10 July 2013

7/4/2013 - Blow Out the Candles

Upon looking up what birthday year this is for the USA, apparently it depends upon how you look at it--from the signing of the Declaration of Independence (1776) or the signing of the Constitution (1789) or when England officially recognized the USA as the USA (1783). We'll go with the Declaration of Independence, which means this is the 234th birthday of the USA.

We see by our blog stats that people from USA, Canada, Russia, Germany, Netherlands, Brazil, China, United Kingdom, and Indonesia are reading this blog. Some may not understand the custom to "blow out the candles." Here, on your birthday you get a birthday cake with the number of candles on it matching your number of birthday years. You make a wish and blow out the candles.

If you can blow them all out in one breath, your wish will come true (or so goes the story). You are not supposed to say your wish out loud because then it won't come true. We still wish for "equality and tolerance worldwide, and clean water and healthy food on every table," as our wish this day and EVERY day.

Fireworks are a big tradition on the Fourth of July in the USA. In previous years there would be a huge fireworks display sponsored by Kalamazoo and the local minor league baseball team. They were launched from the ballpark just to our southeast. But the team shut down, so no official Kalamazoo fireworks this year. We hear another team will probably start up next summer, so we hope they will re-institute the fireworks tradition.

Another great option we have had in the past is going to my brother's near Lansing. He lives on a lake and sets up a huge display down by the dock. But, as we've been out of town the last few days, we decided to stay home this holiday. 

Even though we don't have the ballpark display these days, our balcony is still an excellent spot for fireworks viewing. All the little towns around Kalamazoo have their own displays and we can see many of them along the horizon to the north, east and south. The shows started about 9:30pm and some places continued until after midnight. It was fantastic. Everywhere you look, they were popping in a constant stream of color and variety. So Mikie and I had a gin and tonic with lime, some nibbles, and enjoyed a romantic evening on the balcony. Just the two of us.

Bless you to the USA and congratulations on your 234th birthday!

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