The quintessential representation of the Fourth of July is the American Flag. With all its red, white and blue glory, this time of year, it’s difficult to drive anywhere in the United States without seeing this icon waving in the breeze representing our Independence Day.
But for most of us Americans, and I’m assuming for everyone in their own respective countries, it’s about finding an excuse to celebrate with friends and family. A reason to eat too much, drink too much and have fun with the entire family and friends we love.
Littered across yards are collections of lawn chairs, adult and kid coolers, makeshift game areas and the ubiquitous grill be it the simple but effective charcoal grill with two rollers on the back legs or the mac daddy with heat zone separation, hexagonal grill grates and infrared technology. Grilling out is sacred this time of year and whether it’s burgers and dogs or steaks and ribs, this is serious business that will, without a doubt, be improved with a douse of whatever cocktail the grill master is currently enjoying.
It’s about being outdoors when it’s way too hot and making that okay because those burgers aren’t going to cook themselves. It’s about getting angry when that random veggie burger seems to appear every time a refill requires the grill be left unattended for a brief moment. And no matter how many times it gets thrown out, it reappears again and again as if by magic. And after an unknown number of drinks, said grill master begins to assess the cup in his hand as if it will magically give him a count explaining this phenomenon.
It’s about using that jelly jar for Uncle Joe’s famous celebration juice which can only be appreciated when drunk from mason jars or Grammy Sue’s sweet tea that required the entire bag of pure cane sugar in order to make it “just right”.
It’s about playing with fire in direct conflict with all the rules about doing so (especially when alcohol is involved) and lighting things that burn and fly up into the air only to explode into searing hot ash with complete disregard for the surroundings. If a small brush fire begins, it’s easily doused with the garden hose fifty feet away because there’s no way an ice, cold beer is going to be used even if it is right there in your hand.
It’s about silly games that involve tossing something heavy into a hole (cornhole) or around a post (horseshoes) and getting into arguments about centimeters and inches and proximity to locations from a group of people who would get lost in their own house without Google Maps. But when the game is on the line, everyone becomes Pythagoras.
The Michaels stores all over town are overrun with crafters be it for tie die shirts, and garden signs or a new mold for the patriotic Jell-O concoction that will be added to the way too crowded dessert table the kids can’t stay away from.
The July celebration culminates in a trip to a small airport, local municipal complex or lake where an incredible display of fireworks is set to patriotic music. The brilliant colors illuminate the sky and smoke fills the air as the explosions fire one after the other creating showers of falling embers and evoking wonder in the adults and small children, alike.
Take time to celebrate with your friends and family whether you’re in the US or not. Time is fleeting and any chance we have to show how much we love each other should not be wasted.
Please enjoy this free SVG and make it a safe and fun 4th of July.