Small-Town Fourth

The first year my husband and I lived together, it was in a small town practically in the country. Right on the main road, in the town square, was a huge house that had been converted into two apartments. We stayed in one of those. (It was also about six feet away from the railroad tracks. Living right next to the tracks…That’s a whole other set of stories.)

Of all the apartments I’ve lived in over the years, that’s the only one I really miss. I loved that town. And the Fourth of July is when I always miss it the most.

Most of my life I never cared much about the Fourth of July, one way or another. When I was at summer camp that week, everyone at camp would be bussed into town to watch fireworks. But if I wasn’t at camp that week, I didn’t give it much thought.

But my time in that small-town apartment, the Fourth became one of my favorite days. The town put on a celebration every year, with all the usual trappings: cookout, activities, games for the kids, and of course, fireworks. Living right on the town square, on that day? Was the best. Most people had to make a whole day out of it—but all I had to do was walk outside. And we could watch the fireworks right from our front porch.

Since we moved and left that town, the Fourth has never been as much fun to me. We’re still close enough that we could drive back there, spend the day… but it’s not the same feeling.

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