An Old Fashioned Independence Day…

Baking a red, white and blue flag pie. Raising the flag. Decorating picnic tables with Red, White and Blue napkins.

This year our choices for celebrating the Fourth of July are limited. Many of our favorite community and government-sponsored events have been canceled. There will be no parades, concerts, craft fairs or seafood festivals. Social distancing requirements are changing the nature of even the few gatherings that are scheduled. Concerts will be televised only, featuring taped performances or highlights from previous years. Even our nation’s greatest firework display, A Capitol Fourth, will offer a mere spark of its former performances.

But our spirit is still strong. And our desire to preserve our right to Independent thinking is stronger than ever.

In trying to do my part to prevent passing any potential viruses on to my fellow citizens, I decided to celebrate an old fashioned Fourth, modeling my family party on the events that have been a part of nation’s celebrations for more than a hundred years. No – I’m probably not having three legged races, an egg toss and definitely no pie eating contests. Making pies is too much effort to watch them gobbled without being enjoyed. But…

What is left?


Always a part of Independence Day celebrations, from the very beginning, lemonade was a luxury cold beverage made from the fruit so sour it can’t be eaten alone. Americans began mixing it with sugar and ice around the 1800s. It quenched many a parched throat dry from too much orating!

Certainly the pandemic has tossed many lemons at the world. It has been hard on all of us. Especially here in the United States. The woes we face are bitter. But we have to fight injustice together. We have to start squeezing those lemons and adding just that spoonful of the sugar of empathy for each other, so we can right this wrong.

So let’s celebrate our rights. And our country.  We can throw in a reading of the Declaration of Independence, and some speeches. Not orations like in the 1850s that went on for hours, but maybe some words that would give us an understanding of our fellow citizens, and an historical perspective, so we can accept that past or present, we are only human, flawed, prone to mistakes, but always containing the capacity to improve ourselves.

I’m celebrating everyone’s right to free speech, no matter how popular the opinion expressed. And I am listening to what is being said, in the hopes that I can help ensure a culture of respect for everyone’s rights.

Happy Fourth of July.

© Jane F. Collen  July 3, 2020™





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