Today is the day for picnics, and parties, and fireworks.
So let’s celebrate!
No, there are no fireworks.
This is Alaska, and it is summer time. It doesn’t get dark around here.
Actually, it gets almost dark around 2:30 am, but only when it’s cloudy. Even then, even at that hour of the morning, it doesn’t get all dark. Just darkish.
Thus, around here the big fireworks are saved for New Year’s. Apparently, it’s dark enough to see them then.
With the 4th here, however, it finally feels like summer has come, and the clouds with it. The past few days have been cold and cloudy, with light drizzle at times. (It’s starting to feel almost like Oregon.) The guests have been arriving as well, so we started this morning with a mad rush to get cabins cleaned and ready for new arrivals. Then it was time for a picnic on the lawn and a quiet, relaxing afternoon.
How do you describe a Port Alsworth 4th of July picnic?
How do you describe having an entire town on your lawn?
Let's just say it's kind of fun. It makes a really long line at the food table, and it means quite a number of people around the picnic tables, yard chairs, benches, cabin porches, cabin boardwalks, and everywhere else available. But it's fun.
More importantly, though—how do you describe singing patriotic hymns in church?
The first time this happened, around Memorial Day weekend, I experienced a small amount of shock—singing Battle Hymn of the Republic in church, sure! But America the Beautiful?
Then I realized that while we may be singing of our country, we're singing as a prayer to God on behalf of our nation:
My country,' tis of thee,
sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing;
land where my fathers died,
land of the pilgrims' pride,
from every mountainside let freedom ring!
My native country, thee,
land of the noble free, thy name I love;
I love thy rocks and rills,
thy woods and templed hills;
my heart with rapture thrills, like that above.
Let music swell the breeze,
and ring from all the trees sweet freedom's song;
let mortal tongues awake;
let all that breathe partake;
let rocks their silence break, the sound prolong.
Our fathers' God, to thee,
author of liberty, to thee we sing;
long may our land be bright
with freedom's holy light;
protect us by thy might, great God, our King.
Isn't that the only thing we can say?
Happy 4th of July!