Rue & Primavera - July/August 2018

July/August 2018

From Hair on Fire to a Simple Night on the Deck How I Celebrate the 4th of July

F reedom is fragile. My father, who was a World War II veteran, taught me this. He believed in and fought for the freedoms given to us by the Constitution. He loved our country and spoke fondly of our allies, as well. But after seeing firsthand what one crazy man could do to the world and being in NYC on 911, my father could see how we might all choose to give up some of our freedoms to feel safe. The Fourth was not a joyous occasion for him. I suspect now that he had undiagnosed PTSD and always carried a weight of sadness. He would just say, “I have seen enough fireworks.”

My brother and I would head down to the Hudson River on our own and watch the fireworks. When the big show was over, many people would light their own in the crowd. Perhaps some of my father’s distaste was handed down to me, because this was terrifying to me. I was always afraid my hair would somehow catch

While we’re relaxing on our deck, we’ll throw some steak on the grill and pair it with corn on the cob. The celebrations don’t need to be anything fancy for us. As our kids get older, it’s even more essential for us to make our time together count. A couple of years ago, we were able to go on a three-day kayaking trip. It’s

“While everyone else is fighting traffic in the hustle and bustle, we just hang out on the deck and watch firework shows from the comfort of our own home.”

on fire. So I’d always run home holding my hair and trying to protect it. When I look back on it now, I can’t help but chuckle. Now my family and I enjoy a slower pace on the holiday. While everyone else is fighting traffic in the hustle and bustle, we just hang out on the deck and watch firework shows from the comfort of our own home. We can see the local show from our house, which fits perfectly with how we want to spend the Fourth. We used to go to Cape May, New Jersey, and take our three kids to the beach. We’d spend all day there and let them enjoy the festivities. It was a lovely time that I’m sure my kids have fond memories of to this day. But now, we take it as easy as possible and have just as much fun.

so beautiful here in the summer, and the trip couldn’t have been more special to me. It was nice to be with my kids and invest in quality experiences now that they’re adults. We may not celebrate like the traditional American family, but we love the Fourth of July all the same. It gives us a chance to wind down for a bit and invest in what really matters. When I step back in the office after the holiday, I’m always recharged and ready to go. Whatever your vision of Independence Day, I hope you find peace and don’t forget to share with your kids the precious words in our Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

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–Wendy Rue


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