Monday, July 4, 2011
Happy 4th of July!
My cousins and I were very close growing up. Some of my favorite memories were the backyard cookouts at Aunt Charlotte and Uncle Ray’s on the 4th of July. These family reunions were quite memorable. All the aunts brought favorite covered dishes and baked goods that over the years became signature. These gatherings started early in the morning and ended late in the evening, winding up with lots of singing.
Not long after the party started, Uncle Ray entertained us by setting snake sizzlers on fire. It was something to see and we’d all gather around as these sparklers uncoiled into ashes. There seemed to be an endless supply of delicious food, both inside and out. I can still see Aunt Charlotte carrying huge platters of burgers and bacon-wrapped wieners to be grilled and no party was complete without her strawberry pies and legendary lady lock cookies.
The grand finale was the fireworks. As soon as it got dark, the cousins raced to claim a seat on one of the steps in the sloping driveway, orange or cherry pop in hand.
Sadly, over the years, as many of the aunts and uncles passed away and cousins grew up and went separate ways, these family reunions became distant memories. But every 4th of July, I remember the backyard patio parties at Aunt Charlotte and Uncle Ray’s with a smile. Thanks for the memories.
Have a favorite 4th of July memory to share? I’d love to hear it.