Sunday, July 22, 2012

Week 27 of 2012 Independence Day

God Bless America!   Land that I Love!  And that I do....what a privilege to live, work and play in this wonderful country of ours.  I remember family picnics, flags, sparklers and sometimes fireworks in the distance in my youth.  For most of my adult life, the local celebration for July 4th has always been 6 miles to the north in Port Hope, Michigan....flea market, softball, parade, fireworks, food and friends.  My Independence Days have always involved working in the retail sector of our small town businesses, Harbor Beach Variety and The Corner Store.  Everyone else is on vacation or visiting for the holiday.  It means terrific traffic and lots of potential business for the day and days surrounding the 4th.  While it was work, it was always exciting to be busy, have lots of people around and when it was all said and done, some money in the cash register.

The Smith's hanging out at Frankenmuth for Mom and Dad's 40th!
I remember one HOT July 4th when the thermometer on the bank was reading 106 degrees.  We wanted to close at least by 3pm to go to Frankenmuth, Michigan to celebrate Mom and Dad's might have been their 40th.  It seems most of the family was around and we met to have the famous "chicken dinner" at Zender's.  We almost didn't make it because we couldn't get the store cleared out.  Finally, Dad put me on door detail which meant the key was in the lock and you unlocked it to let the customers out, but no one else was let in.  I had people on the outside screaming and swearing at me and pushing their way in when I let some shoppers out.  I told Dad that he better be the doorman.  I would run the register!  We finally did get on our way that day and enjoyed riding in our Dodge caravan 8 passenger van with the air conditioning on high for the entire trip over and back.

 Times are changing, however, and with my retirement from retail and the day to day operations, I find it most interesting with holiday schedules.  I am now experiencing what the rest of the world does without having to go to work.  I can accept party invitations for July 4th...thank you Tom and Liz O'Rourke for today's fun afternoon on the lake in Forestville.  I can go to the festivities at Port Hope, and check on my friend and Barb (and Warren) Geiger and their terrific woven rug business at the flea market.  I even got to attend the popular Farmer's Market in Port Austin for the first time ever....and on a holiday weekend....or I can sit on my porch.  How cool is that?  I did all of these things this year in conjunction with our country's independence day celebrations...and I enjoyed every minute.  It's been almost 2 years since the decision to end my retail career and one of the biggest (and best) adjustments has been to see how others spend their holiday and weekend time.  Prior to Nov. 22, 2010, I always worked.  I am still adjusting, loving it and looking forward to having many more opportunities to appreciate my freedom and citizenship in this wonderful place we call home.  God Bless the USA.  I hope everyone had a happy and safe holiday this year!

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