Thursday, July 3, 2008

Independence Day

For anyone who doesn't know me, I am a therapist in a nursing home. On most Fridays (or whatever is the last day of the week), we do fun activities, skip exercise, etc. At the end of our sessions, we pick a different topic to discuss each week (usually pertaining to current events or holidays). Today we shared our experiences of Independence Day traditions. Oh sure, we got a lot of picnics, parades, hot dogs, apple pie, etc. But I want to share the most unusual story I've ever heard.

"All year long, Uncle Dub saved all the bits of string that he came across and wound them into a ball. By July 3rd, this ball was about the size of a basketball. On the day before the Independence Day celebrations, he soaked this big ball of string in kerosene. Then as night approached on July 4th, family and friends gathered in the pasture, the ball was set on fire, and everyone (kids included) played hot potato until it went out." According to our storyteller, kerosene doesn't burn very hot. So if you catch and throw quick enough, you don't get burned.

Can you imagine what would happen if you tried something like this today? First off, poor old Uncle Dub and all the children's parents would be arrested for endangering their kids. If you are over 50, I'm sure that you can think of plenty of things that were commonplace when you were a child, that you'd get in major trouble for today. But somehow we lived through it. I'm not advocating taking your kids out to a pasture to play with a fire ball, but it just illustrates how times have changed.

Hope you all have a safe and fun July 4th with plenty of hot dogs, fireworks, watermelon, or whatever.

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