Happy Fourth of July!
One of the best things about this time of year is living in the mountains and having the extremely rare opportunity to sit on a mountain top with ice tea, popcorn, the Mister, and Moose, and be able to see several firework displays simultaneously! Seriously. It rocks!
We usually drive over to Bethany Baptist Church, which sits on a mountain top, and watch the fireworks in Sparta and Independence, VA. Very cool. However, this year, we were surprised to discover that the forests around the church had grown to a point that we could no longer see Independence, which is our favorite display of the two.
So, we scurried over to the VFW where we could have a great view of the display. It was spectacular! We could hear the boom! and then, a second later, see the explosion above the high school stadium. Moose sat in the back of the Forester, watching and talking about what he could see from his spot and hoping for a popcorn kernel to find its way back to him.
Then, it hit me.
There was a Latino party at the VFW, and fantastic music rolled from the building, echoing through the little valleys surrounding the hillside. Small children danced in the parking lot, their shoes flashing as the lights caught them or their soles twinkled, lit by LEDs. Women, their hair piled high, sharp heels, and exquisite, shimmering dresses, gathered the children and herded them to the edge of the lot where they could see the fireworks. The men, wanting to appear more indifferent, leisurely strolled about the lot and stood in the doorways talking, smoking, and laughing. With every burst of colour in the sky, the children would scream, "Yah!" and dance with excitement. Their cheers seemed to inspire the crowds below, nearer the football stadium, as we could hear their shouts, oohs, and ahhhs as clearly as if we were standing right there and not three miles away.
I mentioned to the Mister the irony of the situation.
"Do you realize how funny this is? We are sitting here enjoying and celebrating the Fourth of July with a Latino soundtrack. It is just perfect, isn't it??"
He mumbled something about how it was funny and kept poking the greasy popcorn into his mouth, pausing only long enough to comment on a particularly bright or different explosion.
There was just something so right about the night -- to enjoy a truly American holiday simultaneously enjoyed, as well, by those who may be just learning what being an American means. It was a sweet moment.
Happy July 4th! Be safe!