What a special Independence Day we have this year with two more children on the way. Time to make more memories. Looking back over my life, I always recall the 4th of July fondly. I remember cookouts with family, trips to the beach, concerts, among so many other things. Other than football in the Fall, this is the best time of the year. A time to relax, reflect, and redirect my focus. There are certain events that stick out in my mind. A tornado in Myrtle Beach. A trip to Universal Studios Orlando. Many things come to mind when I look back on this holiday.
I celebrate my anniversary at my job on July 5th. True story; I was unemployed when I married Karyn. We had met at GMAC, taking and making collections calls. We sat right across from each other and were polar opposites. I was loud and outgoing. Karyn was kind of quiet and reserved. We started as friends. I would have done anything for her and she would have me. We had each other's back. When we decided to actually date, we had to find employment elsewhere. Too much drama in an office. Too many strains on a budding relationship. She was hired at State Farm. I realized once she left GMAC, I wasn't that happy there. It wasn't the job that I loved. I needed a fresh start too. I had already proposed to her and we had a date set. I turned in my 2 week notice. I sent out my resume to several potential employers but there was one job that I wanted. I had heard Karyn talk up the benefits her brother had received while there. I knew it took a little time to get hired on. It took me a month. I had saved some money up and was living off of that until someone hired me. I got the call and have been there 6 years. We were married June 24th and my first day was July 5th. As long as we have been married. Moral of the story? Just because he's unemployed, doesn't (always) mean he's a bum.
One more memory...
Last year on July 4th, my leg was broken. Karyn was in charge of the fireworks. We always buy a few that really shouldn't be shot in a neighborhood like ours. There are so many houses in close proximity. I realize that, but my inner 8 year old is very loud. My wife lit the first few with no trouble and more than just a few neighbors came out to watch. She lit one that wasn't secured and it fell over on its side. Fire shot out of it and hit the empty house being sold next door. Sparks flew everywhere. The second blast lit the neighbors yard on fire. I was on crutches but managed to hop toward the water hose. Karyn turned it on. The neighbors two doors down helped extinguish the blaze. All ended well and the fire department didn't have to come. This year we decided to go with a much smaller pyrotechnics display and since Karyn is in a "compromised" state, I got to take back over. The guy who lives in the house now probably has no idea of the assault. Probably best.
We shot fireworks, hung out with friends, shopped, grilled out, swam at the Y, and went to Gatlinburg. All these things feel so American. That's the main thing about the 4th, Independence Day. That we remember this great country. The freedoms we have. The country that allows us to meet at a job, get married, and raise a family together. The freedom to pray, take picnics, swim in a mountain stream, and watch our children grow in an environment without persecution. The freedom to leave one job and start another. The freedom to catch your neighbor's yard on fire. Wait, that may be against the law. Whatever. Happy Independence Day. I love my country. God Bless America.