Running with sparklers

Happy 4th on the farm

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