I began a cloudy, cool Independence Day at work. Work was surprisingly on-and-off busy for most of the afternoon. It was fairly crowded when I arrived at 10, but the crowds vanished when the parades started. A shower in the middle of the afternoon may have scared some folks off as well. There were no major problems, and my relief, one of the college boys, was right on time.
I hurried home as soon as I finished. I ran a few cartoons while making whipped cream icing for my cake. I added blueberries and the last of the farm market strawberries in a flag pattern. It came out very nice, and certainly very patriotic. I've seen it done in a hundred magazines and online sites and have always wanted to try it.
The Looney Tunes did a couple of shorts based around American history. Bugs Bunny defends his fort against Hessian soldier Sam in "Bunker Hill Bunny." Porky learns why the Pledge of Allegiance is important in the more stirring "Old Glory."
The Pink Panther also takes part in the American Revolution in "Pinky Doodle." He's on a certain midnight ride, handing out pamphlets to the citizens of Philadelphia...or would be, if the red coat horse he's riding would let him!
I took the bike to Dad's party around quarter of 5. Hit the pool the moment I got in. I was delighted to see my cousin Amber, her current boyfriend, and her two daughters Ella and Lily there, along with my sister Rose, her boyfriend Craig, and their son Khai, Jodie and Dad, an aunt of Jodie's, Jodie's son Jesse and his girlfriend Dana, and a couple of neighbors. I swam with Khai, Lily, Ella, and one of the neighbors' kids, Chloe, for about an hour. We played with a huge red vinyl ball and at least eight different flotation devices. (I loved the big yellow one with the cup holders and the wide back. So comfy!) The water was relatively warm, in the 80's. It was the air that was chilly. Lily had been in the pool for so long, her teeth were chattering...and yet, she was the last one dragged out when it was time to eat.
Jodie was firing up the grill as we were swimming. Everything was ready when we came out. There were cheeseburgers, hot dogs, and Jodie's famous ribs from the grill. Rose provided very fresh crabs that she, Craig, and Khai picked up with our sister Anny and her family on vacation in the Wildwood bays. There was cucumber salad, Caesar salad, macaroni salad, corn on the cob, and baked beans with sliced hot dogs for the kids. I had a little of everything but the baked beans - I never was a fan of beans and weenies. In addition to my cake, there was a chocolate Bundt cake and a large decorated cookie for dessert. (Not to mention the kids talked their folks into money for the Mr. Softee truck again.)
I finally walked home around quarter after 7. When I got in, I changed into dry clothes and did some chores around the apartment. Ran a few more cartoons while I worked. Donald just wants to have a nice picnic while watching fireworks with Daisy in "Donald's Failed Fourth." Everything from the blanket to the chairs keeps giving him trouble.
Popeye's having his own problems with his nephews in "Patriotic Popeye." They want to set off fireworks. Popeye's worried that they'll set themselves off along with the rockets. He tries to show them how to play safe on the Fourth.
Ruby and Louise are are also excited about seeing fireworks. Max is more interested in "Max's Fire Flies." While the girls prepare for the fireworks, Max tries to catch his new glowing friends.
Tom and Jerry set off some fireworks of their own in "The Yankee Doodle Mouse." Their battle in a fireworks factory gets heated when Jerry defends his "cat raid shelter" from Tom's arsenal.
I headed out as soon as Tom and Jerry ended, around quarter after 8. Even then, there was already a long line of people making their way down West Clinton and the White Horse Pike to Newton Lake Park. The new parking lot was finished last fall, and that did help a bit with traffic. I cut across the parking lot and finally settled down in the field across from the high-rise condos. I lay on my blanket, wrote down fanfic ideas, and laughed as I watched families chatter and kids chase each other with glow sticks in many colors all around me.
The fireworks began around 9:15. They were spectacular, as always. My favorites were the double-hearts (including one that was upside-down), the heart in the center of the red sparkles, and the triple-rings, like a three-ring circus. I enjoyed the show, listening to adults ooh and ahh and kids complain about how scary the loud noises were.
Thankfully, it didn't take me as long to cross the White Horse Pike going home this time. I was able to go with a couple of families who were crossing at the same time at CVS. I waved to Diane, one of the cashiers at the Acme, sitting in the back of a truck as I made my way up to Newton Drive.
My favorite part of the Fourth of July are the fireworks and walking home afterwards. There's still fireworks and parties going on all around me...but Manor at 10 PM on the Fourth of July is quiet and peaceful. Most of the residents are at the Shore or still partying. You can hear the wind rustling in the leaves and see the soft glow of the fireflies, like the ones Max caught for his sister. It's a lovely way to end a holiday.
I hope you had an equally noisy Fourth of July (and that our neighbors to the north enjoyed their Canada Day on July 1st).