For some reason, all day yesterday – Thursday – it felt to me like it was Friday. That used to happen often on days right before or after holidays or vacations, but not since we retired and moved to Georgia three years ago, when there was no longer much difference between weekdays and weekends. And it certainly hasn’t happened since stay-at-home guidelines went into effect in mid-March.

I can’t attribute the feeling to the 4th of July weekend coming up, because holidays going back as far as St. Patrick’s Day this year have also been pretty much the same as any other day of the year. No going out for a themed or special dinner. No getting together with friends and neighbors for backyard barbecues. And no traveling for, well, anything. The most we did by way of celebrating holidays was getting dressed up a little more nicely than normal to live-stream Mass on Easter Sunday, and cooking carnitas for dinner on Cinco de Mayo.

Our neighborhood has always held numerous activities to celebrate the 4th of July. A few of them will still go on this year, although we’ll be viewing them from a distance, if at all. We’ll be able to hear, if not see, area fireworks, and we’ll watch the boat parade from a socially-distant spot.

Still, there’s a holiday spirit in the air, as well as memories of past 4th of July celebrations – like the first one after our son returned home from serving in the Marines. Or the home-town parade we attended every year when we lived in Minnesota. Even the times I sat inside during fireworks displays, cuddling our black lab, who was scared of loud noises. All of these put me in a festive – yet nostalgic – mood as we prepare for the 4th of July in this incredibly challenging year.

Maybe that’s why yesterday felt like Friday – because I was already in the mood to start the holiday weekend. And to celebrate in spirit what the 4th of July means for our country, which is something that goes well beyond parades, picnics, and fireworks.

However you intend to celebrate this weekend, please stay safe. Enjoy the holiday. And have a Happy 4th of July.

July 3, 2020
©Betty Liedtke, 2020

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