Tag Archives: 4th of july

Sparklers on the patio

One 4th of July, our family had our own modest fireworks display. While usually it would be the kid that would be begging the parents for bottle rockets and sparklers to set off, I was a fearful kid. So it was Mom that thought it would be fun to shoot off some fireworks on the 4th of July. I remember the shack that housed the fireworks for sale. It was a sensory overload with the explosion of bright colors and the names of the various fireworks, which might as well have been written in a foreign language.

Of course, Mom being Mom, she chose the most low-key fireworks available.

After dinner, Mom, Dad and I gathered on our patio, which was a tiny slab of concrete surrounded by a wooden fence. Dad soon departed, as Mom didn’t want him smoking around the other explosives. Dad slunk off to the carport area, his other prime smoking area.

We got a couple of things that were supposed to twirl around on the ground, but they turned out to be duds.

I do remember the sparklers, which I held as far away from me as possible, afraid that I was going to set myself on fire. I remember the soft hiss the sparklers made, and how they lit up our faces.

Then the fun was over, and all was dark again. Later, we all gathered again on the patio, to look into the sky and see the professional fireworks display that was taking place a few miles away. The thudding pops were followed by a rain of color exploding in the sky. We stood together as a family, in awe and glee over the spirited display.

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Dad’s love affair with hot dogs

I was talking to my mom today, and she said how she didn’t want to read the Food section of the newspaper, as it was all about hot dogs, and she didn’t think she would ever eat another one of those again. She then mentioned how Dad and I loved her chili dogs when I was growing up.

It is indeed true. I’ve always been a fan of burgers more than hot dogs, but around the 4th of July, Mom would decide it was time for hot dogs. According to Dad, his diet when he was a young immigrant in New York City consisted of hot dogs and coffee. Apparently, Dad did not lose his love affair with the American staple when he moved to the West Coast.

I remember the vivid colors of the meal. The yellow mustard, the red ketchup, the green pickle relish and the green onions and the bowl of orange-tinted shredded cheese. I think I liked the toppings more than the hot dog itself!

There was a giant bowl of potato chips (the rippled kind, usually sour cream and onion flavored).

It was one of those fun weekend/holiday meals that was always a hit. Simple food, simple people, simply a good family memory.

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