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The 4th of July, traditionally, is one of my two favorite holidays. Here are some of the reasons:

  • Time off work
  • Great food
  • Time outdoors
  • Fun with family and/or friends
  • Community traditions: local fireworks shows, concerts in the park, parades, “taste of” events.
  • No shopping for presents and busting the budget
  • Decorations are minimal – easy to put up, remove, and store.
  • We often have a lazy schedule, waking up without an alarm.
  • It lasts a couple days, not a couple months.
  • It is not a three-month retail event.
  • The red, white, and blue theme are so summery.

This Fourth of July was quite different for me.

This year was a much quieter, more subdued event due to three current events. Maybe yours felt different, too. Between the cautions of the pandemic, my greater awareness of what the 4th of July means to Americans with a different experience, and a speech given, I wasn’t sure what the 4th would look like for us, but I knew it would be different.

First, we are in the middle of a pandemic. I felt sad because this holiday would be different due to the “safe at home” order we are following here in California. But I didn’t know exactly how that would work out. We chose to stay home and celebrate with just the two of us. We did not gather with family or friends, share a great holiday meal with a crowd of loved ones, go to the beach, or watch a fireworks event. We spent the day similar to every day for the last 110 plus days. At home. Simple living.

Though bright, sunny, and hot outside, it was clouded for me emotionally. I realized that was OK. I was happy to celebrate the 4th of July, but it was a most unusual set of circumstances this year. It will continue to be one of my favorite holidays, but now with the hope to do better for all people who call the USA home. We will always make the most of it.

To be continued in Part 2….

Stay thoughtful, my friends.