Sparklers ~ Cookouts ~ Fireworks

4th of July. I love celebrating Independence Day, and I’ve always connected 4th of July with spending time with friends and family, cooking out and fireworks. The only job I ever quit in my life was when I was 16…working retail…on the 4th of July. Standing in that store in a dead mall while everyone else was having fun did me in. I hung up my retail career that day and fled for Mt Trashmore where the activities were in full swing.

We got rain this year so I didn’t get to see fireworks but my son hosted an awesome cookout with chicken and pork chops grilled to perfection with just the right sprinkle of Rudy’s BBQ Rub sprinkled on them. We also had the famous Holland homemade bleu cheese dip and chips, sausage balls, SuzyT potato salad with the flower out of a hard boiled egg and pickles on top, watergate salad and my corn casserole (the Paula Deen way!)…and more. Oh yeah…no one went away hungry. I have to admit we didn’t even bother to cut into the melon we brought with us from the garden!

I didn’t get a chance to write my name in the wind with a sparkler…but the memories of that are just as fun as doing it. There’s a scene in SWEET TEA AND SECRETS at the big 4th of July shindig in Adams Grove. It’s a pretty extravagant annual event. Here’s a little excerpt from that part of the book::

Locals knew the extravaganza was getting close to the end of the bright display when the high school band began playing God Bless America. Everyone sang along, thankful for the day, the community, and the country they were so lucky to live in. The finale began to burst and pop in the sky above them in time with the music. The last flicker faded with the last note.

Smoke hung heavy in the humid night air. Like magic, the park lights came back on. Everyone was still in awe of the beautiful sight and tired from the events of the day. Like an army of ants, families poured into the parking lot to sit in traffic to get

Bugs gathered near the bright lights, starring in a show all their own. Small bats soared through the middle of the bugs, swallowing them up.


What are your favorite 4th of July treats and memories? I’d love to hear about them.




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