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Fireworks, shave ice and quilts

One of the best parts of Fourth of July is the firework display. Oh sure, when we had youngins’ living here, the evening was always, always eventful. Always, something to laugh about or fear. Pretty good memories. Let’s just say, that yes indeed Virginia, polyester pants on old ladies visiting, do indeed melt when sparks land on them. Lots and lots of melted holes. So funny, I can still work up a good belly laugh, even today.

For the last few years Mr. Right and I journey on post to meander through the festival, buy a Hawaiian Shave ice (this years’ combination, orange and blue raspberry). That ought to be just the right amount of colorings, chemicals and red dye to last us both pretty much all year long. ha.

This year it seemed there were a few more soldiers on base. A couple fewer “single” moms taking their family to the festival alone.

We bring a picnic and games. This year was Cribbage. I hate to actually admit it, but we each won one game. dang. I wanted to type that I creamed him.

Quilts, that is what I really want to talk about. Once our bellies were full and we had played our games, our chairs were set up in the “perfect” spot, our glow bracelets and necklaces were snapped and glowing, 3-D glasses ready, we sat down. To wait, and to wait a bit more for the show to start. I started looking at everyone and all the quilts I was seeing.

Quilts that grown men wore around their necks looked like super power capes. Quilts tossed on the ground for moms and babies to sit. Quilts to warm legs, eat picnics on and used to wrap around two 8 year old best friends forever. I saw energized (by cotton candy and Shave Ice and Kettle Korn) boys doing somersaults on quilts.

The Military police close some of the roads on post. Everyone is looking for the ideal viewing area & setting up their chairs, everyone is staking their claim.

On a military post is the best place to watch fireworks with your military man. As you might guess, once a military man always a military man. They don’t like to sit in the open. They don’t like to sit in the middle of a closed street, and relax while “bombs” are exploding all around them. They like their back to a tree trunk, they like to observe what is going on. They don’t like loud noises. They can’t relax. When you see every available working Military Police and off base police walking, looking, standing behind and surrounding the roped off areas, police on bikes, on horses, on Segeways , you totally “get it”. Shshshshshsh, don’t tell the “commies”, but the military men let down their guard just a bit and sort of relax for about 30 minutes. Oh don’t get me wrong, they are wound tighter than a spring in an old broken grandfather clock. Their legs may be crossed, but those legs are bouncing up and down. They may have on shorts and t-shirts and ball caps and give you the impression they are relaxed. This is one wife that will tell you it just isn’t so.

Just before the show starts, a young couple with what looks to be a brand new baby, carriage, supplies, camera, sodas slow for a moment, while he tosses down a hand made quilt onto the pavement. They make camp. They sit and hold each other and whisper to each other and try and sooth the little baby. They do a good job.

Any true and honest quilter will tell you that is what a quilt is for. At first your breath is sort of sucked in, then you relax. Quilts were not made so they could hang in museums for people to hold with white gloves and marvel at the tiny hand stitches. Quilts were made to bring comfort and love. Honestly, they were made to be tossed on the pavement. They were meant to be used and provide a little cushion and a whole lot of safe feelings.

Happy Fourth of July to all and especially to you quilters. You done good. There were a lot of very happy people watching fireworks being comforted in many ways by your quilts.

That my friend is America. A young married couple, sitting on a quilt, stealing a few moments of peace and grace.

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