I can remember the first time I arrived at my grandparents cabin as a little girl, excited to spend a weekend somewhere cold enough to wear a jacket during summer. Grandma and grandpa still had their motor home. It was the same motor home I sat in watching the news the night Princess Diana died. Weekends were spent at the cabin with my cousins. We'd built forts in the back yard and sell flowers & things made out of wood to whoever would stop at the end of the driveway. As we got older we rode four wheelers for hours. Those days were always more fun if it was a bit cloudy or rainy. In the morning we'd wake up to a huge breakfast made by grandma. Evenings were spent playing Dominoes or old Nintendo. And from time to time, we'd go fishing.

Every Fourth of July is spent at the cabin. I don't know when the tradition started. All I know is we've been going up to the mountains every Independence Day since I can remember. That was back when the fair was still good- full of craft booths, magic shows and a horse shoe contest. Dad competed for several years, always wearing his lucky hat. One year an old lady gave me a Precious Moments pillow from her booth.

My cousins, brother and I would wake early as little kids to watch the parade and spent the rest of the day anticipating the evening's fireworks. Around 5 o'clock we would drive to a canyon and sit in lawn chairs on the baseball field. Thousands of people from Arizona would come here and escape the heat. Hours were spent munching on kettle corn, watching people dance and playing cards. Earlier years they had a greased pig wrestling contest; that was until the year one fell over and died- probably from fear of people chasing it around an empty field. If you catch it, you keep it- that was the name of the game. Animal cruelty, if you ask me.

Bombs Bursting in Air
Over the years, the number of people who went up to my grandparent's cabin varied. One year the whole family came. Other years it was just the grandparents and I. Sometimes my parents came, sometimes my cousins. Last year my nephew, brother and his girlfriend came as well. Oh, how times have changed. This year my cousin Ryan and I were the only ones who stayed at the cabin, since grandpa recently got out of the hospital. But for another year Ryan and I decided to stick with family tradition. We still went to the parade and arrived early for the fireworks.

I watched as little kids whispered to their parents, "Did you see that one?" "Oohhhh... Awww." All were excited over the same things I'd experienced since I was their age. It feels as if it were just yesterday that I was the same little girl, wearing pigtails and walking the fair grounds with my Precious Moments pillow in hand. Sometimes, just sometimes, I hate change. β˜…

Do you have any Fourth of July traditions, my American readers?