Happy July 4th, dear reader.

After two summers in France—scampering around Parc Belleville trying to get a view of the Bastille Day fireworks and glumly eating hamburgers at Maison Mère on July 4th proper—we were pretty hungry for some good old-fashioned American pyrotechnic patriotism. So this past weekend we headed up to Michigan to the lake where B’s folks live and spent two lazy days swimming, boating, boozing, and eating guacamole and barbecued chicken until we were cross-eyed (well, the last one might have been just me). On Saturday night, we headed out on the pontoon boat and gleefully lay underneath a fantastic fireworks display, close enough to the action that ashes fell on our faces. Afterward we made s’mores around a fire, chatting until the wee hours of the night with friends and family.  It was pretty idyllic, if I do say so myself.

I’ve gotten my July 4th rocks off, so to speak, but nevertheless we’re having a little shindig here in Bloomington tonight to celebrate this most red-white-and-blue of all holidays, Wednesday or not. We were originally planning a barbecue in the early afternoon, but a week of 100 degree plus days has meant that standing outside around a grill would surely have killed off any ambient patriotism, not to mention the grillmaster. I’d give my kingdom for central air conditioning! Anyway, we shifted to cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and porch-sitting this evening. I conceded spicy pickled okra to B, he conceded that I could make a joke about “sangria of our forefathers” as much as I wanted. I’ve heard a rumor that one of my friends is bringing hot pink, pickled, devilled eggs, a down-home recipe from her West Virginia family. Be still my heart. I’ll provide documentary evidence if such a thing does materialize.

In the meantime, I hope wherever this finds you, dear reader, that you’re staying cool and wearing your sunscreen. And to the Americans out there (both at home and abroad), may you find yourself with a drink in hand and firework ashes on your face.

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