4th of July Is Gonna Sparkle!

Stars and stripes forever! Fireworks! Picnics at the beach!

Thank  goodness summer is finally here! All the deliciousness of outings---and being released from Quarantine!---beckon to make the season a summer to remember!

Summer memories from my of childhood in Iowa focus on the annual 4th of July parade with marching bands and beautiful young women waving and throwing sweets from extravagant floats. I was thrilled by the snorting horses dancing about.

I remember my one-piece playsuits, aka rompers, my brothers and cousins in cotton shorts, my mother and aunts bare-armed in their lovely sundresses, and my dad in the silk Hawaiian shirts he brought home from the war (WWII).

My family liked to picnic in Weed Park after the parade, (yes, that is really the official name), then swim in the municipal pool. We hit the swings and merry-go-round while the adults lay around talking and drinking iced tea. The climax of the day was watching fireworks over the Lagoon or sometimes we drove to the waterfront on the Mississippi River. 

I loved lying back on grandma’s the quilts and watching the fireworks blossom  explode  overhead. My little brothers were afraid of the explosions (and cried, as I remember it, but I was a bold six-year-old, joining in the ooohs and ahhhhs and occasional shouts rising from the crowd.

Of course those memories are overlaid with subsequent parades and summer celebrations. As a young mother in rural Colorado I joined the other members of the Nimble Fingers Extension Homemakers Club in turning our children blue for a parade float we were making celebrating the Smurfs, at that time popular with our little ones. The Lovely Abi C is shown here with her little blue sister, Rebekah.

One of the greatest pleasures of summer is going to the lake. In Iowa it was often Lake Odessa. In Colorado my husband and I would take the little girls to the Sterling Reservoir to paddle in the puddles and dig in the sand. This year I bought myself a new swimming suit, navy with white stripes, from Just Abi’s new 4th of July Collection. It goes perfectly with my red, white and blue beach bag.  All that walking is starting to pay off! I needed a smaller size!

This Fourth we are going to watch the fireworks at my daughter Rebekah’s new house. She moved about four blocks down the street to the end of the cul de sac that looks out over the valley. The neighbors are used to partying and watching the fireworks from the deck of that house, and it is on again this year. The fireworks are visible from three municipalities!

Summer also brings to mind playing pirates.

I remember playing that rowdy game with my brothers, and I remember my little girls and their friends as especially blood-thirsty. Summer is the best time, of course, because you can make ships out of big cardboard boxes and dig up treasure in the mandatory sandbox in the backyard. I made cardboard swords a couple summers ago for my grandchildren. I  gave them a box full of treasure: jewels, coins and crowns. They still enjoy going through the treasure, exclaiming over my old jewelry and tiaras and modeling for their aunties, Abi and Genea. Keep your eyes open for Pirate Booty coming soon from Just Abi: PlunderWear and Treasure Chests! (R Rated!!)

We are also picking flowers, mowing grass and setting up the bbq this lovely summer. Hope you are having fun, too!

See you soon!

Michele

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