Tag Archives: National Mall


There’s a lot of activity in our house. I’m up early this morning to post a few words and power up for the holiday.

My brother and his family are visiting from Utah and are staying with us. My nephew’s marching band will be in America’s 2011 Independence Day Parade today in Washington, so his parents and brothers are here for the festivities. The family hasn’t been here since the eve of the millennium more than 11 years ago, and our son doesn’t get to see his cousins often; this is a special visit for all of us.

There are seven humans and two cats in a house normally occupied by two, plus various and sundry others dropping in, so we’re operating at a heightened state of energy. The glorious sounds of giggles, piano music, video games, pets being chased and balls being thrown waft through the air. I can never hear “Hey, Aunt Monica, …” enough times.

Because we are one person over bed capacity, our son sleeps on a cot in the living room. This has turned out to be the most coveted space, a place to lie down in the middle of it all. I took a serious nap there yesterday.

Our recycling bin is brimming with empty orange and grape Fanta cans, evidence of the fuel that has thus far powered our holiday weekend.

Well, that pretty much sets the stage. We’ll be leaving for the parade in a few minutes, implementing the complex transportation plan we’ve created for moving about the city today. I haven’t been to the National Mall for the Fourth of July in about 30 years. I’m excited about sharing my native capital city with visiting loved ones on this day set aside for celebrating the birth of our country. If I’m lucky there’ll be stories to tell, though those may need to wait until I have more time to write.

God bless America and pass the Fanta.

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Two if by sea

As we approach our country’s 234th birthday, it’s appropriate to reflect on the significance of Independence Day. 

My educational frame of reference for American independence centers chiefly around a film we were shown in grade school.  I have been trying to remember the name so I can dig up a copy.  The film was black and white and grainy, but it painted a pretty vivid picture of the events leading up to the formation of the United States as an independent nation.  So when this holiday rolls around, that film rolls in my head.

The Fourth of July is also my younger brother’s birthday.  When he was little he used to sing, “A real live Matthew of my Uncle Sam, born on the Fourth of July,” while watching fireworks at the neighborhood celebration he thought was being thrown in his honor.

Living in the nation’s capital, the Fourth used to mean hearing the Beach Boys playing on the National Mall, and a long, crowded Metro ride home.  Sometimes it’s a crab feast or a pool party or a visit to the National Archives.  Fireworks?  Don’t hate me, but I could take ’em or leave ’em. 

Even though our nation might at times seem like it’s going somewhere in one big hand-basket, with oil spills and wars and political infighting over the freedoms we hold dear, my holiday wish is that for one day we Americans can cool off with a Good Humor Bomb Pop, sing Kumbaya and appreciate how good we have it.

As I trust the Founding Fathers would have intended, I’ll be at the Jersey shore.

Word Nymph doesn’t post on Sundays, but she wishes you a Happy Independence Day.

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