Laura Haley-McNeil

July 2, 2017, Independence Day!

Hello, Everyone!

Summer is moving right along and in a couple of days we’ll be celebrating our nation’s birthday. Although I consider myself patriotic, I’ve never been one who has to watch the firework displays. They’re beautiful while they last, but that’s just it – they only last for a few seconds and then the next one fills the sky with beautiful colors and artful sprays of light. I do appreciate the sacrifice our ancestors made. They had to really believe in the future of our country to lay down their lives. What amazes me even more was how young these men were. Most of them would be considered kids by today’s standards. But they made sacrifices and as did others throughout the years. Maybe because I have a fulltime job and try to cram writing into my free time, I feel guilty when I do something that doesn’t help me to complete a book, or clean the house or work in the yard. I feel like I should be doing something that feels like an accomplishment. Fortunately, my husband has never been one who has to watch fireworks either, so we are happy to spend the time at home, unless we receive an invitation from friends or family, and then it’s always fun to spend time with them.

As a child, Independence Day was important to my parents, but back then we could have our own little display and light fireworks in our driveway. They weren’t the spectacular fireworks you see at the baseball game, but the little fireworks that last less than a second, but they’re still expensive. I was always amazed at how much those fireworks cost. Colorado has rather strict laws about fireworks because of the fire danger, especially in the mountains. It seems our firefighters are always battling forest fires. Several of my siblings attended a university near the Wyoming border and they’d drive across state line to purchase fireworks, which always seemed more elaborate than what was available in Colorado. I can’t remember if they were more expensive than the fireworks we bought in Colorado.

With the 4th of July on a Tuesday, a lot of companies will be closed Monday and Tuesday, which means a 4 day weekend. Now that is a wonderful gift. And a lot of people schedule that week off. How great is that to only use 3 vacation days and spend the entire week away from the office?

I work in an office park and one thing I’ve noticed is that it’s very quiet during the summer and during Christmas break. And spring break is quiet, too. During the summer, it takes about 10 minutes for me to drive to work but during the winter, it can take half an hour. I know that isn’t much compared to those of you who live on the east or west coast, but there are so many other things I’d rather do than sit in my car and inch along the highway.

Whatever your plans for the holiday, I hope you spend time doing what you love whether it’s watching fireworks or having a barbeque with family and friends or spending it at the beach. When I was young, my family would pile into the car and spend the day at the lake. We loved to waterski and it was a great way to expel energy from 6 kids.

I hope your holiday is wonderful and that you’re having a fabulous summer!