Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Gunpowder to Home Made Ice Cream

The previous pictures are of 3 of my grandchildren--whom I love dearly. These pictures are representative of the following post:

I have always loved the Fourth of July! I love the Red, White, and Blue; the patriotic music; the burgers on the grill; home made potato salad; the gatherings of family and friends; the heat of the summer day and coolness of the summer evening; the laughter and squeals of small children; and most of all, the smell of spent gunpowder and the smoke gathering in a low haze in the backyard.

In junior high ( oh, that DOES show my age--now I guess it would be middle school), I was a cadet girl scout. One of the ways we raised money for our yearly big camping trip was to sell fireworks. We had to sign up for 2 hour shifts. I always worker way more than my fair share of shifts. It was soooo much fun to see all the different kinds of fireworks, and of course, it helped that we had a girl scout leader who thought we should sample many of them to "see what they do". Oh, what fun we had!!! From then on, my Mom always said I had gunpowder running in my veins. At family gatherings, I was the one who picked out the fireworks, because I knew which ones gave you the most bang (or the most sparkle) for your bucks. And it was then that the privilege of lighting them for the family display passed from Dad's hands to my own. Ooooh, how I loved to hold that punk to the fuse and see those sparks begin to fly, and then dash back to the viewing area!

Now the punk has passed from my hands to my daughters hands (she is 24 now), and I find my place in the "viewing stands" holding whatever grandchild needs attention at the moment. This has been a gradual change. I still love the smell and the sights of the fireworks. And there is quite a bit of nostalgia on my part for the days when I was the "lighter" of the fireworks. But I am content with my new position.

Now, I find much joy in preparing for the evening's food feast. The summer salads, the fare for the grill, but most of all, the desserts! Yesterday I made cherry pie (picked from our own tree), and strawberry-rhubard pie (the rhubard came from a garden-club friend). And of course, the home made ice cream!! My mother's recipe. Everyone says it is the best!! We always had it for family events like birthdays, and the Fourth of July, Labor Day, etc.. This is a traditon that I follow today with my family. I mix it up, and Emerson freezes it--no, not with a hand crank--it's electric. And when the freezer has done it's work and shuts off, MMmmmMMM--it's time to pull out the dasher. We race with our spoons to get the fresh creamy just-frozen delight as it starts sliding off the dasher--in my opinion the very best of the ice cream!! However, I will still *force* myself to eat another bowl or two before the evening is over!

What precious, precious times these are to me. Even having gone from gunpowder to ice cream running through my veins! I still love it. I love being with my family. I love being blessed by living in this great nation! God Bless America!! He has, He is, and I pray that He will continue to bless us!


Jayleigh said...

Joyce... this post makes my heart so glad for you! Your family traditions are so cool and it's obvious that you so love your family.

btw, we had home made ice cream at our party too this weekend. SO AMAZING!!!

I'm glad that you had a great weekend!

Corry said...

I am happy you had a wonderful weekend:-) I love the fireworks and the smell of gunpowder too. Your grandkids are lovely!

God's Grace.

jayme said...

I think my fave part of the 4th is the lighting of the fireworks...not the fireworks themselves. I had never really thought about your 4th of July times as a kid...I assumed they were all at Aunt Sara's...isn't that silly??????? those are my favorite 4th memories...and I'm still ticked we quit when I was old enough to use the punk. grrr. I'm making up for it now. But it won't be long before Aaron gets to light all the fireworks. :) He needs more guts though.

tomorrows up to me said...

Great pictures and memories. My memories from childhood include tthe man down the street, who would fire a cannon at 7 am every 4th of July morning!