The fourth of July was never really a favorite holiday of mine, mainly because we never really did anything to celebrate it so it was usually just another day and maybe we'd catch some fireworks. My first memorable 4th was when I was 12. I got a short notice invite to my cousins house and decided to go. Claire and her sister were there as well as my two boy cousins. We played rock band and watched youtube videos and made some sort of ridiculous movie outside involving a carrot made out of duck tape. Later on Claire and I went to a little picnic area in the middle of the cul-de-sac where there were rocks instead of grass. We had a competition to see who could pick up the most rocks with their toes. Claire won but I still insist that it was because her feet are bigger ;)
After we ate and ran around the backyard we got sent to this sort of run down grocery store to buy something, can't remember what, we rode bikes there but there wasn't one for me so I hitched onto the pegs on the back of Claire's. I remember having so much fun riding like that but also being afraid that I'd hurt myself since I'd just had surgery about 7 weeks ago. At the store we found this ridiculous prepackaged hamburger in a box and had the bright idea to send it to our other cousin who is a vegetarian as a practical joke. When we got back we put it in a manilla envelope and addressed it and everything, I don't know if it ever got sent!
When it was dark we all walked to go see fireworks. Claire had a pretty traumatizing experience with them as a kid so we didn't get to close but enjoyed them from afar. On the way back her dad gave me a piggy back ride because I was getting tired or possibly just being lazy :)
Fast forward to 2014 and we had a great holiday as well. As I get older I am appreciating more and more that I have such a close extended family that truly love and care about me. We had several of my dads cousins over to our house as well as a family friend and her little boy. We talked, ate and enjoyed the mild weather. After dark my sisters and I went out to do some sparklers, our own little firework show.
Maybe I'll never have as great an Independence Day as I did when I was 12 but I can come pretty close. I'm hoping that in 15-20 years I can spend it on Claire's plantation, after all it is her favorite holiday!