(Obligatory out of focus, too far away photo of a 4th of July firework)
Happy Friday! We made it, phew.
It was a weird 4th of July here this year. I think I've written about finding it hard to feel part of the celebrations in past years. It feels like I'm an interloper, after all I'm one of those evil tyrants the Colonials threw out ;)
I'd sincerely like to celebrate America and all it's good things (whilst hoping that all the bad things won't be swept under the carpet either but that everyone could work together on them to make America great.....I'll get my coat). But as I say, I do feel like an outsider. Not as much as I do when it comes around to Thanksgiving though. I seriously feel like a gate-crasher then. I reckon it's because I haven't got these celebrations in my blood. I can't reference being a kid and seeing my family celebrate these days. I have no nostalgic memories of them. I'm new to them.
It wasn't helped that for the first time in MONTHS we woke up to proper rain:
This wasn't going to help the evening's municipal firework display.....plus it just made me feel homesick, I'm so soft!
(Total aside: hey Brits, do you know the Americans call it the Revolutionary War, whereas we call it the War of Independence? I find this very interesting, it's all perspective isn't it. I probably shouldn't start the discussion that as well as George III being called "Evil King George" in history lessons here, the kids are also taught about the "English Revolution" (Charles 1st and Oliver Cromwell) but that we weren't as successful at revolutions as they are here (because the monarchy 'got back in')! Haha, ohhh America).
Another factor is that I expected more of the 4th of July celebrations. I frequently tell you that America is a country that likes to party. Well, perhaps it's just here in Phoenix but I was expecting something on a par with what they decorate their houses with at Halloween. I wanted to see bunting and flags on the lawns, and big inflatable bald eagles (OK, maybe you only get those in dreams), and red, white and blue EVERYWHERE.
I wanted to see stuff like this, Loran's porch, a fellow Sew Weeklier....she lives on the West coast:
On our block there was only one house with a Stars & Stripes up....and that was ours!
It's really weird, in the afternoon we went on a 'Flag Safari' drive. This is similar to the 'Halloween decs safaris' and 'Christmas lights safaris' we do. To be honest it gets the kids out of the house ;) We drove around, and played a game. You get 1 point if you see a flag displayed on a house or shop, 2 points for a flag on a t-shirt or clothes and 5 points for a patriotically decorated car, like we spotted last 4th of July:
This time, after nearly an hour we'd only spotted 2 houses with flags, 11 shops (yeah, well they're all cashing in with their 4th of July sales), 1 measley t-shirt (aside from me wearing my patriotic flag dress in the front seat) and no cars.
I'm trying to excuse our neighbourhoods with the fact that it's been 109-115F/approx 46C all week and perhaps it's just too hot to get outside and decorate? Nah....I'm sorry new hometown, this is just shoddy. England has more bunting out even knowing we're going to do badly in the Euros! ;)
I'm also going to hang my head in patriotic shame too. (Though at least I had some tin flags in my front lawn and a big Stars and Stripes up on the house). This is my 3rd Independence Day here now and as you know I like to make things. And every year I smile at the red, white and blue decs and crafts that appear on Craftzine, A Beautiful Mess and Pinterest....and the clever people who make special clothes or refashions for themselves and their kids.
Well, I'm considering this my kick up the bum. This was my warning D minus. Much as I'm British through and through, I love my new adoptive country, and I'd like to celebrate that.
Next year, I shall do better!
(watch this space)