Probably my favorite New Year's memory was sometime in my late middle childhood. I went to bed in my attic room. Propped my pillow against the chimney and read until I was sleepy. When I heard the pot banging, horn blowing and carryings on outside, I briefly woke up, murmured Happy New Year, and went back to sleep.
Tonight I am sitting in my room with my computer and a book at the ready listening to classical and patriotic music inside and fireworks outside. This time I have a cooler bag with snacks, as well. And my dog, who wishes she were someplace else.
We attended our Stake's traditional Fourth of July Breakfast. (Stake: geographic based organizational unit of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints comprised of several wards (congregations)) Flag ceremony which included our national anthem well sung and a touching, inspiring account of a couple of Marines in the assault on Guadalcanal in WWII. The events were related by a war correspondent (not at that time a member of the Church) who witnessed them. Waves of our brave boys approached the heavily defended island and many were shot in the water before they reached land. The war correspondent came in a boat behind them. They found two badly wounded Marines and hauled them out of the water. One of them appeared too badly wounded to have any hope, so they turned their first aid attention to the less wounded young man. He, however, insisted that they take care of his buddy first. They looked him over and determined that it was useless to try to save him and told the 2nd Marine so. This wounded young man went to his knees, arranged himself so he could put his buddy's head on his lap, placed his one good hand on the dying man's head and commanded him in the name of Christ and by the power of the Priesthood to live until they could get him the help he needed. The soldier not only survived untl they got him to the hospital ship, but he lived and made a miracle recovery. I am going to try to find the reference for this story.
Anyway, enjoyed the breakfast of pancakes, hashbrowns, sausage, and OJ with the TRuth Hinds, Miriam, & Debi and patriotic music played by a live band. It was good.
After the boys helped load up tables and chairs to be taken back to the meetinghouses from which they were borrowed, we went home, got our things together, including dog, and headed for the coast.
Alas! As we turned toward our usual beach in the Marin Headlands, we saw that the road leading to it was closed!! Fortunately I was able to turn the other way before being trapped into crossing the Golden Gate into San Francisco and paying a toll. Time to find another beach. We passed the turn-off to Muir Beach because we could see from the highway that the beach was crowded. As we wandered further along the coast highway two problems developed. One of us became motion sick and another developed a need for indoor plumbing if at all possible. Not knowing how far we had to go before the next beach opportunity, we took a breather for the motion sickeness and headed back. Tried Muir Beach - the parking and the creative parking were all full. Back towards Marin/Sausalito. Upon sighting a Burger King, another pressure was relieved. Then we found a park-like place and ate fried chicken, potato salad, watermelon, and chocolates. Feeling much better we decided to try to find the alternative way to Rodeo Beach. The tunnel road. Open! and so much less winding then the way we usually go that it may become our regular route.
We took a rather short walk along the coastal trail, went back to the roadside above the beach and watched the people, the waves, and the surfers and headed home. It was good.
The boys' dad, my ex, had called earlier this weekend about getting together to set off the fireworks he had purchased. And maybe play Astronomy Monopoly. He thought our house is safer for fireworks and I thought now I will worry less about them getting home at a semi-decent hour, so they decided he would come here. He had suggested 630, but the guys told him we were going to the beach and might not be back. They called him when we left for home and again when we arrived. I filled a cooler bag with goodies and made my retreat. I assume he came over. Between the music and the fireworks, I cannot hear what else is happening. However he would have arrived a little late to start Monopoly, so I hope they just do the fireworks and call it good.
It has been a good day. Even better than my day is my gratitude for this country. I truly believe that its founders were inspired. America has flaws and problems, but America is great and good. Not as good as she should and could be, but very good. I love this land. I am grateful to her founders and to her defenders. America is a land blessed above other lands. Sadly, we are in danger of losing our blessings as we forsake the God who gave them. I pray that we as a people will again turn to God and live his commandments. God bless America.