Keep feelings of the Fourth all year long | Home Again

By Joanne Peterson | Jul 10, 2014

As I write this, it is the evening of the Fourth of July. Parades are over, picnics are finished, the skies are streaked with clouds and fading sunset colors.

Nearby, someone periodically sets off fireworks with sonic-boom noise levels, startling neighbors and terrifying every dog within blocks.

The community fireworks display in Edmonds will begin soon, a dramatic and thrilling end to this Edmonds Fourth of July.

I’ll stop writing to watch the fireworks from my office window and no doubt will find them spectacular.

In the meantime, plenty of people tune in to TV channels such as KCTS 9, showing tens of thousands participating in “The Capitol Fourth” celebration of our nation’s independence.

Military bands play Sousa and choruses sing our National Anthem--on its 200th anniversary.

Popular singers take the stage encouraging the crowds to sing along with them—“It’s a Grand Old Flag,” “God Bless America” and “America the Beautiful.”

From small towns to big cities, it’s a magnificent national party, coast to coast. For one day, at least, Americans are unified.

They dress their kids in red-white-and-blue and head off to local parades, family get-togethers and community fireworks shows—all to celebrate life in this free country. Patriotism surges on this day.

This morning I stood on a curb and watched the annual Edmonds Fourth of July parade as it wound along its familiar route.

Perhaps I stood on the same corner when I was a child, feeling the same excitement as the little children curbside this morning.

The Fourth of July always takes me back to the years my family lived on the corner of Fourth and Dayton—Fourth of July parades, fun and excitement and, in the evening, the grand finale of running around the back yard waving sparklers from my dad’s Western Auto Store on the corner of Fourth and Main.

I wonder now whether he deliberately over-ordered fireworks to sell, as there always seemed to be quite a few left over. What could he possibly do but bring them home?

Sometimes our family went to Camano Island to my grandparents’ cabin for the day, which gave my dad the opportunity to tote vast strings of firecrackers down to the rocky beach to light. (My mother stayed at the cabin!)

I recollect that my brother enjoyed participating, but I tended to duck behind a log quite a ways down the beach.

I preferred watching from a safe distance as my father stuffed firecrackers under tin cans, lit the fuses and sped away before the fireworks exploded.

I was glad when the firecrackers were gone, and we walked back up the hill to the cabin.

This 2014 Independence Day celebration will be over by the time you read this. But I wish each of us would keep Fourth of July feelings all year.



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