Independence Day, July the Fourth means is an important day for Americans. Since moving to the Midwest in ’91 Beth and I have spent many Fourth of July’s at the cottage on Lake Margrethe. I have missed only a few.
The Fourth in Grayling is much like anywhere else in America. They have a parade at eleven and fireworks when it gets dark, usually around ten. This year the parade and fireworks were on July 3, a Saturday, probably because the Fourth fell on a Sunday. I do not know why and it is not important. I do know that Grayling was not alone as William and I travelled from camp to Michigan we saw at least two parades and detoured around them.
Sunday, the fourth was like any other day at the cottage, quiet and peaceful with coffee to share with Grandma Weaver as we looked out across the lake. There is no view better. I have seen that view many times summer, fall, winter, and spring. Each is different. Sometimes it is foggy and the hills are barely visible, sometimes it is clear and that water is like glass, regardless of the time, there is no view that is the same. Sometimes the coffee is strong but the conversation is always good no matter how strong or weak the coffee. Morning is a special time at the cottage sometimes William will come down the stairs and sit with Grandma, though he is getting too big to share the chair with her.Morning also includes the daily drive to town for newspapers. We enjoy reading the Traverse City Record-Eagle and on Sunday, we buy the Detroit Free Press. Beth and Grandma love reading the Crawford County Avalanche to discover what is happening locally. There is the breakfast we love – bacon, fried eggs, and toast – we call it the Michigan breakfast. William and Olivia love a Michigan breakfast especially at the cottage.
The Fourth of July always brings interesting articles – the National Cherry Festival is taking place in Traverse City and the Blue Angels are performing at the air show. The Detroit Free Press or FREEP has a special Fourth of July section. In the section, it had a few quizzes for readers. I took them and was surprised that I needed to bone up on my civics – take them and post your results as a comment and I will post my results. Here are the quizzes:
- Do you know as much as sixth grader (in the Detroit Public Schools)?
- Try the Detroit Public Schools high school civics test.
- The University of Michigan Mid-term exam for Introduction to American Government quiz.
Again, please let me know how you did on the quizzes. I am concerned for our country when the meaning of the national holidays is lost because it represents a carnival or a reason to party. National holidays should be about remembering why we are such a great nation and rededicating ourselves to the ideals set forth by the Declaration of Independence 234 years ago.
Sunday was spent with family. I started the previous day’s post and finished it by mid-afternoon. Grandpa wanted to get the boats in the water and we got the pontoon boat in, docked, and trailer stored it. William and Olivia have a wealth of friends along the lane on Lake Margrethe are invited to go boating with their friends Chris and Nick. The July Fourth weekend is the busiest the lake gets all season and the lake was packed. However, they found a spot where they could tube and wakeboard without much interference and both enjoyed the water.
While they were out boating, I took time to finish the post, read a book, and play fetch with Ivy. I lay down in the shade along the lake. It was a breezy day and the waves crashed along the shore. It was peaceful with the wind blowing and the waves crashing ashore being the only sounds except for the occasional boat. I had never played fetch with Ivy before, at first she was reluctant to give up the ball, and wanted to keep it and play ‘come get me’ instead. Slowly, she picked up the game and would get the ball and run back to me with it after I tossed it to her. We played for a while and she tired of the game: I returned to reading my book. I have been reading Flush by Gary Hiaasen for several months never seeming to finish it. It is at the top of my summer reading list. I have a number of books on the list. I have wanted to add a page to my blog with the list, and reviews after I finish them, but I have not – perhaps this week will be a good week to do it.
Beth and the kids returned from boating and we have a little dinner – actually grazing instead. Sometimes that is how the meal comes out, but most of the time we have dinner with all of us sitting together and enjoying one another’s company. Tonight there is a frenzy of activity, William wanted a fire and brought would and set it up, but it is too windy and the area is a fire danger situation so we do not have a fire. Olivia is busy riding her bike and playing with friends she only sees when we come to the cottage; Beth and I are visiting with friends, too. We end up at the Eberle’s, only a few cottages down the lake from our’s, and visit after they have finished dinner. Darkness descends on the lake and fireworks begin to go off and various points around the lake. It is beautiful to watch the fireworks from where we are and we can see the stars come out. The night sky is especially beautiful here, it is clear, and so many more stars are visible because we are in such a rural area. Crawford County has only about 20,000 people and Grayling is the county seat with less than 3,000 to 4,000 people. The area is largely unpopulated forest or government land used for the National Guard Base and training area. It is relatively quiet here with vacationers visiting for the lake or other outdoor activities.
It is time for all of us to bid a goodnight and we say our goodnights and head home. It has been a busy day. The boat is in, the kids had fun on the water, Ivy and I enjoyed playing ball; and I got to read and write. What could have been better? Tomorrow promises rain and much needed indoor activity. Whatever it may bring it could be a million and six times better than today.