Dear Mr. President,
As we put away our flags, pick up the remnants of spent fireworks, and hose down our patios after the delicious but messy barbeque, how many of us took the time to really appreciate the holiday we were celebrating? Many of us, and I include myself in that, were too busy with the days events to stop and think about the men and women who were not home celebrating our freedoms with their families… our military men and women.
A typical Fourth of July in Rancho Murieta, goes something like this: The day begins with a 5K run for the fitness crowd (not for me thanks), followed by a delicious 7:00 am pancake breakfast for the hungry families that wish to avoid fixing breakfast for friends and family (that’s a yes from me), sponsored by our wonderful Kiwanis Club. By 9:00 am people are scrambling to get in line for a stellar parade that begins at 10:00. Starting with kids on bikes, various groups and troops, and what seems like hundreds of brightly decorated golf carts, followed by vintage and custom cars of every variety. After the parade a carnival starts at 11:00 and sponsored by the Optimists with a watermelon-eating contest, hotdogs, water sports, and games with prizes for the kids. After the carnival folks either stay to swim in the lake and barbeque there or head for homes with backyard pools and family fun. In the evening the Optimists provide music for dancing under the stars in anticipation of the spectacular fireworks that have become legendary in our community.
Our family group numbered 21 this year with swimming at my sisters house and barbequing at our house. Since we live behind one another it’s nice to break up the work and share the mess, because we are grateful to be able to spend our holiday together.
How many of us take this kind of freedom for granted? How many of us got so caught up in the ‘moment’ that we forgot to thank the men and women that made this celebration possible? I know I did. I was busy decorating rice crispy treats to look like a flag, making potato salad, cutting up fruit for a salad, chatting with relatives, answering the constant stream of questions from the grandkids, serving sodas, making root beer floats, mopping up spills, kissing booboos and using a little reverse psychology to get a toddler to take a nap. Exhausting… and exhilarating.
We had way too much food, snacks and desserts, and yet I didn’t stop once to think about those who aren’t as fortunate. Yes, I admit it, I got caught up in the moment and forgot to take a minute to think about what I was celebrating, and how fortunate I am that I have so much to be grateful for. So I wanted you to know Mr. President that I am thankful, for you, our troops, and their families that sacrifice so much so that our families could enjoy this 4th of July holiday. I only ask one thing… Please bring our troop home so that next year they too will be celebrating with their families.
Your Gadfly Granny