Reflections on Independence Day

Many families choose the Fourth of July to hold their family reunions. (Contributed)

Many families choose the Fourth of July to hold their family reunions. (Contributed)

By SANDRA THAMES / Community Columnist

What does the Fourth of July holiday mean to you?

For most of us, our fondest memories were made during our childhoods.

Many families today choose this holiday for their family reunions.

Some get-togethers are locally planned and others involved uncles, aunts, cousins, grandparents and new babies that cover an expanse of many states.

Many of the larger scale reunions go on for several days and are planned for months in advance.

Once I spotted about 50 yellow shirts with the family names printed on them and they were from all across the United States – California, Missouri, etc.

One lady told me they only had these massive cross-country reunions every five years. (It probably took four years to recover.)

Some families rent pavilions to provide more space and entertainment close by for kids.

Parks, lakes, beaches, ballgames or just Aunt Jewel’s house, which has spacious grounds and a garden full of vegetable delights.

Barbeque is popular as a main menu along with squash, beans, cornbread, peas, potato salad, mac and cheese, corn on the cob, coleslaw, a variety of cakes, pies and puddings.

These are just a few of the many down home country delights.

Each family has its best cook and it seems that everyone has a “specialty” they are particularly known for.

My Grandma Alexander’s specialty was chicken and dumplings (they raised chickens on top of Straight Mountain), and my Granny Johns was known for her tomato gravy and blackberry cobbler.

Impromptu baseball, basketball and football games could appear, and don’t forget horseshoes and corn hole.

Things can get competitive (some of those 45-year-old men trying to be 15 again).

Don’t forget the awesome fireworks displays different organizations sponsor.

The Fourth of July is a day meant for celebrating the independence of the United States.

We sometimes tend to forget how fortunate we are.

God has truly blessed the United States, and we should be thankful for those who continue to fight for our freedom and way of life.

Hope you have had a good one!