Happy Independence Day!!

(I posted this in 2011, but the sentiments and ideas still stand. Hope you all have a safe and wonderful time with friends and family this week celebrating this great country we are privileged to live in. God bless America! E.)


 You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4, not with a parade of guns, tanks,and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness.  You may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism.  ~Erma Bombeck

Whether or not you throw a Frisbee, or stuff yourself on iffy potato salad, I hope your Fourth of July is super!

In honor of Independence Day, here’s a brief recap of what it is all about (credit goes to History.com for the following excerpt–had I written it, it would have been three times as long and full of incorrect information, so I decided to go with someone reliable.  And, it never hurts to have the occasional refresher course.):

“In June 1776, representatives of the 13 colonies then fighting in the revolutionary struggle weighed a resolution that would declare their independence from Great Britain. On July 2nd, the Continental Congress voted in favor of independence, and two days later its delegates adopted the Declaration of Independence, a historic document drafted by Thomas Jefferson.”

(Stained glass window of The Reading of the Declaration of Independence to Washington–as in George–1776, at Mount Vernon.)

I thought I’d list a couple ideas for things to do on the Fourth of July.  Of course, by now, you’ve probably already made your plans, but just in case you forgot something, here you go.

July Fourth ideas:

  1. Of course, fireworks.  If your city has not banned the firing of them due to no rain, then you should absolutely grab a lawn chair and some Off! and go watch them.
  2. Take pictures of the fireworks–don’t forget your tripod!!
  • Shoot manual and at a slow shutter speed: allow for long exposures of many seconds to 30 seconds, or you can even try the bulb setting
  • Use a quick release trigger for the camera, if you have one.  If not, try setting your release to a 2 second or 10 second delay, especially if the fireworks are being shot off at very regular and quick intervals.  You can press the shutter button and allow for any shake to subside before the picture is taken.
  • Shoot at a low ISO 100-200
  • Pretend the next number on my list is 3.
  1. Eat some watermelon.  I don’t know why, just do it!  Because it’s so yummy!  And, it just goes with Fourth of July, that all.
  2. Ask some neighbors over to grill some burgers and hot dogs, and play some games.
  3.  Have a neighborhood parade–decorate the bikes and wagons and play some loud patriotic music (like John Phillip Sousa), and take your parade through the neighborhood.  If you want to throw out candy, like at a big parade, let your kids throw out all your old Halloween candy.  It’s a great way to get rid of it, and I consider that recycling!  What?  You didn’t keep all your old Halloween candy?  No one keeps candy for that long?  Really?  Oh.
  4. Play horseshoes, ladder golf, washers, or cornhole.  All four are fun games to play outside, while eating your watermelon.
  5. Hang a flag in your front yard somewhere.
  6. HAVE FUN!!

Happy Independence Day!

God bless America,




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