Once upon a time . . . a long time ago . . .
Parades. Fireworks. BBQs. Sparklers. Cupcakes. It was one of my favourite 4th of July celebrations and took place over 20 years ago when I was living in Breckenridge. Of course, the population of the town and the ski resort explodes during the winter season, but dwindles down to practically nothing over the summer. So every summer the ENTIRE population of the town gathers down by the shores of Lake Dillion to watch the fireworks display over the water. Countless four-wheel drive vehicles parked in the woods. Townspeople gathering as sunset approaches. Slowly walking to the water's edge for the best view. Waiting for the sky to darken just a tiny bit more.
Then - the fireworks begin. And the requisite "oooh's" and "aaah's" arise from the crowd. It was a classic mid-summer evening. Dogs barking. Children laughing. After several minutes, the fireworks show was over. And once again, silence surrounded the mountainside. But, no one seemed to want to leave. People just stood in the silence.
Until someone started singing. And then, there in the darkness, as the last glimmering embers fell into the lake - an entire town sang "America the Beautiful." It was magical. Little has ever come close to it since.
I hope everyone has an amazing 4th of July planned. The classic 'summer' holiday is always kind of a challenge here in San Francisco. Firstly, it tends to be frighteningly chilly here in the summer. And inevitably, there is far too much fog to see any of the fireworks. One of our local jokes is about 'going down to Fisherman's Wharf to watch the fog turn different colours' - lol. So this weekend's activities include a fun BBQ with great friends - in their backyard - which will include all the classics; burgers on the grill, tons of side dishes, and heavy cashmere sweaters to combat the cold . . . and maybe we'll sing.