Favorite 4th of July Memories

fireworks_blast_185682What are your favorite 4th of July memories? I have a few. The first is a childhood memory, gathering at my grandmother’s house. My dad is part of a large family (13) and I’m the eldest grandchild so I was fortunate to experience many large family gatherings before everyone scattered across the states. I have cousins I’ve never met from the ‘younger’ group of siblings. I wish they could have experienced the “Swenson” madness.

I always enjoyed our family gatherings, all the aunts and uncles and my younger cousins. The 4th was a great time in those days with fireworks and hand held sparklers. People weren’t so “sue” conscious and we had many adults to make sure we weren’t burned.

I always regretted that they were illegal by the time I had children. As a parent of young children, one of our favorite 4th activities was to go to Moffet Field (oops, not NASA) when they parked everyone in their cars on the runways and had a firework display. The kids would run up and down the runway with other kids and the car radio could be turned to the music for the fireworks. It was awesome.

green_fireworks_193088It didn’t last long before we had to find another venue. Great America Park (that’s what it was called then) became our place to go.  I remember the first time. My dau was less than 2 and she screamed. I realized later that the noise hurt her ears. She’d been cursed with many ear infections. Other than that, it was always a lot of fun. We had to stop when it became too dangerous out in the parking lot with gang activity. That was sad.

After that, we didn’t really seek out displays and our families all moved away so there weren’t any gatherings. Today, it’s just a quiet day at home. Much like any other. My grown children often celebrate with groups of their friends, and I hope that with a grandchild on the way, I can find a holiday tradition that they’ll remember  with the same fondness that I have of my childhood, when they grow up.


What is one of your favorite 4th of July memories (or two or three). Share. We’d love to know.