07-21-18 Patricia Sargeant

Friday, July 7, 2017

Fireworks and Memories

Judith is the author of The Sacred Women’s Circle series, romantic fiction that honors spiritual practices that nourish the soul and celebrates the journey from relationship to romance.
This month the Genre-istas have as a writing prompt the word Fireworks. I’m looking forward to seeing what this creative group of authors comes up with!

Growing up 4th of July was a big deal! Extended family gatherings. Hamburgers and hot dogs on the BBQ grill. Bowls of potato and macaroni salad weighing down the red and white checkered table cloth. Kool-aid for the kids, iced tea of coffee for the adults.

Some years we made homemade ice cream with the “rule” if you wanted ice cream you had to help churn it. The littlest ones held by mom or dad who helped them give the crank a turn. Strawberries and homemade shortcake with whipped cream fresh from the hand beater. I know my mom and aunts appreciated the electric mixer when it came on the scene!

Games? Some years we went to the park and played softball. We also had a darts game and horse shoes as well as croquet that were set up in the front and back yard. Kids running through the sprinklers on really hot days is another memory. We had no air conditioning and electric fans were not common.

We stayed cooler by opening the windows and doors at night and cooling the house down. In the morning we’d close everything up, drawing shades and drapes closed to keep the heat out. One of the best investments I’ve ever made was installing a heat pump for my house and a ductless system for my upstairs. Unless the temperature is in the 90’s or higher, the ductless system keeps the entire house cool by keeping the attic area cool.

When I was a youngster, 4th of July was celebrated much differently. Fireworks were mainly set off on the 4th. There might be a few booms on the 3rd but we didn’t have to worry about our family dog for a week or more. Thankfully no one we knew was injured or killed by fireworks although that did happen, as did fires caused by sparks.

When I was a parenting grandma, I’d buy sparklers and legal fireworks and we’d set them off in the parking lot at the nearby elementary school. Several other neighbors did the same and we had a good time writing words with sparklers and watching the multi-colored flares against the dark sky.

I no longer seek a place to watch the professional displays. I can still see a few of the illegal high flying fireworks over the tree tops from my windows. Watching the fireworks on my television isn’t the same as standing outside swatting at the biting mosquitoes, watching the flare rise from the ground into the air.

Although I no longer drive around to find a place to park, hike to a viewpoint to watch the displays, I do have a television. It just isn’t the same no matter what channel, what coverage. The cameras just don’t do justice to the sky lighting up with magnificent burst of colors. Of course I’m not batting away the pesky biting mosquitoes.

What do you like about the 4th of July? Fireworks? Family gatherings? Camping?

Learn more about The Sacred Women’s Circle series on my website.

Follow Judith on Twitter: @JudithAshley19 

Check out Judith’s Windtree Press author page.

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Sarah Raplee said...

My childhood memories are much like yours, Judith. Now we have a barbecue and set off legal fireworks for the grandkids. Some years we go to a big display with them.

Good memories!

Diana McCollum said...

Lovely memories, Judith! I think the thing I remember best was Mom always made here famous chocolate peanut butter syrup and we had that over ice cream. when we lived in California we always bought fireworks when we visited Oregon on the 4th and saved them for our family Christmas celebration. After dinner before everyone left we'd do fireworks. The grandkids still talk about how fun that was. They don't necessarily remember what gifts they got, but they all remember the fireworks!

Judith Ashley said...

Diana, I'd love to have had some of the chocolate peanut butter syrup over ice cream. Now that I'm working on eliminating sugar (doing pretty good with obvious sugar), that's not an option. One of my favorite desserts is a pie with a layer of chocolate and a layer of peanut butter pudding type filling. Oh and don't forget the whipped cream - real stuff not from a plastic tub or can.

Very fun memory of the kids remembering the Christmas fireworks instead of the gifts. A fun family tradition.

Judith Ashley said...

Thanks for stopping by, Sarah. I thought about inviting my son and daughter-in-law over but then was stymied as I don't have a BBQ any more and we wouldn't enjoy sitting out in the sun/heat. Guess we've become whimps when it comes to the outdoors! Always good to spend time with family though whether it's for a family gathering on the 4th or just because.