On the 4th of July, it is hard to replicate the wonderful experience of celebrating America's independence the way it is done back home. You can get together with fellow expats, you can try and make the right food, you can pull up some You Tube videos of "A Capitol 4th" from the nation's lawn in Washington D. C. but it's not the same. Sometimes to really experience something, you just have to be there.
Today, I saw some smoked ribs, baked beans, and cole slaw my friend Scott made for his family, and I was filled with such longing for American food, I had 'expat envy.'
So here's a toast to my friends participating in boat parades on Ten Mile Lake in Minnesota, or marching in the 4th of July parade in Illinois, or watching the fireworks over the lake in Madison, Wisconsin, Chicago, Illinois, or Lake Okoboji, Iowa. Enjoy your 4th, enjoy your wonderful plate of food, enjoy the view from Pikes Peak in Colorado Springs of purple mountain majesty or of gathered elk in Estes Park, Colorado and pinch yourself at being able to experience such a glorious day. Sometimes we don't appreciate the extra-ordinariness of our everyday existence until we can't experience it like we usually do.
To anyone reading this who has served, is currently serving, or keeping the home fires burning for someone serving our country, thank you so much for your gift of service to the nation. I appreciate it. I have enjoyed the years of freedom I have experienced that you have made possible. I don't take it for granted for even one moment.
My Wish for You: Freedom
My Favorite Freedom