A grandmother is a mother who has a second chance

Friday, July 3, 2009

Happy Fourth of July !!

Growing up, Fourth of July was always a special time for our family. My grandparents lived three blocks from the University of Arizona in Tucson where there was always a fireworks display.

So the whole family would assemble on the front lawn. It was the perfect spot, the lawn was large and a little bit up on a hill so we had a great view over the other houses.

Nani Gene and Papa Jim (my grandparents) would set up a bunch of folding lawn chairs and blankets on the grass. And pull out the card table for the food. We're Italian so there HAD to be food!

All of us kids would be so excited waiting for it to get dark and for the show to start. Luckily we didn't have Daylight Savings Time in Tucson so it got dark earlier. We'd hear the band playing and knew it was almost time. Then the first one would go up. It was usually a dud, but would make a nice loud crack which was totally cool.

We had all the required number of ooohhhs and aaahhhs. We ate watermelon and seedless green grapes (they didn't have seedless red grapes back then). My grandfather called the green grapes something like "pisha freet". That's the phonetic spelling because I have no idea what the actual words were. But they meant "fruit that makes you pee." In fact, that was our family always called green grapes which was not cool when non-Italians asked us what the heck that meant!

We'd also have cookies or cake or whatever people brought over. The weather was so nice and warm. No mosquitos in Tucson so the evenings were wonderful. My last Fourth of July on that lawn was in 1973 when I was 7 months pregnant with my twins. I looked so forward to having my own kids be part of that tradition, but my grandfather died a few weeks later and my grandmother never went back to that house after he died. So the tradition ended that year.

Now we have our own tradition. Where we live we can buy "safe" fireworks and do them in our streets. They don't go into the air. Just bounce around the street. Some are fountains of light with whistling or popping noises. Enough sound and light and color to be very festive. So we gather our kids and grandkids around, have food (of course) and spend the evening creating our own displays and walking around the neighborhood watching other people's displays. Now Ed and I are the grandparents! And we love it. Even without the grapes that make you pee.


Fleur de Lisa said...

Fruit that makes you pee? LOL

Happy 4th of July weekend to you!

It's Me said...

love your traditional family!! we always had "sparklers" and other fireworks and of course, being Hispanic, a whole hell of a lot of food!!!!

Luz said...

Umm, next year I'm coming to your house for the 4th! ;-)