DIGITALPRINTINK.NET 40 YEARS AND COUNTING KEEPING WITH TRADITION H aving a day off was rare when I was growing up on the farm. So, when the Fourth of July rolled around each year, my father would dangle the carrot of an afternoon off in front of the nose of my brothers and me. He promised that if we worked hard until noon, we could spend the afternoon down by Bull Creek and forgo the remainder of our daily chores. with hand-cranked, homemade ice cream. It was always a perfect afternoon and evening, complete with exploding metal cans filled with firecrackers. Sometimes we would even compete to see whose firecracker could shoot up the highest, and only occasionally did a firecracker go off in our hands. That was more shocking
Celebrating the 4th of July Through the Years
Each year, we would be rushing through our chores for those precious hours of off time. But somehow, every Independence Day seemed to land right in the middle of some sort of critical farming event, and it was typically hay-baling season. But Dad’s promise was a pretty good motivator, and we would bust our tails harder than normal to get to go swimming. When noon finally hit, our family would make our way to Bull Creek, where my brothers and I would immediately jump in and swim. Mom and Dad would grill lunch on the shore, and we’d finish our meal
than damaging, but it never swayed our curiosities year after year.
Since most of our family was in Texas or Oregon, Fourth of July was usually just spent with my parents and brothers. Some of my greatest memories came from these summertime traditions, even if every morning of the holiday was spent working harder than I ever had before. These days, I still spend the holiday with my family on the farm — except now it’s my farm, and I’m okay with taking the whole day off to relax. My kids and their families all venture out to the farm, where we spend the day grilling, enjoying each other’s company, and lighting off fireworks. More often than not, stories and life updates are swapped at our family get-togethers while we all anxiously await the night’s big event. Now that Sydney Grace and Dylan are older, they get to do the honors of lighting off fireworks, and the adults and little Chandler get to sit back and take in the private, spectacular show. Looking back, a lot has changed since the days of trying to beat the clock to freedom. For starters, ice cream is rarely hand-cranked anymore. But even if we have changed, the ideas surrounding our Independence Day celebration haven’t. It’s always been the same: It’s a day of laughter, enjoyment, and family as we celebrate the freedoms we are afforded in this great country. There’s not much else you can really ask for.
From everyone at Digital Print Ink, have a wonderful and safe Fourth of July!
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