Here in our little ‘burb in St. Louis we have an annual 4th of July celebration…the old fashioned kind with the parade, marching bands, neighborhood lawn chair dancers, even the bed pan brigade. We also have a carnival with rides and booths that allows the kids to go squander their hard-earned allowances or their parents’ salaries. Each night, we get to watch awesome fireworks displays on the football field.
Except for this year.
We are experiencing an unbelievable drought and heat wave that began in June. We see signs along roadways warning us of the extremely high risk of wild fires. In the suburbs. In the mid-west. Today it’s supposed to reach 109° and tomorrow 110°. This is pretty wacky weather, even for us.
So this year, our fireworks were cancelled. It made the front page of the local paper.
But even worse than that…stores were open all day, normal business hours. I was shocked. My daughter pointed out that stores are open all the time on holidays. I waxed nostalgic.
“I remember when nothing was open on any holidays. When we couldn’t even go get hot chocolate at McDonalds on Christmas Eve, or when restaurants weren’t even open on holidays. When grocery stores weren’t open on Sundays…”
I believe she rolled her eyes at me…but it made me sad. No days are important anymore. Families don’t get to spend the holidays together because someone has to work. Getting together for quality time as a family is already challenging, but to take away the few important, special holidays and turning them into nothing but an opportunity to make a few more bucks just ticks me off.
Do you know what you get when you cross a patriotic person with an historic heat wave that wipes out the fireworks? A ticked off, patriotic, nostalgic, sentimental and overheated person who likes change but not THIS kind of change.