How did you celebrate Independence Day growing up? Did you have any family traditions? Funny how we keep some of the traditions, but let others go, as we become adults. I think the only tradition we still do is make homemade ice cream. We have let the rest go and created our own traditions.

Growing up we always had a cookout, made homemade ice cream, and went to watch the fireworks on display. Sometimes I wonder if the other people around me would describe it the same way I remember it. We always had a good time, but this was from a kid’s perspective. As a kid it was fantastic. All the family was around, eating, laughing, and having a good time. It was a time to celebrate. Some summers it was held at my grandparent’s house and grandpop did the churning of the ice cream. Other times, I was at my father’s house, where Dad did the churning. Either way – I had delicious ice cream!

One July 4th stands out clearly in my mind. It was the bicentennial celebration (1976). We celebrated with my grandparents; I had a tri-corner hat just like they did back when they signed our Declaration of Independence. After dinner and ice cream, I got to ride on my stepfather’s shoulders as everyone walked to McGruder Park, in Hyattsville MD, to see the fireworks. That was the highlight of the evening.

I hope you find a way to celebrate our independence this year. I do believe we all should appreciate the freedoms we were given. Happy 4th.