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The Fourth of July is one of those holidays that although I have {as we all do} gotten older, I can almost still recall past celebrations as if it was just last year. Middle School years living in Connecticut, one of our neighbors dads had a convertible and would start the day at 7AM driving around, top down blasting “The Star Spangled Banner”, “God Bless America” and other patriot tunes. The day would be spent at the above mentioned neighbors house for a BBQ complete with fireworks in the backyard. I can honestly still smell the sulfur from the Chinese Lantern that when lit twirled around, shooting various colors and whistles in all directions, finally slowing down for the crowd to clap and cheer.

High School evenings would be spent going to a friend or boyfriends BBQ and always ending at a large field with fireworks to rival the best of any city. You had to park what seemed a mile away and walk with your blanket to the best spot in the field. Again, I can still see the faces of my teenage friends in the glow of the bursting globes above us in the sky. And even feel the small pellets fall on us from the air.

Through college and my twenties, living in Delaware and Pennsylvania, heading to the Jersey shore was THE best place to be for the 4th. Just the anticipation was enough to make you lose your mind with excitement. What bathing suit will I wear, what towel to bring, I might need a long sleeve, who else will be down the shore, etc.. you can imagine. The smell of the salt air as you drove over the bridge to Avalon or Cape May or to Dewey or Rehoboth….nothing better in the world.

This year, no trips to the shore, a simple pool BBQ with friends, with of course a fabulous table, but there is still the same excitement. This morning I put out the flag on the porch, hung one on the pool gate {need to head out and collect a few more, not sure where they have gone since last season}. Pulled out the cupcake flags; plan on baking up a batch tomorrow morning first thing. Positioned the flag platter in just the right spot in the kitchen for visiting guests to see, it will need to be moved and take its place of honor on the tablescape. Removed the tags from my brand new flag bathing suit {somethings never change}. And it seems the local bar way down the street has begun festivities early. I can hear the band playing summer favorites and a few island tunes mixed in.

What a great time to be an American and to have the ability to celebrate all this country gives and allows us to do.

GOD BLESS AMERICA.  Cheers ~ Krayl

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