Hello everyone! I hope you all had a fantastic 4th of July if you’re in the US! Our day went by surprisingly fast, and sadly that includes the little firework show we saw.
Three family members are kind enough to put the show together for the entire community here, and I’m honestly not sure if they’re given money to purchase the fireworks, so I can’t complain.
Even though the show lasted maybe 10 minutes, it was jam packed with action. Also, I’m not afraid to admit that I like sparkly things (just ask R), so you bet I enjoyed it.
My mom had made cupcakes for the dessert buffet that was there, which was very nice with lots of options!
Overall, I am being grateful for the experience. We opted to end the night there, as I was personally too tired to bother trying to contend with traffic going down to the beach. As I write this, I still hear plenty of fireworks going off!
I’m also really grateful R had the day off. We decided to leave at 6:30 Friday morning (hence the tiredness), and we get to enjoy two full days with my parents, instead of our usual one. I felt a day behind all week (it still feels like Saturday on Friday).
It is hard to believe that at this time next week, I’ll be in NY. I feel like I’ve been looking forward to it since we moved, and I’m a little afraid at what will happen once it’s over.
The reality is that this is the last time I’ll see my family for the rest of the year. And as we know, the rest of the year is still five months away, plus I’m sure I won’t be getting up there until sometime next Spring.
I think the move will feel more “final” on the plane ride back. But I do have one small plan, which involves getting my grandma a webcam to Skype with. Knowing her, she’ll want to pay for it, but it would be easy for me to set everything up for her while I’m there. Running Skype isn’t that complicated, and it would let her actually see us once in a while.
This came about as my mom realized that my grandma hasn’t seen any of the updates my parents have done to the house. When we came here last year, the walls were still white, and my dad has since built and refinished a fair amount of furniture. I’m sure it will be a pleasant surprise for my grandma, at least.
That being said, I’m really grateful for this little opportunity to go back home. Without the wedding, I don’t think my mom and I would have made plans for it. It sounds horrible, but flights are not cheap (one more reason to get into travel rewards), and it’s often a struggle to find dates that work with everyone’s schedules.
Second, I’m still grateful my grandma is doing well. My mom spoke with her yesterday and confirmed she sounds as good as new. I’d still rather see it to believe it, but I am hopeful she’ll be her usual energetic self on her vacation here.
Being grateful for freedom
Lastly, I just want to say my little piece on freedom, as that is the theme for this week in many places =). I am beyond grateful for all of those who have stood up for our rights, and forged an unconventional path to ensure that those rights have remained with us.
Freedom can be something we easily take for granted. Think about it for a second. Most of us can hop in cars and drive away at a moment’s notice; say what we want on our platforms; and go about our daily routines without a hitch.
Because of this freedom we enjoy, we can forge our own unconventional paths in life.
I’ve written about financial freedom before, so I’m going to take a different approach here.
On our drive down here, R and I always pass a prison. It looms on the horizon, an intimidating fortress on “Prison Road.” It serves as a reminder that justice prevails, and those who oppose it will pay.
It’s also a place where freedom goes to die.
And at first thought, you might think these criminals deserve to have their freedom taken away. But what about those that are innocent?
Some of you know I studied criminal justice in college, and let me tell you, there were no shortage of gut-wrenching stories of individuals who happened to be in the wrong place, at the wrong time, and were sentenced to life for a crime they did not commit.
I’m not here to debate our justice system, though. I simply want to ask you to think about that happening to you for a second. Many of these citizens didn’t think it would happen to them. They had faith that justice would prevail; that they would be released, and the actual wrong-doer would be caught; that they would get to see their families again.
It didn’t always turn out that way.
I don’t know about you, but the thought of being locked up certainly scares the hell out of me.
Treasure your freedom. Don’t take it for granted.
And because I don’t like ending on a somber note – my dad asked me if I remembered the time I was almost hit by a firework. Years and years ago, when I was about 4, my uncle used to love shooting fireworks off in front of our first house. We lived on a dead end, and the entire block would gather to see them.
My cousin and I were sitting in the back of my aunt’s Chevy Blazer, watching the show, when all of a sudden, something came shooting straight at us. Thankfully, everything ended up okay, but I was definitely scarred for a few years after that. I wanted nothing to do with fireworks or the 4th of July.
I’m glad I was able to get over that so I can enjoy the festivities now =).
Tell me a funny story you have about celebrating the 4th. Do you think about freedom often?