Second Look: Fourth of July Celebration

Linda Wallace, columnist

1776 was a good year, don’t you think! Thank goodness our forefathers wanted independence from England. If that year’s events hadn’t occurred, America might not be quite like it is. It makes me think of our past presidents and how young our country is.

We might not have red, white, and blue colors to brighten up our festivities if we hadn’t gained our independence from England. You see I love the American flag. Yes, I’m one of those patriotic Americans who loves to fly the red, white and blue. Even my deck is adorned with petunias in all those colors.

Do you know why the 21-gun salute occurs at military funerals? It is because of our magical 1776 year. If you add 1 + 7 + 7 + 6 it adds up to 21.

So now we are celebrating the Fourth of July this Friday. Mount Shasta will have its sidewalk sales, the fun run/walk, and parade. I love this holiday. I like fireworks, music, eating, and fun. I love barbecues on the deck, family time, and good conversation. It’s hot dogs, hamburgers, or chicken with potato or macaroni salad. You have to have sliced cold watermelon and homemade pies or cake with ice cream for dessert. But I don’t like plain old vanilla. It’s Crystal’s Rocky Road ice cream for me.

We wait all winter for summer and the Fourth of July to arrive. When it comes with sweltering heat, we wonder why we wanted summer to come. But summer is the best.  How can anyone not love looking at all the beauty summertime brings? Who can resist beautiful flowers filled with color, or smelling and seeing sweet peas flowering everywhere?

Beauty abounds! Just look up at our incredible mountain. The snow is disappearing. Now we can see the ruggedness of rocks, the brown soil, and the thinning meandering glaciers. I think we live in such a beautiful place.

Nothing is more inviting than smelling green grass lawns freshly mowed. Summer means spending time outdoors. It’s haying time. Alfalfa and meadow grass or wheat and barley are cut and processed to preserve for winter’s feed. It is time for gardening and watering anything requiring attention to flourish.  Walking along one of nature’s flowing streams is always relaxing, soothing, and wonderful to the eyes.

Now the Fourth of July has arrived reminding us of America’s values, our flag, and what it means to be an American. I like history and learning from those who came before me.

I’ve been reading a book called, “The Unknown Lincoln” by Dale Carnegie. What an amazing man he was! He changed the direction of America. Did you know Lincoln only had 12 months of schooling, which he got when he was 15 years old? He and his sister walked four miles, night and morning through the forest to study under a teacher at Pigeon Creek in Kentucky. Dorsey, the teacher, kept what was known as a “blab” school. The children studied aloud so the teacher could tell whether or not they were applying themselves. With a switch in hand, he marched around the room giving a cut to those who were silent.

Otherwise, Lincoln was self-taught and even became a lawyer by reading and teaching himself.

He is my hero and one to admire.

Every Fourth of July I think of our great presidents who helped mold America.

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