Posts Tagged ‘fourth of July’

And for me that is happening more and more!  I laugh to myself as I see myself becoming my parents.  I used to be horrified and upset (for them) when I would call on a holiday and ask them what they had planned? And their answer was something like “oh nothing dear, we’re just staying home”.  Staying home??? Are you kidding me? Well here I am doing the same thing.  This Fourth of July weekend is a perfect example of this “Let’s just stay home” new montra of mine.

The weather forecast for Friday the Fourth of July was dismal, so our little town on the Jersey Shore decided early on in the week to postpone their annual parade to Saturday – something they would rarely do and I have always been impressed that no matter what day of the week, the Fourth fell on, Ocean Grove had their parade that day and  not like New York City which tries to schedule all their parades on  the weekend.   So here we were down at the Shore but with no plans to cook out, eat out or have someone over.  It was a mutual decision to lay low and relax this weekend. On Wednesday, Peter attempted to install the air conditioner in the kitchen.  Let’s just say that it didn’t go well and the a/c unit spent the  night on the kitchen table.   Thursday dawned  not quite bright but not raining as was anticipated.  Peter tackled the air conditioner again and I went outside to shove foam in where I thought there might be an opening.  Then I heard a scream, a few curses and the reply to my query was, “It’s all right”.  That was then.  As the morning wore away, the sun came out and we felt we had a bonus beach day so we went for a couple of hours.  Peter said  he  really hurt his finger,  When I looked at it, it was swollen, so I said  we better go to the walk-in medical center or the ER tomorrow.

Friday it poured for hours and after a lazy morning of doing a whole lot of nothing, we headed for the Jersey Shore Medical Clinic because the finger that he proclaimed was broken,  really had blown up and had a knob on the knuckle!  After an X-Ray, it was ascertained that there were no broken bones but there was something bruised or some tendon injured so after an hour there, a trip to the pharmacy to get the anti-inflammatory medicine, we headed home .

It WAS the Fourth of July so I thought it was only appropriate that we have hot dogs;  Of course I didn’t expect Peter (with his splint) to grill them and quite frankly (no pun intended) we prefer them to be boiled.  I always hope that some of the sodium is being flushed out of them.  I did make it a real barbecue type meal with baked beans, potato salad, coleslaw and sauerkraut.  We really enjoyed our dinner while watching TCM which was showing patriotic movies such as Yankee Doodle Dandy,  Sargent York and the Devil’s Disciple..  I couldn’t  bring myself to walk  to the boardwalk and watch Asbury Park’s fireworks when actually the Macy’s display of pyrotechnics was fabulous and I could sit on the couch and eat dark chocolate at the same time.

Today is Saturday and we said we were going to go the parade.  Peter nudged me along and we made it to Main Avenue just in time to see the first police car come up the street tossing candy to the crowd.  There were fire trucks, a High School marching band, local organizations, ladies auxiliaries , the usual suspects, I mean politicians,  the kazoo band, and costumed members of the Historical Society and of course some bagpipers and even a motorcycle club from the Knights of Columbus (of all places!) You really can’t beat a small town Fourth of July parade to bring out the whole town, flag waving kids and a whole lot of patriotism!

Today was absolutely beautiful, not too hot, not humid, not cloudy – another perfect beach day.  After the parade we headed home to do a few things and then off to the beach.  It was the best – eating melon, reading, finding tiny shells and flat white pebbles for the Fairy Garden.  I even found a small Sand Dollar and that always makes my day at the beach.  I’ve  actually amassed a small collection of  found Sand Dollars.  

Loving Me Some Sand Dollars

Loving Me Some Sand Dollars

There were more plans for tonight, but really sometimes I just want to stay home!  So we didn’t go to the free concert of patriotic music in the Great Auditorium and we didn’t go to the boardwalk to see Bradley Beach’s fireworks but we did have drinks and hors d’ouevres on our front porch and a delicious dinner.  

Tomorrow is our last day – back to work you know… I think I need to do a little yard work in the morning, fry up some peppers and onions and I might even make my go-to hot weather dish – Tuna, Canellini Beans and Fennel.  That recipe can be found in a previous blog post.  https://pbenjay.wordpress.com/2010/06/15/tasty-tidbits-tuesday/

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WHAT IF America had NOT won the Revolutionary War?  What would life be like today in the United States?  Would we have a President or a Queen?  Would Starbucks be everywhere or Teavana?

Would there be fireworks?  Would we be eating bangers or hot dogs and would we call our franks, tube sausages?  Well for the fun of it, a British actor, Stephen Merchant delivers a hilarious, sarcastic SLAM on our holiday traditions and informs us how life would be so much better if they had won the war!

Enjoy and Happy 4th of July to all!!!


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Today turned out to be one early summer’s all time great sunny and not too humid days!  What a day for a parade!  And so Ocean Grove, known as God‘s Square Mile at the Jersey Shore held their annual Fourth of July parade.   Very small town and just the kind of parade I love for this holiday.  Hometown parades are full of charm and just about everybody else;  Today, we saw Police, a local dance academy, Revolutionary-garbed riflemen, Rainbow Girls, Shriners, local tennis club, fire trucks, the Historical Society…well you get the picture, need I go on??

fourth of July parade, volunteer firemen, vintage fire truck
Rocky Mount Vintage Fire Engine
clown, fourth of July parade
Clowning Around
vintage cars,

Classic Antique Autos

horse and carriage

Ocean Grove's Own Horse & Carriage

And what’s one of the best things about this parade?  Most of the marchers throw penny candy to the crowd.  I was very happy to be standing next to these two young men, Jordan and Jayden because I love getting the candy but certainly shouldn’t eat it – so I gave it to the boys!  I knew their pockets would never hold all the candy, so I gave Jayden a brown paper bag I had and you can see in the picture how full it was by the end of the parade.  It’s great to be a grandma because then the worry of the eventual sugar high never even enters your mind!

Jordan and Jayden

Photos by Lori

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I took photo on July 4, 2010, of table arrange...

It's America's Birthday Party

I was looking forward to receiving some Fourth of July memoirs and by the way, it’s certainly NOT too late since next Monday is the day we are going to celebrate;  Fireworks, picnics, cook-outs, pool parties, ice cream sundaes, parades, floats, marching bands…whatever!

Anyway it is Monday and these Six Word Memoirs have come in this week and I’m happy to present them to you.

My old hometown is practically unrecognizable – Weez

We had better weather in April – Susan Celtic Lady

Five grandchildren get better each year – Heather

6 words; Six more working days Susan Celtic Lady

Is there really a beach here? – Me

Sanding, scraping, painting, mowing, trimming, deadheading – Me

This is short post this Monday, as you can tell I have a myriad amount of chores and tasks to do, somewhat never ending and I don’t have “the book” with me so I can’t inspire you further for next week.   I think celebration of the national holiday along with perhaps your thoughts and feelings about America or your own state or hometown might just be the seed of a Six Word Memoir.  Till then…

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Seriously, there are several mandatory events that constitute the Fourth of July holiday.  I started to write “Now that the Government…” when I realized that perhaps I am the only one who reads this blog who remembers WHEN there wasn’t an officially designated Monday as a Federal holiday. Oops there I go again, digressing…back to the series of events that make the 4th of  July a real holiday!

Fireworks : That just goes without saying; firecrackers, poppers, sparklers, cherry bombs, Roman candles during the day and the big show at night.  If you live in Manhattan, you can view one of the best fireworks display in the country.  Macy’s sponsors this annual event and if you don’t get invited to a rooftop or want to stand on the FDR drive, you can always stay home in your air-conditioned apartment and watch the magnificent fireworks on TV.  And most towns sponsor their own individual displays.  We  in Ocean Grove have  neighboring towns on both sides who have a display – fireworks on Saturday night in Bradley Beach and in Asbury Park on Sunday!

The Parade: This is best observed in a small town and since Manhattan doesn’t have a parade, every other place will seem like a small town!  This year we watched Ocean Grove’s annual parade (see previous blog).  As with most small towns it is an all-encompassing community event; marchers include the police, the fire trucks, the Eagle Scouts, the school bands, kids on bicycles and in red wagons decorated with red, white and blue ribbons and crepe paper, Bagpipers, Bugle, Fife and Drum Corps, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, Blue Birds and more, vintage cars, local businesses with banners advertising their services, VFW members, the Chamber of Commerce, political candidates and any and every organization that can organize a contingency, clowns, citizens dressed in Revolutionary garb and best of all – CANDY!!  Everybody throws candy at the parade watchers – the little kids LOVE this.  Penny candy is freely tossed to the crowds.

Concerts: Free concerts everywhere!  Boston has the Boston Pops Orchestra performing along the Charles, Manhattan hosts a concerts in Battery Park City and for me – we went to the Ocean Grove Summer Band’s concert in the Great Auditorium.  They performed such American holiday classics as Victory At Sea, Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy, Stars and Stripes Forever.

The Beach: The Fourth of July weekend used to be the official beginning of summer – that was when we all went to grammar school and didn’t get out for summer recess until the last week of June!! So this is the weekend where everyone wants to go to the beach – the pool – the lake.

The Cook-Out: or barbeque, or picnic, or backyard supper.  I love this holiday tradition, gathering family and friends to share a meal.  This year, we had no plans and I felt awful  and reminded Peter of last year when Chiara, Tom and Finley were here and my cousin Marian and Bob showed up and we started the day with a neighborhood outdoors brunch and ended it with a big cook-out in our backyard.  THIS YEAR we were fortunate to be invited to our friend, Joe’s house for a traditional backyard barbeque.  It was a timely invitation and the occasion served as a way for us to visit and meet Michael, Joe’s friend from San Fransisco.  Michael was delightful and we were delighted to meet him and look forward to his return for Labor Day festivities. And the food was delicious (as always).  We had the traditional fare of hot dogs, hamburgers and chicken, and potato salad and my Italian Jersey contribution – that would be the best tomatoes in the country prepared with Italian seasonings.

Cheeseburgers, hamburgers, hot dogs, 4th of July cook-out, barbeque chicken

Lunch is served

mozzarella, tomatoes, Jersey tomatoes, basil, vidalia onions, backyard barbeque, cook-out, fourth of July

Caprese Salad

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Wherever you spend the Fourth of July you are sure to be in the midst of a parade, fireworks and cook-outs OR on the beach, OR in an eating contest (UGH)!

Today IS the Fourth of July, however in Ocean Grove the annual parade was yesterday, Saturday.  I think they held then so more people would be around and not committed to a picnic somewhere else or maybe because in this town, they just don’t do those kind of things on a Sunday.

Ocean Grove fourth of July parade, bagpipers

Leading the Pipers

fourth of July parade, Ocean Grove

Cruising Along Main Avenue

Kazoo band, 4th of July parade, Ocean Grove

Red White and Blue Kazoo Band

Taylored 2 You, Ocean Grove parade, 4th of July


Our friends, Susan and Jim were in the parade promoting their unique business, Taylored2You – a concierge and house watch service.

I’m pretty sure the latter is the real reason because right now it is just about noon and it is 90 degrees BUT you can’t go on the beach yet because it doesn’t open till 12:30pm and I think you know why!!!   Just as well, since we were running around yesterday I never got to the blog, there was the Parade, there was the Ice Cream Social, then we went to an Open House with Susan and Jim and that was a nice way to meet some new people and see a gorgeous house on the beach block of Main Ave.  Then it was the Happy Birthday America free concert held at the Great Auditorium and that was very nice too.  And then we walked along the boardwalk towards Bradley Beach to watch their fireworks.  We did note that when we were growing up and even well into our earlier years, people used to ooooh and ahhhhh and WOW and clap over the fireworks but hardly a sound was heard until there was one giant white fountain of a firework, filling up the sky and pouring forth wave after wave of sparks and sparkles!

Bradley Beach, fireworks on the boardwalk

Bradley Beach fireworks

And then….we had mixed berry shortcake, sitting outside in our backyard with candles and lanterns.  The stars were out, the air was cooler and it was a lovely way to end the day!

fourth of july, red white and blue dessert

Mixed Berry Shortcake

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