Saturday, July 5, 2008
America at its best
Happy 4th of July! I've been house and cat-sitting for a friend of mine this last week, so I spent the holiday morning quietly at her house. In the afternoon, I drove home to Huntington Beach and passed several hours making puff paint and felt animals to go with some of Eric Carle's books. My sister came from her home in Garden Grove, my dad bar-b-q'd salmon, steak, chicken, potatoes, and corn, and we all feasted at dinner. Once we'd cleaned up, Jessica, Joy, and I walked to the beach for the HB fireworks display at 9. Thank goodness we live within walking distance! The crowds and traffic were stunning, and more and more packed in the closer we got to the beach.This is the crowd as seen from the beach at 8:30pm. It only got more crowded from there.
This is what the beach looked like at 8:30. By 9, there wasn't a single blank space of sand.
We found a spot on the sand and settled down amid the noise and confusion of thousands of people, some of them rather worse for having been drinking all day, but on the whole not too rowdy. While we waited, I decided to join the line for the Starbucks samples four hurried employees were making and distributing as fast as their blenders and hands could work. During the 5ish minutes I waited, I reflected on the privilege of being in this country. Here were people waiting patiently in line, no shoving or complaining. The diversity around me was amazing. The family in front of me spoke Arabic, I heard German from another family passing by, and many other ethnicities and languages were represented in the thousands of people waiting for fireworks.
At 9, the pier lights went off, and soon the show began - a half-hour of brilliant lights and music, accompanied by the 'oo' 'aahh' and applause of the spectators.
Once the show ended at 9:30, we joined the slow migration away from the beach. Again, we had cause to be thankful that we could return home on foot. Pity the poor folks in cars! They had no chance against the streams of people moving methodically off to home or more celebration in the busy restaurants and bars.
If you live in the United States, I hope you had a truly fun and memorable Independence Day celebration with family and friends. God bless America!