July 4, 2011

Fireworks & Memories

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , at 9:48 pm by Katie

Isn’t it funny how certain sights, smells, and days bring you back to a specific time in your life?

Of course, today is the 4th of July, Independence Day.  Everyone probably has their own ideas and memories about what makes this day special.  But I think the more intriguing thing, at least for me, is how my idea of what makes Independence Day special has changed as I’ve gotten older.

When I was just a kid, 4th of July weekend meant a celebration.  It meant packing snacks, drinks, and a blanket and heading out to the lake to watch the fireworks show along with the majority of my <2,000 person hometown.  It meant heading to my grandparents’ house for a cookout of barbecue chicken or hot dogs and hamburgers, depending on what we’d had for Memorial Day.  It meant maybe having corn on the cob, depending on how the summer had gone so far for the farmers, and discussing how a farmer’s prime summer corn should be “knee high by the 4th of July.”  It meant sitting at the table watching, and later helping, my grandpa to make his “famous fruit salad” (title coined by yours truly when I was just a lil tyke).

But I was driving today, I remembered another 4th of July memory that’s a little more recent.  Six years ago, I was spending my first 4th away from the lake and my parents and grandparents, watching fireworks over a different body of water – San Diego Bay.  I was there for the National Leadership Meeting  (back when it was NLM, not NLC…gosh, I’m old!) of FCCLA, had just run for and subsequently not received a national office, and was marveling in the fact that I was wearing jeans and a hoodie on July 4th.  I was also in the arms of a particular boy, and while that didn’t work out the way we once thought it would, I’m so glad that we’re still friends.  Such good friends, in fact, that I texted him upon being reminded of this particular occasion and lamented the fact that we were old, haha.

But I really got to thinking about just how long ago that six years seems to be now.  Six years ago I was still in high school.  I hadn’t spent four years growing up in Kentucky, hadn’t met the girls who made my first year of college what is still one of my favorite memories to date, hadn’t taught and then figured out that teaching, at least in high school, was not what God had planned for me.  I hadn’t driven 20 hours in one weekend to and from Missouri to meet my sister for the first time and say goodbye to my grandpa and wrestle with God for the rest of that summer.  I hadn’t met the girls who opened their arms to me, the woman who lead me to ask Christ into my heart, or prayed about going away for eight weeks on a summer project with Campus Crusade.

I have to admit, I am not the best at reflecting and thinking about all these things, but when I’m lead to do that, it’s crazy all the things that come up.  When was the last time you took yourself down memory lane?

In other news, I’m officially on vacation until July 22.  I plan to spend a lot of time at the pool, reading, and relaxing.  One of the books I’m devouring is Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World, which is the book my summer small group is reading.  Oh. My. Gosh.  Y’all, this book is amazing.  It was completely revolutionized my thinking about my quiet time with two chapters.  Run to the nearest bookstore or click as fast as you can to Amazon and pick up a copy.

Hopefully this vacation will mean some more regular blogging as well!

Happy 4th, y’all.  God Bless America ❤