Fourth of July – Independence Day – is my favorite holiday. The main reason is it’s a low pressure holiday. No gifts to buy. No cards to send. No obligation to spend time with crazy relatives. You don’t even need a date to celebrate properly. It’s also a truly American holiday, something we all celebrate regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, social standing, wealth, political affiliation, or sexual orientation. I guess you could argue that Thanksgiving is kind of like that, but there is that obligation to the crazy relatives or perhaps worse, not having any family at all. But Fourth of July, even at it’s worst, is about warm weather, and spontaneity. For me, this year was no different.
Of course the best way to start any holiday is with a run or better yet, a race. This morning I went to the Glen Rock Tribute Run and met up with my Harriers teammates to cheer on the few that were running. I’m still working on recovery and not racing until later this month. We had a bigger group cheering than running this year. That was my only plan for the day, but spontaneity took over when I accepted an invitation to spend the afternoon with some those runner friends at one of their homes.
When I was a kid we always went to the Glen Rock Parade (I guess funny now that I go to a run there) because my parents’ first house was in Glen Rock and their closest friends still lived there. That was followed by a pool party and barbecue. Eventually in later years the pool party moved to our house and we stopped going to the parade. Then my parents bought a summer home and started leaving me home alone for the weeks surrounding fourth of July and the pool party continued, just with my friends, and no parents. I also have great memories of Ridgewood Fireworks, weekends on Long Beach Island, a Jimmy Cliff Concert in Sag Harbor. My first apartment after I was married was a mid-rise in Hackensack and from our 7th floor patio we had an amazing view of every northern Bergen County town’s fireworks. Then there were the matching Old Navy flag Ts when my daughter was small. Since 2008, I have spend Fourth of July weekend here in Ramsey. As luck would have it, I’m right across the street from the park where they hold the Fireworks. Yeah, Fourth of July is my holiday and seems to follow me wherever I go.
I hope you had a happy Independence Day weekend.
Shelter Island, NY June 2016