Tuesday, July 3, 2012

4th Of July

As holidays go, the 4th of July has always been kind of ho-hum to me. My parents pretty much nixed anything messy or dangerous, so our fireworks consisted mainly of sparklers. You can only write your name with sparklers so many times before boredom seeps in. I tried to step up my game by using my sparkler as a sword, a scepter, and baton. Still bored, bored, bored. Actually, my favorite part of playing with sparklers was the sizzling sound they made when I’d put them in water after they burned out. Tsssss! In Utah, the 4th of July isn’t nearly as big a deal as the 24th of July. This is the state holiday known as the Days O’ 47 or Pioneer Day. It commemorates the 1847 arrival of Brigham Young and the Mormon pioneers in the Salt Lake Valley. There is a fireworks display for both holidays, but the 24th of July is way bigger and better. There is a parade on Pioneer Day, with float after float of costumed pioneer re-enactors. It’s a sea of long gingham dresses and bonnets on the women, and fake beards on the men (tennis shoes on both makes me snicker). The one and only time I attended the Days O’ 47 parade, I was 7 months pregnant. I sat on a little canvas camp stool and watched the floats go by. It was very hot, and I was really uncomfortable. At some point, the old camp stool gave way and the canvas tore in half. The next thing I knew, I was on my back in the gutter. Let me tell you - nothing makes a pregnant woman feel pretty like busting a chair. The added attention of people trying to hoist me up out of the gutter was special too, and not the good kind of special. This episode didn’t endear me to parades, July heat, or gingham. So now, I’ll celebrate Independence Day my own way. I’ll sleep in, hang the flag, and just chillax. My version of freedom.

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