July 4th is time to celebrate!

When I was growing up, July 4th was a very special day.  My family always attended our church picnic at a parishioner’s farm.  BBQ chicken was supplied for all, and everyone brought sides and deserts to share.  The chicken crew always got there early because you can’t cook chicken for over a hundred people in a few minutes.  They would set up a special pit and slow cook the chicken over the coals for a couple of hours.  It’s still the best chicken I ever ate.

While lunch was cooking, the kids and young-at-heart adults would all go play softball or volleyball in the fields.  It was fun.  The younger kids would be helped to make sure they got to play and learn the game.  It was never about winning; I can’t remember a single score of any game in all the years, but I remember the outfield with six or seven people in it and volleyball sides so full there was no such thing as out of bounds.

After lunch we would all go back to playing while the ice cream was churned.  Whenever I have homemade ice cream it still reminds me of the July 4th picnics.   It was the perfect refresher after running the bases and no one left until it was served!

Once I got older and moved to business and industry, having to close the books for second quarter often meant that I couldn’t take extra time off around the fourth. However, we still managed to get to the picnic. My wife and kids and I moved an hour away and attended a different church, but we went back home to the picnic every year.  It was fantastic watching my kids have the same fun I had when growing up.

July 4th should be a reminder that no matter how much we have to do, there should always be time to have some fun, create some memories and enjoy the freedom that we have.  I hope you get to do that.

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