Happy Fourth of July
With the temperatures soaring and family gathering together, it is easy to lose your cool, but try to take it easy this Fourth of July, and leave the exploding to the fireworks set to launch at about 9:15.
The weather is hot, dad burned the burgers, your sister is running late, one of the kids used the rest of the bug spray and ate all of the marshmallows. With family gatherings like this, mercury levels aren’t the only things likely to be on the rise.
Here a few ways to make this holiday as stress-free as possible:
- Paper plates and plastic utensils come in red, white, and blue this time of year, so stock up and save yourself from having to rinse sticky barbeque sauce off plates long after the guests have left.
- Make as much food as possible the day before like pasta salads, fruit salads and the desserts. Even barbeque chicken tastes delicious cold.
- It is July and everyone is hot. You’re going to sweat, of course, but don’t sweat the small stuff. What’s the small stuff? The well-done burgers, the tardy family member, the smores without marshmallows.
Sure, this is often easier to type in a column than to actually apply to real-life situations, but as your patience seems to slip away and you feel yourself losing your cool, consider this:
Two years ago, my family and I were standing in the front lawn watching fireworks light up the sky when my grandmother fainted. She had been leaning against my older brother when her legs suddenly gave out. The paramedics were called and diagnosed her as dehydrated. She was just hot and had been standing for a while, but there was a good hour when we all feared the worst.
Earlier in the evening, I lost my temper with the traffic and was impatient with everyone for the rest of the night. It was important for everyone to be seated, for the food to be done to perfection, for the table to look like something out of Coastal Living. When those things are the most important, what matters most seems to get lost in the organization and directing.
So, last year, we made a lot of food and stored it in Tupperware. We made it in our own time, for anyone who wanted to come to dinner and watch the fireworks with us. Our lawn was full of cars early in the evening, our front porch was over flowing with friends with plastic plates in their laps, everything looked beautiful, and the only things exploding were the fireworks we all rushed out to watch together at 9:15.
I’m going to try to be grateful again this Independence Day, for my freedom, my family, and mom's potato salad. Never mind that she is late, it is pretty great my sister is spending the holiday with us, that my dad can still grill, and that our grandmother is here to eat all the marshmallows with my niece and nephew.
If I want to see things explode, I’ll just watch the fireworks at about 9:15 p.m. Here are a few places you can catch them too:
- City Dock (But keep in mind there will be no parking, so plan on grabbing a shuttle)
- Naval Academy Bridge
- Any of the street-end parks along Spa Creek
Leave the fireworks for the sky, Annapolitans. Have a safe and happy fourth!