Hope all had a Grand 4th of July. I have spent my 4th at the exact same location for 48 years. That was kind of hard to type. 48 years! It is hard to imagine so many years have passed but the content of those years is what's important.
There's an excited 6 year old, waiting for her Dad to light her sparkler. I next see a snapshot of a buck teethed, bird- legged girl running madly, a Black Cat firecracker spewing sparks behind her. Another year? Chief, my wonder horse is prominent in this 4th of July parade, and we all ride our horses, decorated with red, white and blue pom-poms, made by our Mother's.
Years pass. There's a group of young girls, perfectly coiffed, standing apart and watching the festivities. Actually, out of the corners of our mascara rimmed eyes, watching the boys we're growing up with...... now much more interesting. Flash forward. Another 4th and we all return, this time in college t-shirts, regrouping and reconnecting.
We proudly share our newest loves to meet everyone and join in the festivities. Many come and go but eventually, each of us introduces the one we will marry. They too find themselves dressing like madmen, marching in a parade without spectators, to music no one can hear.
Babies come. Babies grow. Now the photographs have different faces, but amazingly, in this place, nothing ever changes. There is comfort that here, things stay the same. In a changing world, often turbulent and frightening, it is comforting and affirming to celebrate an event in the same way with people you love. We are proud to be Americans and recognize our blessings every time we gather for the 4th. We are proud to be Oklahomans and celebrate how good our state has been to us as we catch up at the river.
It is not so hard to watch the years pass when you do it with people you love. As I gathered once again with my family, and the friends I have known for ever, looking back was a pleasure and a gift. And looking forward isn't so bad either!!! chrissie