For Fun / Holiday

Knee High by the Fourth of July

The Fourth of July has always been a very special holiday to me, jam-packed with family and tradition. Before my grandparents passed, July marked reunion time for my dad’s side of the family in Dubuque, Iowa.


Grandpa circa 1993


 Looking great, 2006

Nothing gets you in the mood for fireworks like making a ten hour trek through unending corn fields crammed in the back of a wood paneled Chrysler with your siblings. Come our arrival, we needed a box of snappers and a pack of sparklers. Or else.


Fire child

When all us cousins weren’t trying to light each other on fire, we were at the pool riding water slides for hours, catching lightening bugs in the back yard, making strawberry ice cream (or in my case, tasting strawberry ice cream), sneaking donut holes from the freezer, posing for a thousand pictures, drumming up a game of wiffle ball in the cul de sac, playing intense euchre tournaments, and of course, posting up to watch the (legal) fireworks display.

short game

Jim x3

water slide

Flora pool fun, 2009


Twinning, circa 1994

ice cream2

Strawberry ice cream in process. Made with love.

family photo

Jim McKay Plaza @ the Arboretum

intense euchre

Euchre: “Don’t send a boy…”



God Bless the USA

I could go on for days with all of the memories….

Though we haven’t gathered in Dubuque for the fourth in a few years, we’ve been lucky enough to party together at a few weddings.

wedding 2

Kate & Austin, Nashville, 2013


Heather & Danny, Dubuque, 2016

Aside from a lot fewer time-outs as we get older, it’s much like old times no matter how or when we get together. We even got our fill of Donut Boy’s nutty donut holes last month at Heather and Danny’s wedding. Thank you, Leigh-Anne, for making sure our priorities are straight.


Get your own box.

Inspired by McKay-clan traditions, Daniel and I had some fun of our own this Fourth of July. Instead of hitting a water slide, we opted for stand up paddle boarding down in Half Moon Bay.


Morning SUP

And though we don’t have an ice cream maker, we at least did our part in picking the important ingredient for the sentimental (and divine) strawberry dessert.


Swanton Farms U-Pick Organic Strawberries

Happy Fourth. God Bless America!!


One thought on “Knee High by the Fourth of July

  1. Pingback: Summer Top Picks | candlefit

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