Monday, July 6, 2009

Pieces of Our Fourth of July

My parents made a last-minute trip from Alabama to spend the Fourth with us in North Carolina.

I think they felt like they were vacationing in Maine. The difference in heat and humidity between the two states is surprisingly drastic-- North Carolina temperatures climb in competition with the deepest of the Deep South Sates, but they fail to compete in barometric oppression. Alabama summers are literally like sitting in a sauna; you don't know if you're soaked because you're sweating from the smoldering heat or because you're drenched from the sweltering wet air. Alabama summers build character, that's for sure.

My parents really explore an area when they visit it. The more days they endure, the more jolly they grow and the fewer inhibitions they hoard. It's like they wake up each morning strangely more jovial and peaceful than the day before. My parent-in-laws seem to be going through the same Metamorphosis.

So, I knew we were in for a good visit when they showed up with these:

Tourist hats for each.
(They showed up wanting to drive to Hendsersonville, NC for the day on Friday. I'll write about that jaunt in another post.)
So, the Fourth of July went like this:

My husband woke up Saturday morning and happily dragged me to Lowe's-- practically still in my PJ's.

He stared at this Smoker on the shelf and paced the store for several minutes, going back to stare a few more times, and finally said firmly, "I'm going to go for it." He never treats himself to "things", so I love it when he buys himself something he really wants. It's so rare, and he works so hard.

Plus, he usually makes the purchase worth it. There's a whole beer-can chicken smoking on the rack under these ribs.

While perfecting the science of the Smoker, he also whipped up some Homemade Peppermint Ice Cream. (Have you ever heard of such a Husband!?!?!? He was raised to be a man of many talents.)

And I endeavered to make miniature Chocolate Angel Food Cakes and Fudge Sauce to go with it.

Oh, and the reason we went to Lowes so early was to buy an American flag for our house. Husband has been saying for a year that we need to fly our flag. Sunday morning, he woke up and said, "I don't know what got into me yesterday. I was Mister Patriot Pants, huh?" But, we want to travel a lot throughout our lives, and we want to travel with the philosophy that we can't appreciate other cultures unless we have undaunted pride in our own. So, the flag on our front porch is a symbol of that philosophy, and I, tagging along through Lowe's with my bed-head, was a fine Mrs. Patriot Pants.

Which brings me to my favorite words of Patriotism, from the hymn America the Beautiful:

America, America,
God mend thine every flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law.

Every Fourth of July, I remind myself to view our nation, to act and to vote, with these words in mind.

Do you think our nation as a whole acts according to these words?


  1. Wow. Nation as a whole. Maybe. Individual citizens-rarely.

  2. happened upon your blog today. Enjoyed my brief stay...was pleasantly surprised to be reminded of the lupine lady book :)


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