Family, friends, faith, food, flying the flag and fireworks create memorable traditions this July 4th. Neighbors are out relaxing, playing, taking walks and cooking outdoors. Everyone stops to reflect on this country and on those who went before us and who will come after us. In Pueblo, Colorado, I recall spectacular firework displays in the Colorado State Fairgrounds arena where rodeos were held. Magic was in the air as we watched the fireworks. Each family creates its own memories and traditions, and we are no exception. I recall the sparklers we held in the backyard after dark.
The importance of education was another tradition passed on to me from my parents, and my husband and I have passed this love of learning on to our children. My sisters and I all went into education fields as teachers and guidance counselors. We were afforded the gift of music and studied classical piano and passed this gift on to our children. Music is food for the soul and is an international language. No one can take away the gift of education and gift of music.
Food played an important role in family celebrations as well. My mother used to make a standing rib roast with pan roasted potatoes for Christmas and Easter, a tradition I carry on to this day. My husband likes to grill hamburgers and hot dogs on July 4 just as was done in his family. He loved to clam on Long Island so we enjoyed many meals of fresh seafood and still do today. For birthdays we either had a store-bought cake or made one from scratch. Our two children still request my chocolate cake with chocolate frosting made from scratch.
The role of a home garden was another tradition my husband and I had in common and continue to this day. Along with fresh vegetables and fruits, we have herbs which we use in cooking. Just this past week, our son in Florida wrote of his small garden plot with vegetables, flowers and herbs, especially the Greek oregano which reminds him of home in Upstate New York. The satisfaction of consuming fresh fruits and vegetables from the home garden make for a lifetime of memories.
Faith and love are the glue that bonds us all together. The faith we inherited was passed on to our children as well. We still pray a simple prayer before meals in German which I will include at the end of this entry. My wish for all my readers today is to celebrate those important traditions in your family. Happy 4th of July!
Herr, segne uns und
die wir von deiner
Güte nun empfangen,
unsern Herrn, Amen.