Today is the quintessential summer day.
Every leaf waves, every flower smiles. The rabbits are leaving gifts of “smart pills” in my backyard, having eaten some of my tastier flowers; small birds gossip in the raucous and disrespectful grape vines that have engulfed the “good-neighbor” fence; and the kitties sit in the windows on the second floor, slit-eyed and content, dreaming of slow-moving mice.
Northeast Minneapolis, after all, is a lovely place to live; and the sidewalks and the park across the street are summer personified in that dog-walking, soccer-playing, ice-cream-truck-melody way of summer in the city.
Today is the quintessential summer day. And tonight is the quintessential American night.
Today is Independence Day, AKA “The Fourth of July”. We are flag-waving, red-white-and-blue wearing patriots, grateful for our soldiers, our volunteers. Winter is a memory, summer is a warm, heady reality; and as the sun sets, the pyrotechnic among us gather, in large and small parks, in yards and alleys. Some of these are sanctioned events, simulcast to John Phillip Sousa and the Boston Pops on the radio and attended by thousands in open fields; and some of these are unsanctioned, groups of children running through yards, spelling their names with Sparklers, throwing Black Cats and shooting Bottle Rockets.
I steer clear of the large events, personally. The mosquito-to-drunk ratio in an open field is too high for my blood, and I tend to attract both.
I’ll be celebrating the anniversary of The United States, as so many of us will: at a party with family and friends, eating grilled food, drinking cold beer.
And when the sun sets, I’ll be found in the alley behind my house – where there is a clear view of Minneapolis’s fireworks and the pavement tends to be unfavorable to mosquitoes yet provides sturdy footing for drunken patriots.
The United States is another year older, people.
U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.!
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