Red White and Blue

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This week in the USA has been filled with patriot songs, star spangled clothes and in the South, rain. Lots of rain. Like “Should I start hoarding wood to build an ark?” rain. Which normally I would really dislike but as I had been mentally steeling myself for this holiday which is usually filled with lots of family fun, I am fine that Mother Nature has quite literally rained on my parade.

We have a beach house that has been the site of 4th of July celebrations in my family for decades complete with a parade, fireworks and other frivolity. And every year growing up we entered a float in the Seaside parade.

Literally I cannot tell you how often I have been dressed up in a royal blue sequin dress, green mermaid tail, patriotic striped outfit as Chelsea Clinton…you get the picture. I celebrate the birth of our nation by standing in the bed of a pickup truck waving and yelling, “Happy 4th” to crowds of people. Usually in over 100 degree heat.

This has long been a tradition in my family and when Wesley and I started dating he jumped right in. He never complained about getting up at 4:00 a.m. to wrap crepe paper streamers around the truck to make it more festive or standing and waving at people in the blistering heat while trying to maintain his balance in stop and go parade traffic or honestly getting bossed around by my mother, aunt and grandmother while they stood back saying, “Hmm, not quite like that…” He smiled and rearranged that plastic American flag for the 73rd time. Because he loved me and my family.

The 4th of July was always his favorite holiday. Forget Santa and the Bunny with the chocolate eggs. Uncle Sam was his man. Because growing up he always thought the fireworks would usher in his second favorite occasion, his birthday which falls 10 days later. The booms and lights in the sky merely served as an announcement to the world, “Hey, Wesley Cline’s birthday is coming. Prepare yourself.”

So the fact that this year the parade was cancelled due to torrential rain and the fireworks were nothing more than a fizzle was a relief. Because a beautiful patriotic extravaganza and waving from the bed of a truck might have been too much this year.

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