On Independence Day we didn’t do the “usual” thing.

And that turned out to be great.

We’d waited for several days for word as to whether Hubby’s parents were hosting The Annual Fourth of July Barbecue, as they always do, but since Mom was on call – and the home health agency she works for has been very busy lately – they weren’t sure what they would do.

We slowly made a few plans of our own, mostly consisting of attending the Tea Party at the courthouse in Town at noon. Our own little town was in the throes of it’s yearly festival, but we hadn’t made it out the door for the parade or anything else that morning. Truth be told, I was having a hard time. Too much to do, not getting NEAR enough of it done, hurting physically, and feeling like no one noticed or was interested in helping. And I wasn’t worried about dusty baseboards, lest you think my standards are so high (ha ha. ha.).

My mother-in-law called about 11:30, as we were loading up into the van, to let us know that Hubby’s older sister was going to have The Barbecue at 4:00, and we could bring our own meat to grill and a salad to share. I discussed it with Hubby, and while we left it open to possibility, we recognized that going to Town for the Tea Party, and then returning for the necessary supplies before going back to Town made it somewhat unlikely. That’s a lot of planning and driving, at 30 minutes each way.

So we made our way around our town (everything within was blocked off), passing restored tractors and floats on the country roads, and arranged to meet at the Tea Party with some cousins. The Tea Party wasn’t as big as I would have liked or expected (or as it was in April), but I passed out fliers from parentalrights.org about the UNCRC, and got some good local information of my own.

After this, our cousins went looking for lunch and headed towards our town for it’s festivities, so we killed some time before heading there ourselves. Hubby lamented that it “just wasn’t the same.” After all, this would be the first in his 31 years that he hadn’t spent this holiday with his folks and family. I suggested that we try to make our own meaningful traditions, and he let me off at a grocery store where I got nitrate-free hot dogs, corn-syrup laden buns for $.39, and the makings for s’mores. Thought we might have a weanie-roast.

Then we had to stop at a fireworks stand.

Our usual plan-of-action for shopping for fireworks is that we don’t. *Maybe* a box of sparklers. Hubby abandoned this usual plan, as he had to abandon the usual barbecue.

Then we drove to our town, where he found another fireworks stand that he wanted to check out. This cost us even more.

Trying to reach the cousins who were supposed to be in the neighborhood was futile. They must have tossed their phones into an irrigation ditch. Or left them in their van. We circled City Park a few times, looking for their vehicle but coming up empty as well. Which was fine. We really didn’t want them to share our weanie roast anyway. 😉

We came home and Hubby decided against a wood-fire, opting to attempt resurrection for our “grill.” The girls got out the “worm dirt” dessert we’d made the day before, and we set the big picnic table Gi-gi sent with paper plates and all the fixin’s. And the pasta salad I’d made the night before (wow, for once I come across almost prepared, huh?). The grill sufficed for the hot dogs, and we fired up the propane camp stove (on which we scald the chickens) and cut a sucker from the nearby plum tree for roasting marshmallows. So much for preparedness. The girls thoroughly enjoyed all the sugar and fun, and towards dusk Hubby drug a piece of wood (or something) onto the lawn where he began to set off the little fireworks he’d bought.

He laments that it isn’t as easy to render them explosive as it was when he was young. *sigh* (And you wonder if I’m hoping for a son? :))

One “package” he bought was almost all fountains, and the girls were enthralled. I have several brief digital video clips of them – all three in their little dresses, jumping, clapping, yelling “yay!” and dancing around. For. Every. Fountain. I decided that was worth $65 after all.

We went to bed late, the girls watching the ‘big’ displays from City Park, and the bigger one from Town from their bedroom window.

It was just wonderful.

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