Tomorrow is the Fourth of July. For me this means a day full of traditions, traditions which have remained remarkably similar throughout my life.
Growing up my family and I would spend two or three weeks at my Grandparent’s cottage on Otter Lake, which is now part of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. (Here’s a link to stories about The Cottage if you’re interested in reading.) We were often there in July, so on the 4th we would drive to Frankfort, MI for the parade and fireworks.
In an interesting twist of fate I ended up marrying a man from Frankfort, though we met in college hours away from either of our home towns. Therefore, unlike many other holidays, my 4th of July traditions have changed very little. No matter where we’ve been in the last twelve years we have always tried to return home in July.
Tomorrow I’ll be getting up early to run the Beulah Firecracker 5k, which I’ve raced in at least a dozen times. We’ll rush back to the house and clean up as fast as possible in order to make it to town for the parade. Afterwards we’ll enjoy BBQ chicken, a craft fair, and some ice cream as we stroll through town. The afternoon will be spent on the beach surrounded by family and friends. Finally, as the sun sets, we’ll settle in for one of the best fireworks shows that I have ever seen.
Thousands of people crowd onto the Lake Michigan beach in a town of fifteen hundred permanent residents to ooh and aah as rockets zing and boom over the inky expanse of cold fresh water.
I love traditions, and I love the 4th of July.
Do you celebrate an Independence Day? What are your favorite traditions?