Fourth of July Celebration

[amazon_image id=”0816056617″ link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium large” ]Right To Vote (American Rights)[/amazon_image]

When I think of the Fourth of July of my youth, I think of fireworks and watermelon and the carnival in the park.

I grew up on a farm about six miles from the nearest town (village, really) and we always had some backyard fireworks; sparklers, fire crackers, and Roman candles. The town kids did, too. There weren’t any restrictions, people knew better than to set fireworks off in dry grass. We didn’t limit our enjoyment of fireworks to the evening of the Fourth. Everyone had fireworks until the local merchants sold out and the last fuse was lit. Fireworks in July was as big a tradition as presents for Christmas. You couldn’t celebrate the Fourth without fireworks!

I looked forward to the celebration when I was small and couldn’t wait for the carnival to arrive. Back then, it consisted of a rickety Ferris wheel, a merry-go-round, and a cluster of small midway games. For a dime, you could have three tries at a game where even the skilled were unlikely to win a prize… But we all tried. I vaguely remember a fortune teller, fat lady, and a sword swallower… or maybe he was a fire eater.

And, the community pool was open.

Then disaster struck… Sometime before I started first grade, a child in our community was diagnosed with Polio. Weekly news about the little girl in the iron lung put fear in the heart of every parent. Summer fun stopped. The pool closed and the carnival didn’t come to town again for years. And for the farm kids, me and my brother, Polio season meant fear and isolation. But, it didn’t end our celebration of freedom or dampen our patriotism.

Patriotism was a year round endeavor. Back then, we began each school day with the Lord’s Prayer, Flag Salute, and MY COUNTRY  TIS OF THEE. Parents didn’t have to teach patriotism, they lived it. It was taught at school and revered at church.

Things have changed. Today, the responsibility for raising kids to become citizens who love America rests at home. If you don’t teach your child to love this country, someone else may teach them to hate it. If you don’t teach your child American history and why the Colonists hated the tyranny of British rule, they may learn to accept the gradual loss of freedoms that could end our Democratic Republic form of government.

Sixty years ago when I sat in American history class, I didn’t find it that interesting. I don’t think the teacher had time to cover it all, and I missed some of it anyway. But, a few years ago, I received an opportunity for a refresher course that isn’t available to most… a contract to write a book about the RIGHT TO VOTE. In writing that book, I had to include the background and explain why the Colonists hated British rule so much. It was bad! I can’t even imagine the loss of privacy involved in being ordered to provide lodging British soldiers! While researching this book, I learned a lot of American history that led to the items included in the Constitution and Bill of Rights, and the strong desire to guarantee the right to vote.

The right to vote is the right that protects all other rights… and when that right is diminished all other freedoms are in jeopardy.


Ordinary Days November Contest Results

Thank you to everyone who entered the Ordinary Days Contest. I’ve enjoyed reading about your ordinary days that became special and I hope others have, too. I’m glad I decided to have a drawing instead of choosing a favorite or the best entry. They were all so good, and individual, I could not have made a choice. You’re all the best! It was much easier to shake the bits of paper a few times, and then reach in and pluck one out. Still, I had to close my eyes and hold my breath. A choice like this is stressful!

As you can see, I treasure your entries and couldn’t resist adding a dash of sparkle and beauty to the bowl of entries.

And… The winner is:

Gloria Harchar!

Thank you for sharing your special day and entering my contest. I’ll contact you for your address so I can send your prize. I hope you enjoy the cardholder and may every card you give away help build your following.

The contest was fun and I’m planning another soon. Keep watch!

What Makes an Ordinary Day Special Contest

Win this shiny engraved business card case shown in its little black box.

Every day is ordinary until something makes it special. Something happens and an extraordinary moment sets the day apart. A day made special can be happy or sad. Whether the memory is  joyful or sorrowful, it’s one that won’t be forgotten.

I’ve already blogged about some of my Ordinary Days. Other memories from my special days include:

  • A black and white Shetland pony tied to a mesquite tree on Christmas Eve.
  • A phone call that included hysterical words “stopped breathing” and “on the way to the hospital” with very loud sirens blaring in the background.
  • An email: Call my dad. There’s a shooter at my school and we on lock-down.
  • A bearded iris that only  blooms in spring, bloomed one difficult day in July.
  • A runaway horse with a toddler in the saddle.
  • The florist arrived at my door with a dozen red roses.

I’ll tell these stories later, but now…


I’d like to know what made your ordinary days special. Tell me about your special day in a comment and I’ll give you a chance to win a prize. Comment on this blog with just a few words or a whole story you’d like to share. One comment entry per person per day. You get one entry for just a hello. Two entries for a sentence about a memorable moment. Five entries for a paragraph or two telling the story of your special day. Comment on another person’s comment, one entry. One entry for comments on any other post on my blog. Contest ends Wednesday November 28. The winner will be announced Friday November 30.

It’s shiny on the inside, too. I keep a few cards in mine and it serves as a handy unbreakable mirror when I need a quick lipstick touch-up. If you win, I hope you enjoy the cardholder and it’s reminder that “Every day is ordinary until something makes it special.”