Last night we celebrated our county's Independence at a festival our church held. There was plenty of food and fun for all - ending with a very nice professional fireworks show. We were close to the set off point, so it seemed as if they were right over us - raining down on us at times.
For both Drew and I it brought back memories of our first married 4th of July. We grilled out with friends...made home-made ice cream. That night ended with an amazing fireworks show as well. We were seated just behind center-field at the local high school's baseball field with the community symphony playing to the right of us. They shot the fireworks off at pitcher's mound. It was the first time I had ever been so close to the fireworks! It seemed almost magical - just a wonderful night - a great memory!
Over the years we have celebrated the 4th in many locations...some with fireworks right over our heads (with our dear friends, Dan & Cindy, in Colorado & again in New Jersey)...a few watching fireworks off our balcony with a dark Mt. Fiji in the distance (that would be at Yokota Air Base, Tokyo). A few bundled up against the cold! (with Gregg & Melinda in Lompoc, CA where the summer is colder than the winter!)...and sadly a few apart (when Drew was deployed to Iraq and again when the kids & I came home from Guam to the States without him). Also, two years ago tonight was the first night in our current home - it felt so good to be home after being "homeless" for almost a month. Most are great memories - I would rather Drew and I to be together!
My dream 4th of July would be to spend it on the Mall in Washington, DC for the concert and fireworks they have at the Capitol steps each year. In 2007 we actually made plans to attend. Six months out we sent out invitations to family and friends to join us. We even had a few hotel rooms reserved close by so we could just relax afterwards and not fight the traffic home. But just a few months shy of the holiday, we were informed of our move to Guam - so we cancelled all our plans, packed up and moved to Paradise Lane.
This year we were invited to spend the celebration with both sets of family, but we elected to stay home. Due to a delivery we have schedule for tomorrow, we were not able to stay the night and also, we had a few things here we needed to accomplish. Which we did. It's been a quiet day, but enjoyable.
One friend is heavy on my mind and heart today on this our nation's birthday, though. A dear friend from Guam will be taking her husband to the airport in a few hours for a year apart....and she's nine months pregnant with their third child. I remember taking my husband to the airport for a year part...it's so hard. And I remember how I felt just a few weeks before I gave birth to my third child. To do both of those together? My heart breaks for her. As you read this, please, say a prayer for Erika...I know she will appreciate them.