My house today (not a great picture, in retrospect; I should have cropped the road out). I remembered to put out the flag! And if you look closely, you'll see that there's a pot of red-white-and-blue petunias on the porch:
I have tried for years to explain to people who didn't grow up in my town what a big deal the Fourth of July is here. Only about 1,400 people live in my town, so we're not exactly big, but we do July 4 right. The street between the commons and the middle school's big front field is closed to cars, and the street is lined with booths: church bake sales (my favorite), various local groups trying to drum up support or interest, a small library book sale, games for kids, etc. There's music and a dog trick show and footraces. But wait, here's a picture I took this morning:
I walked down with all the cash and change I could scrounge from my purse, the car, and the couch cushions. I hit the St. Francis Episcopal Church bake sale first--that's the church where I grew up, so I had to go there first--and bought a whole lot of cookies and some home-baked white bread. Then I went to the St. Joseph Catholic Church bake sale and discovered my favorite, zucchini bread! With CARROTS! So I bought a big loaf of that as well as some brownies and a zucchini chocolate cake--seriously decadent except that it's zucchini and zucchini is good for me, right? Once I got all that, I was down to a few quarters and nickels, so I went across the street to the book sale and spent fifty cents on two paperbacks.
View of the action from across the commons. My house is just a few minutes' walk behind me from where I'm standing.
And...then I went home. Because when I was a kid, I knew everyone and everything was fun, but now most of the people I see are strangers and the ones I do know stop me and say, "I'm so sorry to hear about your mother" in that deeply throbbing sort of voice that makes me want to scream, and it just got too depressing to stay.
The zucchini bread and cake are dry. St. Francis wins the bake-off this year. Picture of my loot (and my hideous stove that's not very clean either):