Remember decorating your bicycle on the 4th of July?
My happiest memories of the 4th of July was decorating my bicycle with my Dad out on our driveway – streamers off the handlebars and red, white and blue crepe paper woven through the wheel spokes. All the kids in the neighborhood would line-up with their decorated bicycles at the top of our street. The parade was always lead by my Dad in his decked-out ride-on tractor hitched to a trailer filled with the kids too young to ride bikes in the parade. The neighbors would cheer as we proudly rolled by waving flags, taking pictures and laughing. Somewhere a neighbor would have patriotic music blaring from a huge speaker propped inside a window frame.
The rest of the day would be spent running from yard to yard and jumping in and out of our neighbors pools. Bare feet would run across hot pavement in a race to get a rocket pop from the ice-cream man. Every neighbor had chairs and tables and food out and we would visit each house eating – a lot! – and diving into big barrels of ice to grab a cold orange soda feeling our arms go numb from the shock of the cold water. We would swim and play and laugh and visit and share and eat all day. At night, sparklers and fireworks would light up the neighborhood street.
The party wouldn’t end until way after dark when my mom and dad would bring my brother and I home exhausted, a little sunburned, and very, very happy.
What is your favorite childhood memory of the 4th of July?