By Guy Chapman – Navarro County Gazette

Yes We Can

It’s amazing what a year’s time can bring. We were still pretty heavy into the earlier stages of the pandemic, and it was the fireworks of last year that marked any returning hint of the “normal” life before. It was a relief to sit out in a parking lot and watch the fireworks go off over Corsicana. Actually, it was quite nice.

So we are in full swing of the Fourth of July today… or I guess as of last night, according to some folks in my neighborhood (Yes, I heard you. No, you’re not sneaking them by).

Honestly, such a late start is nothing. In one of my last years living in Vegas, fireworks started in mid-June and kept on until early September. You think you love fireworks? You will never love them as much as my old neighborhood (how they never set my palm trees on fire remains one of life’s great mysteries).

But I’m looking forward to the Fourth celebration this year. I’m planning on grilling, having a few friends over, and watching some fireworks. That’s life again. I’m enjoying my friends. I’m enjoying going places. I’m enjoying just being in the moment. I normally don’t put any great thought into the larger picture of the holiday. Certainly, I’m grateful for the freedoms we still have, and the chance to have some time off, but there’s something more to appreciate this year.

There’s a lot of really good things about America. I began to appreciate it more as I started traveling the country, and lived in a few places. I appreciated it when I came home again and could see the simplicity a small town offers. There’s so many interesting things to see and people to meet, and a lot of them are doing good. And I appreciate the freedom we still proactively fight for.

So I’ll do all the traditional things because I can. It’s something to look forward to. A part of who we are. I’m about to fire up the grill and hopefully better moderate my starter fluid better this year (On one hand, who doesn’t love a good fireball? On the other hand, I’d like to keep my arm hair this year).

But of course, it goes without saying: Be gentle on the pets and livestock out there. It’s a tough night for them, so give them some extra attention. It’s also a rough for our veterans who have heard more than enough loud noises in their lives. And there comes a point when the fireworks need to chill out. Unless you’re Disneyland, the show needs to end eventually.

I’m looking forward to some relaxation today. I may even get some of those little chicken and tank poppers because I’m feeling more nostalgic than usual this year.

In any case, Happy Independence Day.

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