The 4th of July has been my second favorite holiday, next to Christmas, ever since I can remember. My family would pack up for a week and head to the lake for boating, jet ski riding, dock fun’n sun & lots of homemade family eats.
All of the prep would begin on the 3rd. We would wake up and start preparing our dishes that could sit in the fridge over night, so there was less to prepare the morning of the Fourth. That night the “Laker Boys” would head to the firework shop to pick out the stars of our 4th of July show. Our family was a little extreme when it came to the fireworks, and we were known for our show on Center Hill Lake. Each year the boys perfectly engineered the show to be seamless with minimal time between each shot. We liked to think we were professionals. For us, going to sleep on the 3rd was equivalent to closing our eyes on Christmas Eve.
The morning started early for me and my dad with breakfast and bird watching on the deck. The mornings were our time. The peace of the lake house hidden in the woods, listening to the boats drive by, and daydreaming about all the things we would do to make the house at the lake even better.
It was time to head down to the dock when the rest of the crew began to stir. We would soak up the sun as long as possible before heading in for the evening activities. We all know the fourth is known for barbecues, cookouts and homemade family dishes. The dishes would be lined up down a table along Aunt Chris’ deck. A few of our staples were always deviled eggs, roasted hot dogs, and homemade ice cream. The adults would fellowship while the kids did smoke bombs and firecrackers in the drive way, waiting for the sun of the day to set and the night sky to cover the lake.
When darkness hit, it was time to head to the launch pad where the famous laker boy firework show would commence. Our family and many neighbors would sit around with sparklers and watch as the bright lights illuminated the sky.
Although my 4th looks a little different now, it is still just as special. The past two years I have escaped from the concrete jungle and spent it on Smith Lake with my Framily. There is nothing better to me than just spending time together with the ones you love, especially when you’re on a mini vacay to somewhere like the lake. I love spending my mornings on the porch, enjoying the peace and stillness of the water and surroundings early in the morning. Now that I live in NYC, I cherish this time even more because it gives me a peaceful opportunity to renew my mind and reflect.
We spent dawn to dusk celebrating America. We rode the boat all day long, cooked out and finished the all American day with an intense corn hole tournament. What I love most about these holidays is the fellowship with friends and family.
After a few months of being busy busy busy, it was nice to be a little more disconnected than normal for a few days, taking in all the wonders of my favorite southern summer staycation. We extended our stay a few days after the 4th to enjoy some good quality lake time. Our last morning was Sunday, spent on the lake is extra special to us, we go to church on the water with our little community of lake friends. There is something about worshipping outside that just brings me to a clearer state of mind.
Both lakes are pretty remote, but thats the beauty of them, you get away from all the craziness of your everyday life to enjoy the people and creation around you.
Peace, Blessings, and a Happy 4th to all!