The Fourth of July is a day filled with all sorts of family traditions, memories, activities and of course fireworks! As a young girl growing up in North Central Oregon, we attended the family reunion every 4th of July and it was a great opportunity to see everyone outside of a wedding or funeral and have some fun together. One of my favorite memories is the time The Dalles Fire Dept. set up a volleyball hung by a net bag to a wire that strung about 100 feet in length with a tether at each end. Two teams of five would each have a fire hose and try to move the volleyball from the center of the wire to the other end of the wire defeating the other team who was attempting to move the volleyball to the opposite end of the wire. It was a hot day, the water was refreshing and we got a sense of how powerful the water is going through the fire hose.
My Mom and my Aunts were all excellent cooks who cooked from scratch. Aunt Marie and her daughter, Rita, achieved state fair honors, several years as “Queen of the Kitchen” and had a reputation for excellent cooking skills. You could always count on great food at the picnics.
Even though the Fourth of July marked our Independence, it was also a Patriotic Holiday which led to talk about relatives who had given their lives in the various wars. One of the most memorable in our family was my Dad’s first cousin who died in WWII. When word reached his Mother in Central Oregon, she died of a heart attack. They had a joint funeral Mass for them.
The 4th has always been one of my favorite holidays probably because it is a “good weather” holiday and we can enjoy outdoor activities. This year I will be enjoying a barbecue with family and friends and we will have a trap shooting contest.
I hope you have a wonderful 4th of July!