Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy 4th of July!

My patriotism is something that has run strong within me since I was a child. I owe learning my patriotic songs by heart to my first grade teacher, Mrs. Copley. She was probably the most strict teacher I've ever had, but we learned a lot from her. And patriotism was one of them. Every morning we sang the national anthem, My Country 'Tis of Thee, This Land is Your Land,and a few others.

I have fond memories of going on base to the movie theater, and standing before every show with my hand over my heart, singing the national anthem. The same with going to the Richmond Brave games. Standing every day before the official school day started and saying the pledge of allegiance. I have always loved learning American History and more particularly about the individuals that made history for our country.

Fourth of July has always been such a fun day. Growing up, we had block parties, or we grilled out with the neighbors, went to the pool, and we would go to Meherrin to watch the fireworks at the old drive in theater, or the side of the road, wherever you could find a place! There were sparklers and late nights. Running around with the neighborhood friends relishing the fact that we were out late. Sticky, watermelon hands...and truthfully not much has changed. I grew up, but we did the same things on the fourth, though sometimes the scenery was different.

All of these great memories that instilled my patriotism, could have never prepared me for the immense pride I would have as an American living outside the United States. My heart is swollen with the love I have of a country that has given me so much and provided so many opportunities.

Today, I find myself a little homesick, wishing I was celebrating with my family and friends. Today, I find myself, hoping that one day, together, Sidnei and I will have the opportunity to return and live in the United States. Because no matter how well I adjust to living here in Brazil and no matter how much I love it here...I'll always long for a warm summer night on a wrap around porch, watching 24 hours of A Christmas Story wishing for a white Christmas, and 4th of July with the smell of the grill, sparklers, and sticky watermelon hands.

OH, and Krispy Kreme doughnuts.


Betty said...

This is your first big holiday away right? I feel for you! Try to keep busy and not to think too much of what you´re missing.
Happy 4th of July to you too!

Wendi said...

Happy Fourth girl!
Sorry you are a little homesick, but what wonderful memories you have. You never know what a year may year you could be celebrating in MB! And I just may have to join you.

Sam said...

Happy 4th, Steph! Nice post! I remember when I was living in England on July 4 I had that same patriotic feeling.

Ballerina Girl said...

well put...
I try to make it back every Christmas, and every 4th...just something we do :)


mythopolis said...

What sweet memories, and I am sure many can relate! Sticky watermelon fingers! Ha ha! I know that one. But as a boy spitting the seeds as far as possible was what watermelon was about! Tonight, (the 5th) there will be more rounds of fireworks in the sky. With the economy so difficult, more people are buying their fireworks the day after, since they are greatly discounted! In fact, I am going to a Fifth of July party tonight!

Colin said...

I'm surprised - I've found most expats have mixed feelings or even bad things to say about the States. I'm kinda patriotic but I thought I was an exception to the rule. Guess not.

By the way, I wouldn't have realized it was 4th of July if it weren't for Facebook and Twitter :)

Stephanie said...

I think it has a lot to do with it being my first big holiday away from everyone and everything that is familiar to me. I am a very patriotic person. For myself, my country is not defined by it's present state, but rather the whole history of it. And USA is an amazing country. And for better or for worse, it is my home, I grew up very patriotic, and so I will always be matter what country I am in.

I find you are right. I find that most people, especially after the last couple of years, are "ashamed" of the US, or so I have read on a couple of blogs. But for me, I don't agree with everything, but it doesn't make my love, my patriotism any less. Every country has its ups and downs. Now we are down. Maybe tomorrow we're up! Let's hope so!