The Fourth Festivities

I’m a day late and a dollar short.

The blog is a little late and I spent the last dollar I had with me today to buy a Pal’s tea (if you don’t know what Pal’s is, be sure to visit one when you’re in the area).  But that’s not what my subject is about this time. Today I’m thinking about the July 4th picnics we had when I was growing up.

It was always a time of celebration – somebody would go early to get picnic tables at Warrior’s Park before they were all taken. I don’t think we could reserve tables, so somebody had to be the lookout. It had to be on a fairly level spot so there was plenty of room for all the metal folding chairs.

Our family was pretty big. Most of us lived in town and a few drove in from across the line in Virginia. When we all got together, you could aways count on a lot of eating and talking. And more eating – grazing on the leftovers was the best part. My cousins and I looked forward to playing together and somebody was always begging to go spend the night with somebody else at the end of the day, so they could keep playing.

Our moms cooked the food and loaded down the tables with everything imaginable. All the 4th favorites were there. There was always mac and cheese (you can’t have a family get-together, or any gathering, without it!), homemade slaw, potato salad, green beans, canned pickles, you name it. The men usually took care of the grilling. I don’t remember any big fires getting out of hand — just nice, burnt hot dogs.

It seems that I always end up working food into my posts — I think that means I like to eat. I get it honest. I come from a family of hearty eaters. It seemed like my dad could eat more than anyone — his thin frame never looked any bigger though. He always said the food went to his legs.

I’ve spent half my life (or more) celebrating something with food – or just going out after church to eat. I guess holidays and after church times were created for eating. Sharing meals seems to make us happy. I know it makes me happy.

So, with that I will say: Happy 4th of July, everyone! I hope you get to spend time eating all your favorites with family and friends. Burn a hot dog for me.



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