by Kassandra Lamb
Independence Day has always been my second favorite holiday, Christmas being the first. But now I think July 4th is edging toward first place.
When I was a kid, we went to a big cookout at the house of my parents’ friends, the Chucklers (not their real name; honestly anyone named that should pay to have it legally changed). I’m calling them that because they were cheerful people and we always had a lot of fun there. My brother and I would romp around with their kids in the woods by their house.
Then when we’d worked up a good appetite, we’d see who could run the fastest to get back to where the food was laid out. The centerpiece of the meal was a huge pot of homemade Maryland crab soup. I can close my eyes and taste the tomato and Old Bay on my tongue. Indeed, Mrs. Chuckler’s crab soup spoiled me for anybody else’s.
As dusk settled around us, we’d pile into cars and drive a few miles to a huge field where the local volunteer fire company put on a fireworks display that is the best I’ve ever seen, bar none! The finale was always a picture in the sky, made up of fireworks. One year it was an American flag. Another it was the face of George Washington. I kid you not! I have no clue how they could be so precise with the fireworks to make that happen.
I think that our favorite holidays are influenced by our memories of those times in the past. Christmas has many fine memories attached to it as well, but it hasn’t been the same since my mother passed away. But those memories of July 4th remain unsullied. Thus the rising of that day in the ranks of my favorite holidays.
This year, we’ll be on our annual trek to Maryland/Pennsylvania to visit family and friends. Our home base is in Rock Hall, Maryland, which has the second best fireworks ever. The house we’re renting is just a few blocks from the harbor, and my brother is staying with us the first week of July.
So we’ll stroll down to the harbor early, with our picnic dinner and a bottle of wine, and nab a prime spot by the water. After a leisurely picnic, we’ll people-watch until time for the fireworks. And although we won’t be having Maryland crab soup for dinner, the evening will still be spiced with those memories from childhood of good times spent with family and friends celebrating the birth of our country.
How about you? What’s your favorite holiday? Does it have pleasant memories attached to it?
(Note: our blog will be on summer hiatus for the month of July. See you in August!)
Oh, and don’t forget to grab a copy of Vinnie Hansen’s updated edition of One Tough Cookie, the second in her Carol Sabala series and newly re-released under the misterio press imprint.
One Tough Cookie, A Carol Sabala Mystery
Carol Sabala’s boss sends the baker and amateur sleuth on a mission: find out who tampered with a teacher’s cookie dough and sickened the faculty. While Carol hones her investigative skills by gathering clues on the campus, a student is found dead on the high school’s stage. Did she fall? Commit suicide? Or did a killer hurl her from the catwalk?
When Carol seeks answers, a ruthless stalker comes after her!
Now Available on AMAZON and SMASHWORDS
Posted by Kassandra Lamb. Kassandra is a retired psychotherapist turned mystery writer. She writes the Kate Huntington mystery series.
We blog here at misterio press once (sometimes twice) a week, usually on Tuesdays. Sometimes we talk about serious topics, and sometimes we just have some fun.
Please follow us so you don’t miss out on any of the interesting stuff, or the fun! (We do not lend, sell nor otherwise bend, spindle or mutilate followers’ e-mail addresses. 🙂 )
Vinnie HansenJune 30, 2015 at 5:17 pm
If my memories of the 4th included crab soup and a fireworks display that painted pictures, it might be my favorite too. Unfortunately, it’s one of my least favorite–“our” beach is fenced off to manage the invasion of hoards of people, many drunk, and too many with illegal fireworks that threaten our bone dry area. The noise of firecrackers keeps me up and frightens my cat. So all in all, I prefer Thanksgiving or Halloween. 🙂
Your celebration sounds nice, Kass. Have fun!
Thanks for mentioning One Tough Cookie. I have a Goodreads giveaway scheduled to start tomorrow, although I’m still awaiting the official confirmation. So sign up folks and maybe win a free copy. 🙂
Kassandra LambJuly 1, 2015 at 1:00 am
When things are “bone dry” I don’t blame you for being nervous about fireworks, Vinnie! Good luck with your Goodreads giveaway!!
K.B. OwenJuly 1, 2015 at 7:51 am
What great memories, Kass! I can see why you love the holiday, and your plans for this upcoming one sounds like a ton of fun! (and I can’t wait to see you when you’re in the area!)
My absolute fave holiday is Christmas, which has some great memories mixed in, though the bloom is a bit off the rose as my parents age and can’t visit us anymore. They live in a teeny apt now, so we have only a short visit with them close to the holiday but not on the actual day, because it’s kind of dreary spending Christmas Eve and night sleeping in a hotel.
After that, it’s a toss-up between Halloween and Thanksgiving – I LOVE the fall season on the east coast.
Have a great vacation!
Kassandra LambJuly 1, 2015 at 11:01 pm
That’s part of the problem for us now with Christmas. We go to our son’s and he doesn’t have room for us at his house, so we stay in a motel. Not ideal, but it works. Sadly things change with time. *sigh*
I’m totally psyched about getting to see you too though. It will be one of the highlights of this trip!
Nancy LevineJuly 4, 2015 at 10:45 am
It used to be Thanksgiving and Chanukah, but too many bad things have happened since 2011. Now I just want to sleep through all the winter holidays until the first day of the new year. So July 4th is my new fave holiday. It’s 4 days before my birthday, for one thing. I love the fireworks, and grilling out (although my husand’s gone, so I don’t grill out anymore–he was the king of the grill).. It’s just a fun holiday!
Kassandra LambJuly 4, 2015 at 4:48 pm
How cool that your birthday is right after the 4th, Nancy. It’s like the whole country is celebrating with you!! Happy Birthday!!! (a few days early) 🙂
Nancy LevineJuly 4, 2015 at 4:51 pm
Thanks so much! I worked with a lady whose birthday is today–I always thought that was kind of cool, too.
Kassandra LambJuly 4, 2015 at 4:53 pm
😀 Wonder if she thought as a kid that the fireworks were for her birthday!
Nancy LevineJuly 5, 2015 at 5:32 pm
I’m sure she did!